The 2016-17 Broadway season was chock full of new musicals, but the 2017-18 season is looking a bit light. By my count, as of right now, it looks like there will be about six new musicals this season which is less than half of what we got this past year.
While it's a small group, there are some that stand out as sure fire Tony favorites, with David Yazbek's The Band's Visit leading the pack.
The Band's Visit is based on Eran Kolirin’s 2007 film about an Egyptian Police Band that arrives in Israel to play a concert. After a mix-up at the border, they are sent to a remote village in the middle of the 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 show was an awards darling last year, winning the 2017 Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Musical, the 2017 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Musical, and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical.
So is it the clear front runner for the 2018 Tonys? I think so. It already has the award wins and a Tony-attractive cast featuring three-time nominee Tony Shalhoub, Katrina Lenk(Indecent), John Carini(Something Rotten) and Adam Kantor(Fiddler on the Roof).
Standing in the way of The Band's Visit Tonys coronation will most likely be Frozen and Mean Girls (which I'm hearing excellent buzz about). No disrespect to Hal Prince, Jimmy Buffet or Spongebob Squarepants, I just don't see those shows in the mix as of right now. But I've been wrong before.