The Band’s Visit world premiere opened to critical acclaim at the Atlantic Theater Company in December 2016 and opened at Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre in November 2017. Since then, it has won numerous awards. It’s one of four musicals in Broadway history to win the unofficial “Big Six” Tony Awards®, which include Best Musical, Best Book, Best Score, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, and Best Direction of a Musical. In addition, the original Broadway cast album received the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.
Coby Getzug, who plays Papi in the national tour of The Band’s Visit, sat down with us to answer a few questions about his experience being a professional actor. Coby has performed on Broadway and in national tours in productions such as, The Book of Mormon (Elder Cunningham), Spring Awakening (Moritz), Brighton Beach Memoirs (Eugene). Regional: The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Mark Taper Forum), Our Town (Broad Stage), The Black Suits (Kirk Douglas Theatre). TV credits include The Deuce, God Friended Me, and Encore!
What was the most exciting part of returning to the rehearsal process for The Band’s Visit?
Being back in a room with the entire company was thrilling. After spending so much time isolated, getting to laugh and sing together again was magical.
Did you spend quarantine working on your craft? If so, what do you feel was most valuable during this time?
I tried to keep busy as much as I could, taking classes over Zoom and doing readings of plays with friends. Honestly, though, the most valuable thing I did was focus on my mental health. Meditation, exercise, therapy. And 20 seasons of Survivor (so far).
What makes The Band’s Visit special?
The unique and mesmerizing music. Getting to hear Hebrew and Arabic being spoken conversationally in a Broadway show. There’s something captivating about watching people work to communicate with each other when they don’t share a common language.
What does it feel like to be performing again?
Wild. I’m so grateful to everyone who has already come out to experience the magic of live theatre again; the crowds have been really electric. It made all of us weepy just to hear the overture start on opening night and the crowd’s cheering.
What do you hope audiences take away from this show?
To lean in when the instinct is to turn the other way. To embrace the shared language of music.
With a Tony- and Grammy-winning score that seduces your soul and sweeps you off your feet, performed by thrillingly talented onstage musicians, The Band’s Visit rejoices in the way music makes us laugh and ultimately, brings us together. Tickets for The Band’s Visit are on sale now. Click here to order.