“The Band’s Visit,” a Tony-winning musical about an imaginary encounter between Arab musicians and Jewish villagers in a small Israeli desert town, will end its Broadway run on April 7.
The show received raves from critics when it opened in the fall of 2017, and then won an astounding 10 Tony Awards last spring, including the coveted prize for best musical. But its delicate tone and subtle story line proved a tough fit for brassy Broadway, and its box office grosses were insufficient to sustain an extended run.
To be sure, the show has been a hit. It recouped its $8.75 million capitalization in 11 months. And it has booked a robust national tour, beginning in Rhode Island in June.
But its modest run — at the time of its closing it will have played 589 regular and 36 preview performances — is a reminder of the challenges facing modest musicals on Broadway, where ticket-buyers are mostly tourists drawn to shows with more pizazz or bigger brand names.
The show’s weekly grosses peaked at $1.6 million for a nine-performance final week in 2017, but the box office has sagged recently, and was down to $541,271 for the eight-performance week ending Jan. 27. In all, the show has grossed $61.9 million thus far, and has been seen by 537,489 people, according to figures from the Broadway League.
The show’s lead producer, Orin Wolf, said he felt more pride than disappointment.
“We’ve accomplished so much,” he said, “and now my feeling is that I want this show to go out in a manner that is elegant, that is deliberate, and that is celebratory.”
The show’s producers are planning a campaign to woo those who have not yet seen the musical to come during its final nine weeks. The first step in that campaign: Katrina Lenk, the show’s Tony-winning star, will perform Monday night on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
“The Band’s Visit,” adapted from a 2007 film by Eran Kolirin, is directed by David Cromer, and features music and lyrics by David Yazbek and a book by Itamar Moses. Before arriving on Broadway, it had an Off Broadway run at the Atlantic Theater Company.