THE BAND’S VISIT at the Dolby Theatre

Photo by Evan Zimmerman

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Theatermania

The enchanting musical The Band’s Visit, now at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, perfectly embodies the simplicity with which music draws even the most disparate group of people into a gentle harmony…

David Yazbek absorbs the unique sounds of the Middle East, using instruments like the oud and the darbuka, to create a warm, Mediterranean score. Few songs are memorable, but they all transport the audience to the oppressively hot, dry, lonely village. By having much of the score played by the actors in the band on the stage, it adds a flair the movies call cinema verité. Yazbek also enjoys his usual signatures of paying homage to other musical giants by adding a few notes from “The Girl From Ipanema” into “Beat Of Her Heart.” Instead of hammering the hint over the head, it’s so subtle, it barely registers to the ear.
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Now running through December 19