Sometimes, fate surprises us. We learn and grow in the most surprising ways.
In the play The Band’s Visit (based on the film of the same name) a band from Egypt is scheduled to play at the opening of an Arab Cultural Center in Israel. A mistake is made and they take the bus to the wrong city. The locals take them in for the night. The leader of the band, Tewfiq (DARIUSH KASHANI) beds down for the night with Dina (KATRINA LENK), the owner of a small cafe. What starts out as a night of hospitality turns into a friendship and a conversation about being human and the experiences we have.
I loved this show. It absolutely deserved the 10 Tony Awards that were conferred on the show by the Tony voters. What makes the show interesting is that it has the running time of a play (about 90 minutes), but it has the narrative structure and character arc of a musical (using song and dance to tell the story). I read somewhere that the show stands out because it speaks to the heart and the intelligence of the audience, instead of appealing to the audience’s baser instincts when it comes to Broadway shows.
But what makes the show stand out for me is the fact that it speaks to the idea that even when two groups of people who are known not to like each other, individuals on opposite sides of the conflict can find common ground and perhaps friendship.
I absolutely recommend it.
The Band’s Visit is playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theater at 243 W 47th Street in New York City. Check the website for ticket prices and showtimes.