Last night’s 72nd Annual Tony Awards, was an evening of upsets for the musical category. The big budget familiar titled shows “Mean Girls“, “Frozen“, and “SpongeBob ” couldn’t overcome the critical acclaim of the mostly unheard of “The Band’s Visit“. Here is what you don’t know about the surprise winner.
In The Band’s Visit, Dina, a café owner in an Israeli desert town, had long resigned her desires for romance to daydreaming about exotic films and music from her youth. When a band of Egyptian musicians show up lost at her café, she and her fellow locals take them in for the night. As their lives intertwine in unexpected ways, this once sleepy town begins to wake up.
At The Ethel Barrymore Theatre, you can still see now Tony Award Winner for “Best Leading Actress In a Musical winner Katrina Lenk in the role of Dina. However, Tony Award Winner for “Best Leading Actor In a Musical” Tony Shalhoub, took a hiatus from the musical in March to shoot the second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for AMAZON, and has since returned to the show for only select performances. It was announced in the press room last night that a familiar face will be taking over the role of “Tewfiq”, Sasson Gabay, who played the same role in the 2007 film, will reprise his performance in this musical adaptation on Broadway. He’ll begin performances June 26.
I personally love watching the Tony Awards on TV, because you get to see many snippets of currently running shows, and sometimes reunions of performers who are no longer doing the 8 show a week grind. Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk were together again last night during the broadcast on CBS, singing “OMAR SHARIF”
In addition to wins for Best Musical, Lenk and Shalhoub, The Band’s Visit won the Tonys for featured actor Ari’el Stachel, director David Cromer, composer David Yazbek, book writer Itamar Moses, orchestrator Jamshied Sharifi, sound designer Kai Harada, lighting designer Tyler Micoleau.
I’m a musical theater geek to the core, and it is wonderful to see so many well known TV and Film names showing up on Broadway. Supporting live theater is important not only in NYC, but around the globe, and this particular new show is blazing trails with it’s subject matter and international diversity of characters. Thanks for spending a few moments reading about my favorite topic!