The New York Drama Critics' Circle awarded J.T. Rogers' Oslo and Itamar Moses and David Yazbek's The Band's Visit with the organization's 2017 Best Play and Best Musical honors on May 18.
Described as a darkly comic epic, Oslo tells the story of how Norwegian diplomat Mona Juul and her husband, social scientist Terje Rød-Larsen, planned and orchestrated top-secret, high-level meetings between the state of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which culminated in the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords. The production is currently running at Broadway's Vivian Beaumont Theater under the direction of Bartlett Sher.
Based on Eran Kolirin's film The Band's Visit, which won the Jury Coup de Couer prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Moses and Yazbek's musical tells the story of the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Band. When they arrive in Israel to play at the opening of a cultural center, their hosts don't show, and an error in communication sends them in the wrong direction. Soon, the band finds themselves in a small settlement in the heart of the Negev desert with no transportation out until morning and no hotel in sight. David Cromer directed the production, which ran at Atlantic Theater Company November 11-January 8.
Special citations were awarded to Taylor Mac for his Pulitzer Prize-nominated A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, Indecent writer Paula Vogel for her work as a playwright and mentor, and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and the ensemble cast of Broadway's Jitney.
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