Tony Shalhoub milks Arab roots in new Broadway musical

Tony Shalhoub
Updated 08 November 2017
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Tony Shalhoub milks Arab roots in new Broadway musical

NEW YORK: It is always a little startling to hear Lebanese-American Tony Shalhoub talk in his regular voice. After all, he spends so much time onstage and onscreen trying on other peoples’ accents.
The Emmy winner has played Germans, Greeks, Hispanics and Russians and even a space alien in the “Men in Black” films. On Broadway in “Act One,” he actually played three characters — one with a Cockney accent, one with just a hint of a British accent and one who is an urbane Northeasterner.
So, it is no wonder that Shalhoub re-emerged on Broadway on Thursday in “The Band’s Visit” in a military uniform, a mustache — and a luxurious Egyptian accent. How his character sounds is one of the first things he works on.
“It’s something that, for me, really helps to find the inner life of the character, the more I work on that sound,” he said. “And it helps me get to the core of the person.”
Shalhoub plays the stiff leader of the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra, which is booked to play a concert in the Israeli city of Petah Tikvah but accidentally ends up in the drowsy town of Bet Hatikva. Over the next few hours, the townspeople and the musicians learn about each other and themselves.
“There’s not a lot of flash and dash and screaming and people throwing things. It’s not your typical Broadway musical because it doesn’t have that sort of size and extravaganza of noise and color,” said Shalhoub, perhaps best known for his role as an obsessive-compulsive detective on television’s “Monk.”
Though the musical has Egyptian Muslim characters entering an Israeli settlement, there is no mention of the Arab-Israeli crisis or global politics. Shalhoub said that is quite energizing.
Shalhoub grew up in a multicultural community ripe with accents in Green Bay, Wisconsin, hence his knack with dialects.
“There was a wide array of accents. And then of course I was in the Midwest, which is full of all kinds of bizarre and interesting accents, even from town to town,” he said. “It was a true melting pot and so there was a collision of many, many sounds and voices coming at me. And somehow all that stuff stuck.”
Shalhoub, 64, even delivers a tune entirely in Arabic on Broadway.


Comedy fans in for a treat as Marlon Wayans to play Riyadh in May

Updated 24 April 2018
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Comedy fans in for a treat as Marlon Wayans to play Riyadh in May

  • Marlon Wayans is coming to Riyadh for his May 11
  • Event supported by the General Entertainment Authority, various sponsors, and organized by Future Dimensions Entertainment

RIYADH: Stand-up and comedy lovers are in for a special treat as international Hollywood star and part of the legendary Wayans family – Marlon Wayans is coming to Riyadh for his May 11 scheduled show at Princess Noura University Conference Center.
Supported by the General Entertainment Authority, various sponsors, and organized by Future Dimensions Entertainment who are committed to delivering distinguished entertainment events to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On this occasion, Ratib Abdo – Executive Manager at Future Dimensions Entertainment said, “Marlon Wayans is an international superstar and a distinguished figure in comedy; His movies have generated over 1.1 billion dollars in global revenue, not to mention he has been in the game for a very long time. It is going to be a fantastic show opening a new era of stand-up comedy events in the kingdom.”
The show will feature local talents, and Marlon Wayans will be delivering an exclusive to the masses. Having been in the entertainment industry for over 30 years, we can expect to witness a great evening from Marlon Wayans especially after the grand success on Netflix with his stand up show “Woke-ish,” and his hit TV sitcom on NBC “Marlon.”
People can find more details about the event on social media @Komedya1.0 and @MarlonWayans in addition to all sponsors websites and social media pages.
Tickets available at all Virgin Megastores outlets and online on ticketing box office through the link http://bit.ly/Marlonwayans
Don’t forget to use the hashtag: #MarlonWayansInRiyadh