The cast and creative team of 'The Band's Visit' are all smiles after accepting their 10 Tony Awards Sunday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The cast and creative team of 'The Band's Visit' are all smiles after accepting their 10 Tony Awards Sunday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The cast and creative team of 'The Band's Visit' are all smiles after accepting their 10 Tony Awards Sunday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

Behind the scenes: 'The Band’s Visit’s' big night at the Tony’s

Broadway smash wins 10 awards, including Best Musical.

It was an unlikely "Visit" that became a Broadway smash, and now it's the proud owner of not one, not two, not three ... but 10 Tony Awards.

The cast and crew of The Band's Visit swarm the stage to accept the award for Best Musical, the last award of the night. The cast and crew of The Band's Visit swarm the stage to accept the award for Best Musical, the last award of the night. (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

"The Band's Visit," a musical based on a 2007 comedic Israeli film, was the unequivocal darling of Sunday night's celebration of the stage. Its award-show success– which included the top award of the night, Best Musical – was followed by momentous praise and uproarious celebrations from critics, fans, theatergoers and the production's very own cast and crew.

It was also a very emotional moment for actor Ari'el Stachel, a Californian born to an Israeli father, who took home the award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Stachel was part of the original cast of "The Band's Visit" stage show before it was brought to Broadway.

"I want any kid who is watching to know that your biggest obstacle may turn into your purpose,” Stachel said upon accepting his award.

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The sweep also made a superstar out of Katrina Lenk, an experienced stage actress who had already received heaping praise for her role as Dina. She won the Tony for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.

US actress Katrina Lenk, winner of the award Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for 'The Band's Visit' poses in the 72nd Annual Tony Awards Media Room at 3 West Club in New York City on June 10, 2018. Katrina Lenk, a vision in white. (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

It was the first Tony Award for star Tony Shalhoub, the 64-year-old acting veteran best known for his lead role in the long-running TV series "Monk." In an interview backstage after his win, Shalhoub revealed that his first foray into theater was capped off by an embarrassing moment after a production of "The King and I" at his older sister's high school.

The young Shalhoub found himself the only person left on stage when the curtain came down, and as he hurried to get off the stage, he couldn't find the curtain opening. He burst into tears and ran away.

“It has just been one humiliation after another since then,” Shalhoub joked. “But maybe that laughter was kind of like a bug burrowed into my system. It hooked me forever, I think.”

Tony Shalhoub accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for The Band's Visit onstage during the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 10, 2018 in New York City. Tony Shalhoub brushes off his brow as he accepts the Tony award for Best Leading Actor for "The Band's Visit." (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

All told, "The Band's Visit's" 10 awards were as follows:

  • Best Musical
  • Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Katrina Lenk
  • Best Leading Actor in a Musical, Tony Shalhoub
  • Best Original Score, David Yazbek
  • Best Direction of a Musical, David Cromer
  • Best Sound Design in a Musical, Kai Harada
  • Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Ari'el Stachel
  • Best Book of a Musical, Itamar Moses
  • Best Orchestrations, Jamshied Sharifi
  • Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Tyler Micoleau

And, as a bonus, fans of the musical learned some intriguing news after the awards sweep: Israeli actor Sasson Gabai, star of the original "Band’s Visit" film, will succeed Shalhoub as the lead actor in productions starting June 26. Shalhoub will be filming the second season of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on Amazon.

Sasson Gabai won the European Actor award at the European Film Awards in 2007. Sasson Gabai won the European Actor award for his role in the original film. (Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

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