×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Listen: What ‘the De Niro of Israel’ Stole From Tony Shalhoub for ‘The Band’s Visit’

Sasson Gabay is one of international cinema’s most respected actors: Tony winner Ari’el Stachel once called him “the De Niro of Israel.” But that doesn’t mean Gabay isn’t happy to admit he’s stolen a few tricks from Tony Shalhoub in “The Band’s Visit,” the Broadway musical that Gabay joined in June.

The Israeli actor stepped into the show as Egyptian band leader Tewfiq soon after Shalhoub won a Tony Award for the role. (Shalhoub’s win was one of a sweep of 10 trophies for the show, including best musical.) Gabay never saw Shalhoub’s performance live, but he did catch a recording of it.

“I took from the tape gestures that he’d done,” Gabay said on the latest episode of “Stagecraft,” Variety‘s theater podcast. “And I think I stole from him a laugh that he managed to do. He told me, ‘Feel free to take anything.’ And as much as I could, I took from him!”

Gabay’s current Broadway run is part of a full-circle journey for the actor, after he first played Tewfiq in the 2007 Israeli film that inspired the musical. “For me personally, it was kind of a big, giant step in my career,” the actor said of his part in the movie. “It made me known for the film viewer, and also for the film industry. And since then, I have been offered roles even more.”

On the new episode of “Stagecraft,” Gabay also remembered what it was like to attend the Tonys this year, explained why he made a long-term move to New York for “The Band’s Visit,” and recalled that at first, the idea of making a musical out of the movie struck him as a terrible idea.

New episodes of “Stagecraft” are available every Tuesday. Download and subscribe to “Stagecraft” on iTunesStitcher, or anywhere finer podcasts are dispensed. Find past episodes here and on Apple Podcasts.

More Legit

  • The Play That Goes Wrong review

    BBC Orders Comedy Series Based on ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

    The BBC has greenlit “The Goes Wrong Show,” a new series based on Mischief Theatre’s popular “The Play That Goes Wrong” stage production about a troupe that puts on disastrous plays. The stage show has transferred from London’s West End to Broadway for a J.J. Abrams-produced version described by Variety as “a broad, silly and [...]

  • By the Way Meet Vera Stark

    Off Broadway Review: 'By the Way, Meet Vera Stark' by Lynn Nottage

    After writing two harrowing Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, “Sweat” and “Ruined,” Lynn Nottage is entitled to have a little fun. But while this revival of her new play, “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” walks and talks like a screwball comedy, it has a real brain in its head. Before we get too serious, let’s meet [...]

  • Merrily We Roll AlongRoundabout Theatre CompanyMERRILY

    Off Broadway Review: 'Merrily We Roll Along'

    Like the optimistic youths at the end — or is it the beginning? — of “Merrily We Roll Along,” creatives keep going back to this problematic Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical, re-imagining the show in the hope that the end results will be different this time around. They’re not. But disappointments are often off-set by new [...]

  • My Fair Lady Laura Benanti

    Listen: Laura Benanti on 'My Fair Lady' and the Secret to Her Melania Trump Impersonation

    Laura Benanti is now playing her dream role on Broadway. At the same time, the Tony winner (“Gypsy”) is also playing her toughest part ever. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “It’s the most demanding part I think I’ll probably play,” said Benanti, now appearing as Eliza Doolittle in Lincoln Center Theater’s well-received revival of [...]

  • Hamilton West End Production.

    'Hamilton' Panic Over Mistaken Reports of Gunfire Injures Three in San Francisco

    Three people were injured after mistaken reports of an active shooter at a San Francisco production of “Hamilton” caused attendees to flee the theater. CNN reported that a woman experienced a medical emergency — later determined to be a heart attack — during a scene in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play wherein Founding Father Alexander Hamilton is shot on [...]

  • The American Clock review

    London Theater Review: 'The American Clock'

    Time is money. Money is time. Both come unstuck in “The American Clock.” Arthur Miller’s kaleidoscopic account of the Great Depression, part autobiography, part social history, crawls through the decade after the Wall Street crash, dishing up snapshots of daily life. In the Old Vic’s classy revival, director Rachel Chavkin (“Hadestown”) tunes into the play’s [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Off Broadway Review: Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Sea Wall/A Life'

    Comfy? Okay, let’s talk Death: sudden death, painful death, lingering death, accidental death, and whatever other kinds of death happen to come into the receptive minds of playwrights Simon Stephens (“Sea Wall”) and Nick Payne (“A Life”). The writing in these separate monologues — playing together on a double bill at the Public Theater — [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content