The show doesn't open for three weeks, so I will only offer a few thoughts, since I'm sure they're still making changes. Here are my few thoughts: you should go see The Band's Visit. Thank you, see you next time.
Seriously, I found the show to be so achingly lovely, I was rather taken aback. I enjoy David Yazbek's work, but I think of him as rather a bold songwriter. The Band's Visit is gentle, searing, delicate, though his comic songs were, as usual, uproarious. The love ballad in the roller rink - hysterical. I was writing an email to someone else, trying to describe the show, and another word that kept coming to me was 'unexpected.' I don't know the film on which the musical is based, so the plot was completely unknown to me and I loved it that way. Nothing happened the way I expected to, to my great joy and surprise.
Nothing happened the way the characters expected, either, I'm thinking. If I were to describe the plot, not much really happens. An Egyptian band, set to play in a town in Israel, arrives in the wrong town and has to spend the night there. See, not much, right? But, like in life, even when nothing really is happening, everything is happening. Situations are changing, choices are magnified, eyes are opened, wounds are healed. Life. It's magical, even when it's not.
|photo credit: Ahron Foster|
Have I said too much? I always hate to say too much, in case you decide to see the show, based on what I've written, and things have changed during previews. But I think it's safe to say that this beautiful show will remain beautiful. It's a small, intimate show, though, so I'm unsure how it will do business-wise. I hope it does well and can run for a long time, because in these times of strife, seeing this ragtag group of people find a way to connect was a wonderful thing.
Seat neighbor-wise, the gent on my left was not having it. I think he was looking for something a little brassier, he didn't quite seem as entranced as the rest of us. At one point, he sighed so loudly, I thought he was getting ready to sing something from another show. Then there was the family in the row in front of me and the parents kept (distractingly) looking down the row at the kids. I wanted to say to them, your kids are behaving and paying attention, you should too! And someone in the front row (I was in the front mezzanine) looked at their phone about every fifteen minutes. That light that just drags your eyes to it, ugh. I hate it. Good thing I loved the show so much and didn't lose control at anyone.
|look at this line!|
Morals of this story are: be prepared to stand in line, don't rush into the street, be prepared for me to gloat if I look younger than you if we worked together 30 years ago, and go go go see The Band's Visit. It's a real find.