Whisper dating show
” She goes on: “I don’t know what I feel, and I don’t know what I know/All I know is I feel something different.”Mr.
Yazbek’s melody matches the exquisitely uncertain certainty of the lyrics.
Because “The Band’s Visit,” which stars a magnificent Katrina Lenk and Tony Shalhoub as would-be lovers in a not-quite paradise, is like life in that way, too.
There were worries that this finely detailed show, based on Eran Kolirin’s screenplay for the 2007 film of the same title, might not survive the transfer to Broadway.
To begin with, they don’t share a language and must communicate in broken English.
And as the stranded musicians interact with their hosts, their shared story becomes a tally of sweet nothings, of regretful might-have-beens.
Its impeccably coordinated creative team has magnified and polished its assets to a high sheen that never feels synthetic. Cromer’s production now moves wire to wire with a thoroughbred’s confidence.
Yet “The Band’s Visit” — which follows the modest adventures of a touring Egyptian band stranded in an Israeli village significant only for its insignificance — more than holds its own on a larger stage. Yazbek’s quietly simmering score, which inflects Broadway balladry and character songs with a haunting Middle Eastern accent, felt as essential as oxygen.) But it felt a shade less persuasive in its connective spoken scenes. Though the lives it depicts are governed by a caution born of chronic disappointment, Mr.
The show is carefully veined with images of incompleteness: a forever unlit cigarette in the mouth of a violinist (George Abud); a clarinet concerto that has never been completed by its composer (Alok Tewari); a public telephone that never rings, guarded by a local (Adam Kantor) waiting for a call from his girlfriend; and a pickup line that’s dangled like an unbaited hook by the band’s aspiring Lothario (Ari’el Stachel, whose smooth jazz vocals dazzle in the style of his character’s idol, Chet Baker).
All the cast members — who also include a deeply affecting John Cariani, Kristen Sieh, Etai Benson and Andrew Polk — forge precisely individualized characters, lonely people who have all known loss, with everything and nothing in common. Shalhoub (“Monk”) has only grown in the role of a man who carries his dignity and private grief with the stiffness of someone transporting perilously fragile cargo. Lenk, seen on Broadway last season in Paula Vogel’s “Indecent,” she is the ideal avatar of this show’s paradoxical spirit, at once coolly evasive and warmly expansive, like the jasmine wind that Dina describes in the breakout ballad “Omar Sharif.”Listening to Tewfiq sing in Arabic, she wonders, “Is he singing about wishing?
It is called “The Band’s Visit,” and its undeniable allure is not of the hard-charging, brightly blaring sort common to box-office extravaganzas.
Instead, this portrait of a single night in a tiny Israeli desert town confirms a lyric that arrives, like nearly everything in this remarkable show, on a breath of reluctantly romantic hope: “Nothing is as beautiful as something you don’t expect.”With songs by David Yazbek and a script by Itamar Moses, “The Band’s Visit” is a Broadway rarity seldom found these days outside of the canon of Stephen Sondheim: an honest-to-God musical for grown-ups.