The Band’s Visit, which began previews in October and opened officially on November 9, just surpassed a weekly gross of $1 million for the first time. The show – which is rather unconventional in a Broadway culture becoming increasingly celebrity and brand-based – received rave reviews and is already stirring Tony buzz.
The official website of The Band’s Visit provides the following synopsis of the show:
“After a mix-up at the border, an Egyptian Police Band is sent to a remote village in the middle of the Israeli desert. With no bus until morning and no hotel in sight, these unlikely travelers are taken in by the locals. Under the spell of the desert sky, their lives become intertwined in the most unexpected ways. THE BAND’S VISIT celebrates the deeply human ways music, longing and laughter can connect us all.”
Despite lacking a pull of recognition like other shows currently playing to the Great White Way, the show is actually out-performing them. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory continues to suffer as it approaches a January closing date. The show received poor reviews and no Tony nominations, and the flashy production’s $850,000 operating cost has landed it in the red almost every week since August.
SpongeBob SquarePants began previews earlier this month, but despite its huge global brand has grossed only half of its listed potential in its second week. Advance sales are topping $3 million, which, for a musical of its size, means Viacom may be forced to hold it up to make it to Tony season.
So it seems the Broadway audience is more than pleased with The Band’s Visit‘s unique story line and change of pace from the run-of-the-mill, high-energy musical. The show has already announced a cast album that will be released later this year.
The Band’s Visit plays at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre and ticket prices range from $49 -$175.