The new musical The Visitor officially opened November 4 at The Public Theater. The Off-Broadway staging is scheduled to play an engagement through December 5.
Based on the 2007 movie by Tom McCarthy, The Visitor follows Walter (played by Tony winner David Hyde Pierce), a white college professor who, during a trip to New York, encounters Tarek (Ahmad Maksoud)—an immigrant from Syria—and Zainab (Alysha Deslorieux)—an immigrant from Senegal. Their interaction—and, eventually, the arrival of Tarek’s mother Mouna (Jacqueline Antaramian)—brings to light the experiences and struggles of undocumented individuals seeking to make America a home. The musical features a score by Tom Kitt, a book by Kwame Kwei-Armah, and lyrics by Brian Yorkey.
The company also includes Robert Ariza, Anthony Chan, Delius Doherty, C.K. Edwards, Will Erat, Brandon Espinoza, Sean Ewing, Albert Guerzon, Crystal Joy, Marla Louissaint, Sahar Milani , Dimitri Joseph Moïse, Takafumi Nikaido, Paul Pontrelli, and Katie Terza.
Read what critics had to say in the reviews below.
The show reaches its official opening following a handful of halts and shake-ups, beginning with a 19-month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. The production then pushed its start date from October 7 this year to October 14, and then, hours before the first preview, canceled the first two days of performances. Over the course of the more recent postponements, the company—which consists largely of an ensemble composed of performers of color—engaged in dialogues to establish community guidelines and address how certain depictions of racial themes and immigrant stories should be handled through a contemporary lens.
The Daniel Sullivan-helmed production features choreography by Lorin Latarro, a set by David Zinn, costumes by Toni-Leslie James, lighting by Japhy Weideman, sound design by Jessica Paz and Sun Hee Kil, video design by David Bengali and Hana S. Kim, hair and make-up design by Matthew Armentrout, prop management by Claire M. Kavanah, fight direction by Thomas Schall, orchestrations by Jamshied Sharifi, music supervision by Meg Zervoulis, music direction by Rick Edinger, and music contracting by Tomoko Akaboshi. James Latus serves as production stage manager. The creative team also includes assistant director Sanaz Ghajar, Shay Bland as an associate choreographer, and Naila Al Atrash as a cultural consultant.