WATCH: “The Band’s Visit” Star Etai Benson Talks Middle Eastern Representation On Broadway

WATCH: “The Band’s Visit” Star Etai Benson Talks Middle Eastern Representation On Broadway

Episode 2: "The Band's Visit" star Etai Benson

NEW EPISODE: Where does The Band's Visit star Etai Benson go during his break between performances? Take a tour of his dressing room and favorite NYC hotspots in Ep. 2!

Posted by Broadway Sandwich on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

 

EPISODE 2: ETAI BENSON

Israeli-American actor Etai Benson, who plays Papi in the hit musical “The Band’s Visit,” discussed the importance — and unfortunate scarcity — of Middle Eastern representation on stage in the latest episode of “Broadway Sandwich.”

The opportunity to star in a Broadway show that features authentic representation and eschews stereotypes is, he said, “bigger than any dream” he could have imagined. Based on the 2007 film and written for the stage by Itamar Moses and David Yazbek, “The Band’s Visit” spins around an Egyptian police band that connects with Israeli locals while stranded in a small town. Following its Broadway debut in November 2017, the musical went on to win 10 Tony awards.

“It’s that old tale of a fish out of water, but it puts a different spin on it because it’s Israelis and Arabs,” Benson said. “We have not seen that on Broadway before, in a musical especially. Modern Middle Eastern people portrayed on the stage — this is the first time, which for me is a huge deal. I’ve always dreamed about being in a new Broadway show and originating a role, but now I get to do it in Hebrew, the language I grew up speaking.”

Watch the full episode above.

Top Image: Courtesy of Broadway Sandwich