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Next Year’s Tony Race Gets a Contender With ‘The Band’s Visit’

Variety logo Variety 5/24/2017 Gordon Cox
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“The Band’s Visit,” the Off Broadway musical that’s picked up a slew of trophies this year, has locked in the details of its Broadway run, opening at the Barrymore Theater in the fall — and angling for a spot in the competition for the 2017-18 Tony Awards.

Songwriter David Yazbek and book writer Itamar Moses’ musical was already on Broadway’s radar following the glowing reviews it earned in its world premiere at the Atlantic Theater Company in December. The brewing commercial transfer only gained further momentum in recent weeks as the show has garnered an armful of awards, including top new musical honors from the New York Drama Critics Circle, the Lucille Lortels, the Outer Critics Circle and the Obies.

Directed by David Cromer (“Our Town,” “Tribes”), “Band’s Visit” follows an Egyptian police band that’s mistakenly sent to a tiny village in the middle of the Israeli desert, chronicling the unexpected relationships that develop between the townspeople and the band members. No cast for the Broadway staging has yet been set, but the Off Broadway incarnation starred Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk, the “Indecent” actress who won an acting award at the Lortels.

“Band’s Visit” is produced by NETworks Presentations president Orin Wolf, John Styles (“Beautiful”) and Jon N. Hart Jr. (“Once”). The show begins previews Oct. 7 ahead of a Nov. 9 opening at the Barrymore, where the limited run of “Six of Degrees of Separation” wraps up this summer.

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