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Fri, May 10

CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR OF THE TONY® WINNING BEST MUSICAL THE BAND’S VISIT

AWARD-WINNING ISRAELI ACTOR SASSON GABAY AND

STAR OF BEAUTIFUL ON BROADWAY, CHILINA KENNEDY,

CAST IN THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR OF THE

TONY® WINNING BEST MUSICAL THE BAND’S VISIT

“Breaking news for Broadway: IT IS TIME TO FALL IN LOVE AGAIN! One of the most ravishing

musicals you will ever be seduced by. It is called THE BAND’S VISIT.”

– Ben Brantley, The New York Times

 

“BREATHTAKING. A remarkable and boundlessly compassionate and humanistic piece of theater.”

 – Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

 

“THE BEST NEW MUSICAL ON BROADWAY! Beautiful music, beautiful story, beautiful acting.

Even in a world overrun with superlatives, “beautiful” is the one you’re compelled to use

to describe THE BAND’S VISIT.”

– Peter Marks, The Washington Post

 

WINNER OF 10 TONY AWARDS – INCLUDING BEST MUSICAL

WINNER OF GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST MUSICAL THEATER ALBUM

 

 

(Durham, NC) — Producers announced today that award-winning Israeli film actor Sasson Gabay will reprise the role of “Tewfiq” in the upcoming North American tour of the 10-time Tony® Award-winning Best Musical, THE BAND’S VISIT, the role he created in the 2007 film of The Band’s Visit and most recently played on Broadway. Joining him for the tour is critically acclaimed actress Chilina Kennedy in the role of “Dina.

THE BAND’S VISIT will take the stage at DPAC from April 7 – 12, 2020, as part of SunTrust Broadway at DPAC’s 2019 / 2020 season.

The Israeli star of stage, TV and screen, Sasson Gabay recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Israeli cinema at the Israeli Film Festival. Gabay is one of the most respected and outstanding actors in Israeli film with work spanning five decades, including some of Israel's most popular and critically-acclaimed films as well as international hits such as Rambo III, Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol and The Band's Visit (Israel's top-grossing film in the US). 

Chilina Kennedy is known for her role as “Carole King” in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway. She has starred as “Mary Magdalene” in Des McAnuff’s Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar and headlined many productions around the world including, the first national tour of Mamma Mia!, Atlantic Theater Company’s This Ain’t No Disco and three seasons at the Stratford Festival, including “Maria” in Gary Griffin’s West Side Story.
 

“We are honored to have Sasson Gabay and Chilina Kennedy headline our national tour. Very rarely in the history of Broadway has an actor originated a role on film, played it on Broadway and then continued with the tour. This speaks to Sasson’s artistry and his commitment to this particular work.” says producer Orin Wolf. “It is also fitting that he will be seen opposite Chilina Kennedy whose world class talent is already known to Broadway fans all over the world.  Seeing these two artists together promises to be one of the great theatrical events of the season.  How exciting that this has been assembled exclusively for Broadway audiences nationwide who hunger for world class entertainment.”
 

The cast will also include Jennifer Apple as “Anna,” Mike Cefalo as “Telephone Guy,” Adam Gabay as “Papi,” Marc Ginsburg as “Sammy,” Kendal Hartse as “Iris,” Joe Joseph as “Haled,” Sara Kapner as “Julia,” Pomme Koch as “Itzik,” Ronnie Malley as “Camal,” James Rana as “Simon,” Or Schraiber as “Zelger,” and David Studwell as “Avrum,” along with Danny Burgos, Loren Lester, Nick Sacks, Hannah Shankman and Bligh Voth.

Sasson Gabay and Adam Gabay are appearing with the support of Actors' Equity Association.
 

“The producers, casting directors, and creative team have spent many months carefully building this cast for our national tour. We are excited and proud to have these wonderful actors take the story of THE BAND’S VISIT out into the world,” says director David Cromer.

The tour will launch at the Providence Performing Arts Center on June 25, 2019 and continue on to play Washington, DC beginning on July 9, 2019. THE BAND’S VISIT will play over 32 cities in its first season including Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Boston, MA and Los Angeles, CA.

THE BAND’S VISIT tells a delightfully offbeat story, set in a town that’s way off the beaten path, a band of musicians arrive lost, out of the blue. Under the spell of the desert sky, and with beautiful music perfuming the air, the band brings the town to life in unexpected and tantalizing ways. Even the briefest visit can stay with you forever.
 

With a Tony- and Grammy-winning score that seduces your soul and sweeps you off your feet, and featuring thrillingly talented onstage musicians, THE BAND’S VISIT rejoices in the way music makes us laugh, makes us cry, and ultimately, brings us together.
 

THE BAND’S VISIT world premiere opened to critical acclaim at the Atlantic Theater Company on December 8, 2016, where the sold-out, limited engagement extended twice, playing its final performance on Sunday, January 8, 2017. The show then opened at Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street) on Thursday, November 9, 2017, and went on to play 589 regular performance and 36 previews before closing on April 7, 2019. THE BAND’S VISIT broke the all-time box office record at Broadway’s Barrymore Theatre twice.

 

With music and lyrics by Tony and Drama Desk Award winner David Yazbek, and a book by Tony, NY Drama Critics Circle, Lortel and Outer Critics Circle award winner Itamar Moses, THE BAND’S VISIT has won “Best Musical” awards from the Tony Awards, Drama League, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, the Outer Critics Circle, the Lucille Lortel and the Obies.   It is based on the screenplay by Eran Kolirin, and is directed by Tony, Drama Desk, Lortel & Obie Award winner David Cromer.

 

The creative team also includes Patrick McCollum (Choreography), Scott Pask (Set Design), Sarah Laux (Costume Design), Tony Award winner Tyler Micoleau (Lighting Design), Tony Award winner Kai Harada (Sound Design), Maya Ciarrocchi (Projection Design), Charles G. LaPointe (Hair Designer), Tony Award winner Jamshied Sharifi (Orchestrations), Andrea Grody (Music Supervisor & Additional Arrangements) and Dean Sharenow (Music Supervisor & Music Coordinator).
 

THE BAND’S VISIT is produced on tour by Orin Wolf, StylesFour Productions, Evamere Entertainment, Atlantic Theater Company, David F. Schwartz, Barbara Broccoli, Frederick Zollo, Grove•REG, Lassen Blume Baldwin, Thomas Steven Perakos, Marc Platt, The Shubert Organization, The Baruch/Routh/Frankel/Viertel Group, Robert Cole, DeRoy-Carr-Klausner, Federman-Moellenberg, FilmNation Entertainment, Roy Furman, FVSL Theatricals, Hendel-Karmazin, HoriPro Inc., IPN, JAM Theatricals, The John Gore Organization, Koenigsberg-Krauss, David Mirvish, James L. Nederlander, Al Nocciolino, Once Upon A Time Productions, Susan Rose and Paul Shiverick.  The Executive Producers for THE BAND’S VISIT are Allan Williams and Seth Wenig.

 

THE BAND’S VISIT original Broadway cast album received the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. The musical is also the recipient of a 2019 Daytime Emmy Award for a performance of “Answer Me” on NBC’s “Today”.

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@TheBandsVisit

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CAST BIOS:

 

Sasson Gabay (Tewfiq) was born in Baghdad 1947 to a Jewish family, immigrated to Israel at the age of three, and grew up in Haifa. After his military service, he studied theatre and psychology at the Tel Aviv University (B.F.A). Sasson is one of the most prominent and leading actors in Israeli theatre, television and cinema, and has had an exceptionally remarkable career for over forty years.

For the last twenty years, Sasson has been the leading actor of the Beit Lessin Theatre company in Tel Aviv, starring in their productions of: Uncle Vanya, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Rain Man, Cyrano de Bergerac and many other Israeli plays. His career in television embraces all genres: drama, comedy and satire. He has starred in many Israeli series including: “Kastner Trial,” “Siton,” “Shtisel” and the political satire "Polishuk,” for which he won an Israeli Television Academy Award for Best Lead Actor in a Comic Series. He has had an outstanding career in the Israeli cinema, and also participated in films abroad. Some of the highlights include: Restoration, Rambo III, alongside Sylvester Stallone, When Pigs Have Wings and the much acclaimed The Band's Visit. Most recently he appeared in, Hunting Elephants and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, directed by Ronit Elkabetz and her brother Shlomi Elkabetz. The latter role earned him an Ophir Award for Best Supporting Actor. Other favorite credits include: Kidon and The Kind Words by Shemi Zarhin and more.

Sasson has been granted awards from the Israeli Academy for Theatre, Israeli Academy for Film and Television, as well as numerous honorary awards and International Film Festival awards. He was exceptionally applauded in Israel and around the world for his role in the film The Band's Visit. For his portrayal of “Tewfiq”, he won including the European Film Award for Best Actor in Cinema in 2007. He was a member of the international juries at A.P.S.A (Australia) and the Haifa International Film Festival.

Chilina Kennedy (Dina) Broadway: “Carole King” in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (over 1000 performances) and “Mary Magdalene” in Des McAnuff’s Jesus Christ Superstar. Off-Broadway: Originated “Binky” in Stephen Trask and Peter Yanowitz’s This Ain’t No Disco (Atlantic Theater Company). 1st National Tour: “Sophie” in Mamma Mia!. Selected Regional: “Pheobe D’Ysquith” in A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder (CT and San Diego Critics' Circle Nominations), “Evangeline” in Evangeline (original production and album), “Philia” in Des McAnuff’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Toronto/Mirvish), Ross Petty’s Pantomime, The Little Mermaid (Toronto Theatre Critics’ Award), three seasons at the Stratford Festival including “Maria” in Gary Griffin’s West Side Story, three seasons at the Shaw Festival and The Lord of the Rings (World Premiere Mirvish/Toronto). Chilina is currently developing a show that she composed and co-wrote with Eric Holmes, Call It Love. She is also the Artistic Producer of Toronto’s Eclipse Theatre Company.
 

Jennifer Apple (Anna) is super excited to be joining THE BAND’S VISIT family and cannot wait to share this near & dear story around the country! Regional: Detroit ‘67, Romeo & Juliet (Chautauqua Theater Company), A Walk on the Moon, Clickshare, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Good Woman of Setzuan, Merchant of Venice, Love & A Bottle, Lungs (American Conservatory Theater); The Theory of Relativity (Goodspeed); Monty Python’s Spamalot (LMST); Fiddler on the Roof (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Cape Fear Regional Theatre). NY: The Calico Buffalo (NYMF – Best of Festival), Something Funny’s Going On (Martin Charnin/54 Below), Factory Girls (MTF). Select Readings/Workshops: Bonhoeffer The Musical (Signature Theatre), Best Friends (Jazz at Lincoln Center), Six Years Old (The Bushwick Starr), Andromeda Speaks (Actors Studio), Men on Boats, The Wolves, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Scarcity (ACT). TV: “New Amsterdam.” MFA: The American Conservatory Theater.
 

Mike Cefalo (Telephone Guy) is a New York based actor. He is overjoyed to be making his National Tour debut in this incredibly special show. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mike holds a BM in Music Theatre from Baldwin Wallace University. New York: The Children’s Revolt at York Theatre Company. Regional: Newsies (Engeman Theatre), Next To Normal (Wagon Wheel), Singin' in the Rain (Park Playhouse), Bring It On (Beck Center), The Addams Family (Forestburgh Playhouse), and Pump Boys and Dinettes (The American Theatre). Additionally, Mike serves as Music Director of Chickenshed NYC, New York’s inclusive theatre company for children of all abilities.
 

Adam Gabay (Papi) National Tour Debut! TV: Our Boys (HBO / Avishai), She’s Got It, Polishuk, Viki and I. Film: Longing (Adam), Hunting Elephants. Gabay studied theatre at Arison Campus of the Arts and the High School of the Arts in Tel Aviv.
 

Marc Ginsburg (Sammy) is so proud to be a part of this important piece of theatre.  Credits include Tateh (Ragtime), Lord Farquaad (Shrek - San Diego Critics Circle Nomination), Lumiere (Beauty and the Beast),  Levi Strauss (The Sherman Brothers’ Levi!), Carl-Magnus Malcolm (A Little Night Music), Aaron (First Date - Ovation Award Nomination), Che (Evita - Ovation Award Nomination), Sir Lancelot, et. al. (Spamalot), Chauvelin (The Scarlet Pimpernel), Quixote/Cervantes (Man of La Mancha), Lawrence Jameson (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Leo Bloom (The Producers), Artie Green (Sunset Boulevard), Foreman/Lesgles (Les Miserables), and Fagin in the First National Tour of Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver!

 

Kendal Hartse (Iris) Broadway/National Tours: Summer, Cinderella, On a Clear Day…, Cabaret. Select Regional/NYC: Once (Reza), Hedwig and The Angry Inch (Yitxhak), Pericles (Thaisa), Taming of the Shrew (Baptista/Lucentio), Cabaret (Sally Bowles). Developed work with Vineyard Theatre, Roundabout Conservatory, student of Michael Howard.

Joe Joseph (Haled) Broadway: THE BAND’S VISIT, Off-Broadway: Merrily We Roll Along, Loveless Texas, Baghdaddy, Genet Porno. Ads for Disaronno, Newport. Proud graduate of the University of Detroit Jesuit and the University of Michigan.
 

Sara Kapner (Julia) is a New York based actress who recently starred as Bella in the acclaimed, extensive revival of Stephen Schwartz and Charles Strouse's Rags at the Goodspeed Opera House. She also appeared last year in the Denver Center production of The Whoʼs Tommy. On screen, she played Jenna Fischer's niece in A Little Help and appeared in a major role in both Murder Pact and Twisted Sisters, which premiered on Lifetime. Off-Broadway, Sara appeared in the recent revival of Bare. At the historic St. Louis MUNY, Sara starred as Little Red in Into The Woods opposite Tony winner Heather Headley and as Wednesday in The Addams Family, for which she earned a St. Louis Theater Circle Award. Sara began her career at age 11, with extensive commercial and voiceover work. At age 13, she made her Broadway debut in Carol Burnett's autobiographical play Hollywood Arms directed by 21-time Tony Award winner Harold Prince.
 

Pomme Koch (Itzik) Broadway: THE BAND’S VISIT. Off-Broadway: The Public Theater, Lincoln Center Educational. Regional: La Jolla Playhouse, A.C.T. San Francisco, O’Neill Theater Center, Theatre Calgary, Marin Theatre Company, Theater J, Shakespeare Theatre Company D.C., Folger Theater, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Round House Theatre, Studio Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse. TV: “Blue Bloods,” “House of Cards”; BFA The University of Michigan.
 

Ronnie Malley (Camal) Ronnie Malley is a multi-instrumentalist musician, actor, producer, and educator. Recent theatre credits include: American Griot, co-author/composer (Moraine Valley/Silk Road); Macbeth, Hecate/musician (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Great Expectations, composer/sound designer (Silk Road Rising); A Disappearing Number, musician (Timeline Theatre); Ziryab; The Songbird Of Andalusia, author/solo performer (Silk Road Rising); The Secret Garden, musician (Court Theatre); The Jungle Book, musician/consultant (Goodman, Huntington); The White Snake, co-composer/musician (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman, Guthrie, Wuzhen Theatre Fest); The Who And The What, composer/co-sound designer (Victory Gardens); The Sultan’s Dilemma, associate producer/actor (International Voices Project) and The Arabian Nights, musician/actor (Lookingglass, Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage). Recent music producer credits include: Lamajamal – Tsikago, Surabhi Ensemble, East Meets Middle East, Aurad Fathiya, The Andalusian Trail (staged production), and The Reminders. Ronnie has a degree in Global Music Studies from DePaul University and is a teaching artist with Chicago Public Schools, a faculty member at Old Town School of Folk Music, and a guest lecturer at universities. He is an international artist and has performed on programs at the Ford Ampitheater (LA), Kennedy Center (DC), Harris Theater (Chicago), Jaipur Literature Festival (India), and Wuzhen Festival (China), as well as with the music groups Allos Musica, Apollo’s Fire, Diwan Al-Han, EMME, Lamajamal, Mucca Pazza, Newberry Consort, Surabhi Ensemble and the U of C Middle East Music Ensemble.
 

James Rana (Simon) Broadway: THE BAND’S VISIT (OBC). Off- Broadway: The Government Inspector, Serendib, Shogun Macbeth, Marat/Sade, Mother Courage, Macbeth, Rangoon, Tartuffe. International: Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company), Macbeth (Bonn Biennale/Globe Neuss). Regional: Shakespeare Theatre Co., Luna Stage, East Lynne Theater, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Shakespeare & Company. Film/Television: “Madam Secretary,” “Chicago Fire,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Third Watch,” “One Life to Live,” “Conan O’Brien,” and “A Girl Like You with A Boy Like Me”. MFA – Trinity Rep Conservatory.
 

Or Schraiber (Zelger) was born in 1992 in the city of Jerusalem, where he studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance high school. In 2010, Or joined the Batsheva Dance Company, with whom he danced for seven years. In parallel to his time in the company, he served at the IDF for three years. In 2016, Or appeared in the Bobbi Jene and Mr. Gaga documentary films. In 2017, Or moved to New York City to study acting at the Stella Adler Studio. In 2018, he starred in and co-choreographed Boaz Yakin’s film AVIVA. Or is a core member of AMOC (American Modern Opera Company). Or has choreographed and appeared in numerous music videos and short films including collaborations with Netta Barzilai, Celia Rowlson-Hall, and Yemen Blues.
 

David Studwell (Avrum) Off-Broadway: NY City Center’s Encores! Applause! (Bert). Regional: Chicago Shakespeare; Mary Stuart (Lord Burleigh), Ogunquit Playhouse; Ragtime (Grandfather), Engeman Theatre; 1776 (Ben Franklin); Merry-Go-Round, FLMTF; Austen’s Pride (Mr Bennet), Ensemble Theatre; Sweeney Todd (Sweeney), PCPA Theatrefest; Man of La Mancha (Quixote) – Santa Barbara Indy Awards, Westchester Broadway Theatre; Titanic (Isidor), Portland Center Stage; Fiddler on the Roof (Tevye)-Drammy Award. He has performed in many theaters across the country, including Syracuse Stage, Indiana Repertory, The Alliance, The Goodman, Maltz Jupiter, Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre. Film: Dave Barry’s Guide to Guys, TV: “Crime Story” (NBC). Fulbright Specialist Pakistan, 2013, 2015.
 

Danny Burgos (Male Understudy) Broadway: On Your Feet! (Emilio Standby); Tour: On Your Feet! (1st Nat’l); Regional: Bhangin’ It (La Jolla), In The Heights (ZACH/Lyric OKC, Fulton).
 

Loren Lester (Male Understudy) TV: 200+ episodes including “The Orville,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Hung” (recurring) and Robin/Nightwing on “Batman: The Animated Series.” FILM (favorites): Wes Craven’s Red Eye, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. Regional: Pasadena Playhouse, NCRT, LA Philharmonic.

Nick Sacks (Male Understudy) is thrilled to be a member of this amazing cast and to be able to share this beautiful story across the country. Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen (u/s Jared/Connor). Regional: A Walk on the Moon, (original Ross in world premiere) A.C.T.; Next To Normal (Henry) Theaterworks Hartford. Developmental productions: Saved by the Bell (Screech); Irena (Adam Celnikier); Kerrigan & Lowdermilk’s The Bad Years (Austin). Sacks is a proud company member of Jennifer Jancuska's The Bring About; and has guest starred on Amazon’s “Z : The Beginning of  Everything.” He is a proud graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama (2016) where his favorite projects included Eurydice (Orpheus) and The Full Monty (Jerry).

Hannah Shankman (Female Understudy) Broadway: Wicked, Les Misérables, Side Show (Original Broadway Revival), Hair. West End: Hair, 35 Millimeters. National Tours: Rent, Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Tour. Regional: La Jolla Playhouse, The Kennedy Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Casa Manana, Arrow Rock Lyceum. TV/Film: “The Last Five Years,” “The 86th Annual Academy Awards.” BFA University of Michigan.
 

Bligh Voth (Female Understudy) Productions/Workshops include: Atlantic Theatre Company, Primary Stages, Kennedy Center, Ford's, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Ogunquit, Lyric. Education: The Boston Conservatory.