Why 'The Band's Visit' Is Going to Storm Broadway As An AntiMusical
publish date: 2017-11-02
When David Yazbek first saw the 2007 Israeli movie The Band’s Visit, he wasn't immediately convinced it could become a musical. Unlike the plots of The Full Monty and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown -- movies he had previously and successfully adapted into Broadway shows during the past two decades -- the story about an Egyptian music group traveling to perform in an Israeli city and instead ending up in a dull desert town for one night felt rather quiet.
Still, the veteran composer, along with book writer Itamar Moses, saw potential to create a kind of anti-musical: no big song-and-dance spectacle, but rather compositions influenced more by the ululating rhythms of Middle Eastern music than by the symmetrical verse-chorus-verse structure of traditional musical-theater tunes.