It won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, on Broadway in 2018. The nationwide hits tour “The Band’s Visit”…
WTOP’s Jason Fraley Previews “The Band’s Visit” to the Kennedy Center (Part 1)
It won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, on Broadway in 2018.
The national tour of “The Band’s Visit” arrives at the Kennedy Center through July 17.
“It’s one of the shows that has won the most Tony Awards in the history of musical theater (two fewer than the record),” actress Janet Dacal told OMCP. “It’s poetic, it’s such a beautiful human story, it’s realistic. The music in this show is unlike anything you’ve ever heard on Broadway. It fuses jazz, musical theater and authentic traditional Middle Eastern music.
Based on the 2017 Israeli film adapted for the stage by Itamar Moses (book) and David Yazbek (music and lyrics), this feel-good story follows a group of musicians who travel to a small town because of a happy accident, using music to bring the community together.
“It’s the story of a group of Egyptian police who go to Israel to perform a concert, but because of a little confusion at the bus station, they end up in the wrong city,” said Dacal. .
Israeli actor Sasson Gabay is reprising his role from the original film and the Broadway show, while Dacal is reprising the role of Dina, which won Katrina Lenk the Tony on Broadway.
“I absolutely worship Katrina and her performance…but I am who I am,” Dacal said. “I can fill this character with my life experiences and emulate the women in my life who have helped shape this character. It’s amazing to step into these shoes at this point and put on everything I have lived in this character and bring it to life in my distinctive way.
Throughout the show, Dacal sings beautiful numbers like “Omar Sharif”.
“One of the most recognized songs, which was performed at the Tonys by Katrina Lenk, is ‘Omar Sharif,'” Dacal said. “It’s just a beautiful haunting melody about a memory she has that sets the evening on fire. In the lyrics of the song, she talks about her youth, her childhood in Israel, how they used to play those old Egyptian movies .
Dacal can also perform the memorable number “Something Different”.
“‘Something Different’ is one of my favorite songs on the show that I sing,” Dacal said. “It’s a beautiful inner moment for my character and her expression of how she feels right now in relation to these people who don’t look like her. This show is absolutely beautiful because music is what brings us together and shapes us. this human connection.
The opening song “Welcome to Nowhere” evokes the backdrop of the desert.
“That pretty much tells you everything,” Dacal said. “They’re in the desert, it’s hot, it’s in this desolate place. Because it’s so stagnant, it forces you to focus on communication and human connection. It’s not the dazzle you’re used to seeing on Broadway when it comes to spectacle; this musical is beautiful, joyful, funny, moving, authentic and very unique.
Born in Los Angeles to Cuban-American parents, Dacal is best known for originating the role of salon worker Carla in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s breakthrough “In the Heights” (2008).
“The best time of my life,” Dacal said. “’In the Heights’ was my first audition when I moved to New York before ‘In the Heights’ was anything but a read in the basement of the Drama Book Shop. … I met Lin fresh out of college in Wesleyan, ‘In the Heights’ was his college thesis. I was lucky to get a front row seat on this roller coaster.
Now, his own thrilling career is coming full circle in the Kennedy Center.
“Please come visit us at the Kennedy Center, this historic theater,” Dacal said. “We’re so excited to bring ‘The Band’s Visit’ back to the Kennedy Center. … It’s an amazing story, it’s a human story and you won’t regret sitting in this theater watching this particular show.
WTOP’s Jason Fraley Previews “The Band’s Visit” to the Kennedy Center (Part 2)
Listen to our full conversation here.