During the Tony Awards a few weeks ago, they presented a scene from The Band's Visit, a show which later that night won Best Musical. (It's based on the Israeli movie, about an Egyptian police band which gets stranded for the night in a deserted town in Israel.) I was a little disappointed with the song they chose because it didn't really include much with Tony Shaloub -- all the more so since he ended up winning Leading Actor in a Musical (something he's noted in interviews is the last thing he thought would ever happen to him in his career). Shaloub doesn't have many songs in the show -- as far as I can tell, he only has one, though I believe he sings in some ensemble numbers. So, it's likely that they thought that his few songs didn't present the show as well as the number they chose instead. I understand that -- and they did at least have him in the scene throughout, who the performer is singing to, and he has a couple lines -- but it was still disappointing. The only saving grace is that the woman who did sing the song they chose, Katrina Lenk, was...well, tremendous. She gave a galvanizing performance, and it was not surprising (even though I hadn't heard of her) when she won Leading Actress in a Musical. So, I can't quibble much. She really was terrific. In fact, she was so good that -- with me not knowing her, and with her name and accent -- I thought perhaps she was an Israeli actress, but when she accepted her award, she was very clearly American. And turns out to have impressive theater credits. So, there's a lapse on my part.
Which brings us to the point of this. Last night, I got my monthly email newsletter from the beloved Northwestern University. And it highlighted the school's alumna, Katrink Lenk, winning the Tony Award as Leading Actress in a Musical for The Band's Visit! I had no idea. So, as I said, add one more to the list.
Here she is with that number at the Tonys, "Omar Sharif," opposite Tony Shaloub.
For the record, the music and lyrics for The Band's Visit are by David Yazbek, who won the Tony Award for Best Original Score.
And as a bonus, here's backstage interview after winning the Tony as Leading Actress in a Musical.
And okay, here is a bemused Tony Shaloub's interview backstage, which begins with him asking his own three questions -- "What happened? How did this happen?? And why have I not done a musical before?"