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The Band's Visit
The Band's Visit

The Band's Visit
Cadillac Palace Theatre
Thru - Sep 15, 2019

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Show Information

Cadillac Palace Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"'s a beautiful work of direction from Chicago's own David Cromer, a rabbinical piece of writing from Itamar Moses and, without question, a masterpiece of a score from David Yazbek, a composer of singular flexibility ("Tootsie"!), but who here exposes more of his free-flowing soul than in anything else he has composed to date for the American stage. Most of the complex compositions in this show are made up of anguished feelings, attached to notes of inertia of frustration. But just when you feel like optimistic cohesion has left the building with the characters' youth, Yazbek unspools a gorgeous ballad like "Something Different" or "The Beat of Your Heart," beautiful songs that make you realize that while we live, we can love and change and move and achieve. The hard part is staying open to these ideas."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...But what depths this desert holds. Yazbek, Moses, and director David Cromer - the latter a North Shore native with his own deep ties to Chicago's theater community - share a keenly compassionate vision of these characters. That encompasses their yearnings, their sorrows, and above all their stubborn, ineluctable hope - that thing with feathers whose song is so difficult to silence."
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Kris Vire

Daily Herald- Highly Recommended

"...Comprised of beautiful moments rooted in everyday events, the quietly captivating, gently humorous "The Band's Visit" confirms as much. Credit the perceptive direction of Skokie native David Cromer, whose delicate touch is evident in small, telling details. Late in the show, Sasson Gabay's wary band leader inches his fingers closer to the hand of a world-weary cafe owner played by Chilina Kennedy, then pulls them away. Small but significant, it's the kind of Cromer detail that makes "The Band's Visit" so very satisfying."
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Barbara Vitello

Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Gabay's Tewfiq and Chilina Kennedy's Dina, the cafe owner who arranges housing for the wayward musicians, anchor the production. There are sparks between them, especially in the hypnotic "Omar Sharif," where Dina recalls the allure of Egyptian films and music as romantic escapes from dusty reality in her youth. But loss and regret are never far away. Yazbek's score, much of it played live by the actors in the onstage band (utilizing, among other instruments, oud, cello, and clarinet), mixes a variety of Middle Eastern influences with a dash of a pop sensibliity. It's joyous, sad, knowing, and wistful all at once. By the time the ensemble joins together in the closing "Answer Me," the tears were rolling without shame, just as they did the first time I heard it."
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Kerry Reid

Windy City Times- Highly Recommended

"...There's no chorus or big production number and no dazzle except the musicianship, but it matters not. Directed with controlled fervor by former Chicagoan David Cromer, with Patrick McCollum's modest but appropriate choreography, The Band's Visit starts slowly and takes half its brief length to draw you in, but will charm and move you when it does … if you can understand what people are saying and singing."
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Jonathan Abarbanel

Let's Play at ChicagoNow- Recommended

"...The Band's Visit is a simple, laid-back play that can capture your heart and makes you see that we are all the same inward, no matter our outward appearance."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...With a book by Itamar Moses and music and lyrics by David Yazbek, "The Band's Visit" is more a story-telling experience than a typical musical. Most of the songs are Dina's and the Band ( all of the band members are solid musicians who after the curtain call will do a number that will rock the theater, so do not hurry for the exits- you will not want to miss one minute of these talented men!)."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...In a moment where mainstream musical theater seems to be at a place where experimentation is once again at the forefront and where previously marginalized voices are finally getting the opportunity to craft the medium in order to tell their own stories, “The Band’s Visit” is a remarkable piece that celebrates Middle Eastern culture in glorious specificity. It is one of many examples of how the modern American musical seems to be evolving these days. And if you don’t agree, my dad will have a few words with you."
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Ben Kaye

WTTW- Highly Recommended

"...A rare jewel of a musical in its bittersweet sadness and identifiable looniness, “The Band’s Visit” deals with universal problems on a most captivating and intimate human scale. You would be well-advised not to miss it."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicagoland Musical Theatre- Highly Recommended

"...Yazbek’s music is appropriately idiomatic, laden with hooks, merrily contrasted with lyrics possessed of his signature dry sense of humor and a flair for improbable but fetching metaphors. (“Time is a river…[and] this sofa is my boat.”) But in cahoots with bookwriter Itamar Moses and David Cromer, a Chicago-bred director who made a name for himself with perfectly executed silences, all drawing on the screenplay for Eran Kolirin’s indie film of the same name, he takes some hard left turns off the thirty-two bar path and into the shimmering desert of new possibilities."
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Patrick O’Brien

Third Coast Review- Recommended

"...Just 13 songs (music and lyrics by David Yazbek) are woven through the show, each one more beautiful than the last; Dina gets the lion's share of the music (Tewfiq only sings once, a pensive Arabic melody), and her pining ballad "Something Different" is a torch song for the ages. But there's plenty of music throughout; soul-stirring Middle Eastern themes run throughout, as various members of the band stay on stage throughout, providing instrumentation through scene transitions and around pivotal moments. Structured around a rotating stage that moves us from Dina's cafe to the roller rink to Itzik's apartment and more, the staging (scenic design by Scott Pask) is as simple as Bet Atikva itself, yet quite effective."
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Lisa Trifone

Chicago Theater and Arts- Highly Recommended

"...But this show, a comedy-drama with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Itamar Moses, is more how music is an international language that speaks to many different situations from soothing a crying baby to bringing lonely people together."
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Jodie Jacobs

Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...Director David Cromer used his original Broadway design team to create the touring version of the show, most of whom were at least nominated for Tonys if they didn't win them, so what we are getting in this production is as close to the New York version as possible. With Itamar Moses' witty book and Yazbek's music and lyrics, The Band's Visit is a treat. It is a small, charming slice of life, a quiet and realistic musical clearly aimed at an adult audience, the kind you rarely see on Broadway these days because it defies commercial expectations."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post- Recommended

"...This is not a showy show. THE BAND’S VISIT strikes this viewer as a mood piece that will appeal to those willing to close out distractions and follow a brief interruption in the lives of ordinary people."
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Susan Lieberman