The Band's Visit
The heartfelt, critically acclaimed story of how the smallest moments can have the largest impact.
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Show Essentials
+ Ensemble

Full Synopsis

We see the projected words: “Once, not long ago, a group of musicians came to Israel from Egypt.You probably didn’t hear about it. It wasn’t very important.” (“Overture”)

The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra is stranded at the Tel Aviv airport when the van that was meant to pick them up does not arrive.Tewfiq, the stern conductor, decides they will take a bus instead.

We meet the townspeople of Beit Hatikva: Papi, a young café employee; Itzik, an aimless married man and his frustrated wife Iris; Dina, the world-weary café owner; and others (“Waiting”). Tewfiq and his band arrive. They ask for directions to the Arab Cultural Center where they are to give a concert the following evening, but it turns out they have come to the wrong town (“Welcome to Nowhere”). There are no more buses until the next morning, and so Dina invites the musicians to stay the night.

Dina takesTewfiq and Haled, a handsome trumpet player, to her apartment. She tells them how she ended up alone in this boring town (“It Is What It Is”). Dina invites Tewfiq to go out with her and, after some prodding by Haled, he agrees to go.

At Itzik’s place, Simon, the assistant conductor and clarinetist, and Camal, a wary violinist, have stilted conversation over dinner with Itzik, Iris and Avrum, Iris’ father. As a baby fusses in the other room, Avrum, who used to be a musician himself, tells the story of how he met Iris’ mother, his late wife (“The Beat of Your Heart”).

A young man stands by a phone booth waiting for his girlfriend to call. After Dina and Tewfiq pass by on their way out, Camal insists on using the phone to call the Egyptian embassy and is told they will call back later. Meanwhile Papi, preparing for a double-date with his friend Zelger, is approached by Haled who, over Papi’s objections, is allowed to join.

The rest of The Band, outside Dina’s cafe, plays some music to wile away the time (“Soraya”).

At a restaurant with Tewfiq, Dina reminisces about hearing the songs of the great Egyptian singer Oum Kalthoum and watching Egyptian movies with her mother as a child (“Omar Sharif”). But the arrival of Sammy, a married man with whom Dina is having an affair, disrupts the mood of their dinner.

Outside the café,The Band jams on another tune (“Haj-Butrus”).

Back at Itzik and Iris’ apartment, a conversation about Simon’s inability to finish his concerto causes Iris to blow up and storm out, her frustration with Itzik finally boiling over.

Haled is at a roller rink with Papi, Zelger and their dates, Julia and Anna. After helping Haled with a suspicious security guard, Papi explains his inability to talk to girls (“Papi Hears the Ocean”). Haled’s advice in the style of his idol, Chet Baker, helps Papi to connect with Julia (“Haled’s Song About Love”).

Dina and Tewfiq sit on a lonely bench (“The Park”). She learns Tewfiq’s wife died several years ago. WhenTewfiq sings for her (“Itgara’a), she watches him, trying to understand her feelings (“Something Different”).

While waiting for Iris to come home, Itzik sings to their infant son as elsewhere Camal plays and sings along (“Itzik’s Lullaby”). When Simon comes to say goodnight, Iris returns to the apartment, causing Itzik to leave Simon alone with the baby.When the baby starts fussing again, Simon plays his concerto, finishing it for the first time, and calming the child.

The young man still waits by the phone. But when it finally rings, Camal gets to it first. It is the embassy; Camal is told they cannot help. He leaves the young man to his phone. Tewfiq and Dina return and talk outside of her apartment. She expresses her fear that if something happens between them it will end in disaster, like everything else she does. Tewfiq responds that his wife’s death was his fault; the result of their only son’s suicide for which Tewfiq blames himself. Haled returns and the three of them go inside.

In Dina’s apartment, Haled plays“My Funny Valentine” on the trumpet. Tewfiq says goodnight and goes to bed. Alone with Haled, Dina laments all her missed opportunities (“Something Different Reprise”).Then she begins to kiss Haled.

Still waiting by the phone, the young man yearns for his love (“Answer Me”). When at last she calls, the residents of Beit Hatikva and visiting musicians join in to express their private longings.

The next morning, Tewfiq, Simon, Haled, Camal and the rest of the band say farewell to Dina, Papi and Itzik. As the town of Beit Hatikva fades away, we see The Band warming up. Tewfiq stands before them. He raises his baton...drops his arms...and we go to black.

Lights up: The Band plays for us (“The Concert”).



Cast Size: Medium (11 to 20 performers)
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast

Character Breakdown

Gender: female
Gender: male
Gender: male
Gender: male
Gender: male
Gender: male
Telephone Guy
Gender: male
Gender: male
Gender: male
Gender: female
Gender: male
Gender: female
Gender: female
Gender: male
The Band

Members of the Alexandria Police Ceremonial Orchestra

Full Song List
The Band's Visit: Overture
The Band's Visit: Waiting
The Band's Visit: Welcome to Nowhere
The Band's Visit: It Is What It Is
The Band's Visit: The Beat of Your Heart
The Band's Visit: Soraya
The Band's Visit: Omar Sharif
The Band's Visit: Haj-Butrus
The Band's Visit: Papi Hears The Ocean
The Band's Visit: Haled's Song About Love
The Band's Visit: The Park
The Band's Visit: Itgara'a
The Band's Visit: Something Different
The Band's Visit: Itzik's Lullaby
The Band's Visit: Something Different (Reprise)
The Band's Visit: Answer Me
The Band's Visit: The Concert

Show History


The Band's Visit is adapted from the 2007 Israeli movie, also titled The Band's Visit. The film was written and directed by Eran Kolirin and received Un Certain Regard from the Cannes Film Festival.

Production History

The original production of The Band's Visit began previews off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company on November 11, 2016, opening on December 8, 2016. The production ran until January 8, 2017. It won the Outer Critics Circle Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Obie Award, and New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Musical. Composer David Yazbek won the Drama Desk Award for Best Music and Lyrics. 

Almost exactly a year after it began its off-Broadway run, The Band's Visit premiered on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on November 9, 2017. It won the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical and is currently nominated for eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Critical Reaction

"One of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by. It is called The Band's Visit."

- New York Times


"Beautiful music, beautiful story"

- Washington Post


"This show gave me more hope for Broadway might welcome, might foster, might become"

- New York Magazine

Lucille Lortel Award

2017 - Outstanding Musical, Winner (The Band's Visit)
2017 - Outstanding Featured Actor in a Muscial, Nominee (Ari’el Stachel)
2017 - Outstanding Costume Design, Nominee (Sarah Laux)
2017 - Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical, Winner (Katrina Lenk)

Obie Award

2017 - Best Director, Winner (David Cromer)
2017 - Best Musical, Winner (The Band's Visit)

Theatre World Award

2017 - Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater, Winner (Katrina Lenk)

Outer Critcs Circle Award

2017 - Best Orchestrations, Nominee (Jamshied Sharifi)
2017 - Outstanding New Score, Winner (David Yazbek)
2017 - Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical, Winner (The Band's Visit)
2017 - Outstanding Director Of A Musical, Nominee (David Cromer)
2017 - Outstanding Book of a Musical, Nominee (Itamar Moses)
2017 - Outstanding Actress in a Muscial, Nominee (Katrina Lenk)
2017 - Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Nominee (Tony Shaloub)

Drama Desk Award

2017 - Outstanding Orchestrations, Nominee (Jamshied Sharifi)
2017 - Outstanding Musical, Nominee (The Band's Visit)
2017 - Outstanding Music, Winner (David Yazbek)
2017 - Outstanding Lyrics, Winner (David Yazbek)
2017 - Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, Nominee (Ari'el Stachel)
2017 - Outstanding Director Of A Musical, Winner (David Cromer)
2017 - Outstanding Book of a Musical, Nominee (Itamar Moses)

New York Drama Critics Circle Award

2017 - Best Musical, Winner (The Band's Visit)

Drama League Award

2018 - Distinguished Performance, Nominee (Katrina Lenk)
2018 - Distinguished Performance, Nominee (Tony Shaloub)
2018 - Outstanding Production of a Musical, Winner (The Band's Visit)

Tony® Award

2018 - Best Sound Design of a Musical, Winner (Kai Harada)
2018 - Best Musical, Winner (The Band's Visit)
2018 - Best Actor in a Muscial, Winner (Tony Shaloub)
2018 - Best Actress in a Musical, Winner (Katrina Lenk)
2018 - Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Winner (Ari'el Stachel)
2018 - Best Direction Of A Musical, Winner (David Cromer)
2018 - Best Book Of A Musical, Winner (Itamar Moses)
2018 - Best Original Score, Winner (David Yazbek)
2018 - Best Orchestrations, Winner (Jamshied Sharifi)
2018 - Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Winner (Tyler Micoleau)
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