By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, Published October 3, 2018

I like to be around energy and excitement. That is one reason why I enjoy traveling to New York City. The bright lights, the noise, the crowds on Times Square, the array of colors, I love it all.

I traveled to New York on a theater tour for a second straight summer as soon as Bianchi Cup finished. I always enjoy attending Broadway shows, and I saw 5 during this tour.

“Frozen” was one of the highlights. It is truly a spectacular production. I had seen the movie, so I knew the plot, but seeing it on the stage was a different experience. The special effects, the lighting and the stage design were out of this world. The designers’ brilliance was on display. It was the ultimate creation of art, and it was perhaps the best show I have seen on Broadway.

However, the show that stuck with me the most was “The Band’s Visit,” and that’s partially due to the lead female character, Dina.

The play centers on an Egyptian police orchestra’s visit to Israel. They are supposed to travel to perform in the Israeli city Petah Tekvah, but due to a mix-up, their bus drops them off in “Bet Hatikva,” a small, isolated desert town.

Dina is a beautiful, charismatic and generous cafe owner in the town who helps serve as a host and guide for the stranded band. During their visit, she strikes up a connection with the band’s conductor, Tewfiq.

Tewfiq is a stiff, reserved man. We learn that his wife and son are dead. But his character evolves thanks to a bond he forms over dinner with Dina. She gets him to open up.

Katrina Lenk is the actress who plays Dina. She won the 2018 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Her performance as Dina left me entranced, and I felt such a connection to the character.

Dina has dreams and a vision for what her life could be. But she’s a divorcee who remains wounded from her failed marriage. She found that the realities of her life did not match her hopes.

As she sings, “It is what it is.”

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