Tony nominee Ari’el Stachel appeared on Fox5's Good Day New York May 25 to talk about his Broadway debut in the hit musical The Band’s Visit, now nominated for 11 Tonys—including one for Stachel himself. The Israeli-American actor also performed his jazzy number from the David Yazbek score, “Haled’s Song About Love.”
But before singing, Stachel discussed the power of bringing this story (and these cultures) to the stage.
“[It’s] the first Middle Eastern based musical on Broadway, and to be sharing that and to have audiences who are not acquainted with this culture fall in love with our music and our culture,” means the most to him, he said. “What's exciting is that it's not political. And people expect it to be political and it's not at all. To see Middle Eastern people existing non-politically—it's a seismic shift.”
In this moment, Stachel is most proud to be a face of opportunity. “Insofar that it helps young Middle Eastern kids feel like there's a possibility for them that I really didn’t feel like was possible at that age, that's what [the nomination] means to me.
“This is my first show on Broadway and it’s so exciting to be part of a show that celebrates love and that builds bridges at a time when we need it more than ever.”