In 1996, the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra are waiting in the bus station at an Israeli airport. The group's leader, the humble Colonel Tewfiq Zakaria, instructs the younger, flirtatious officer Haled to purchase the group's bus ticket due to his better proficiency in English compared to the rest of the group. At the ticket office, Haled asks the clerk for a ticket to the city of Petah Tikvah, but due to her thick Hebrew accent and his thick Arabic accent, they go back-and-forth trying to figure out whether he meant "Petah Tikvah" or "Bet Hatikva". Eventually he is able to buy the tickets and the band boards their bus.
The scene shifts to the small Israeli town of Bet Hatikva, where the residents bemoan the boring and monotonous lives they lead in the desert ("Waiting"). The Band arrives in Bet Hatikva and approach two cafe workers, Papi and Itzik, seeking the location of the Arab Cultural Center for their performance the next day. Unsure who these men are and what they're asking for, they call for the owner of the cafe, a charismatic woman named Dina. Tewfiq again asks for directions to the Cultural Center before Dina realizes they think this is Petah Tikvah, and explains that this is certainly not the place they intended to go and they must have gotten the wrong bus ("Welcome to Nowhere"). Dina also informs the group that the next bus does not arrive until tomorrow. One of the band members seeks a phone to contact the Egyptian embassy, but Dina informs him that the only pay phone in the town is obsessively guarded every night by a man who remains hopeful that his girlfriend will call him, even though it has been months. She offers the Band a meal and a place to stay for the night, and Tewfiq reluctantly agrees. In her kitchen, Tewfiq asks her about her background, where she reveals she was once stupidly married and that not everything in life goes as planned ("It Is What It Is"). She asks him the same and it is revealed he had a wife and son in Egypt.
Meanwhile, Itzik allows the band member Simon to stay with him, his wife, their baby, and his father-in-law, Avrum. During dinner, Simon asks what happened to Avrum's wife, and Avrum reveals that she passed away. When Simon asks when she passed, he is silenced; however, Avrum says it is healthy for him to talk about it. He retells the story of how he met his wife many years ago at a club, and remembers how music had been the foundation for their entire relationship – Itzik and Simon are enthused at the story, but Itzik's wife continues to eat sternly, avoiding all interaction throughout the episode ("The Beat of Your Heart").
That night, everyone makes plans to go out. Papi is invited on a double date with his crush, but suffers from anxiety about going out with her. Haled tags along. Dina offers to show Tewfiq around Bet Hatikva, which he again is reluctant to accept. At dinner, Dina asks Tewfiq about what style of music his band plays. After he claims they stick to traditional Arab music, she mentions how as a child she would listen to the imported Egyptian music from the likes of Umm Kulthum and movies starring Omar Sharif. Tewfiq quotes one of the movies in question and they bond over the shared memories ("Omar Sharif").
At the roller skating rink, Haled watches from afar as Papi continues to not interact with his crush and skate around poorly. After Papi defuses a brief altercation between Haled and one of the guards at the rink, Papi explains his romantic anxieties to Haled ("Papi Hears the Ocean"). After accidentally causing his crush to slip on her skates and fall down, Papi is petrified yet again. Haled uses his charms to boost Papi's confidence, which culminates in Papi and his crush finally interacting positively by embracing each other ("Haled's Song About Love").
After their dinner, Dina takes Tewfiq to "The Park", which is just a bench in the middle of Bet Hatikva. She asks him what it is like to have an orchestra and play music for people. He initially stutters, but after she asks him to sing, he begins to show her what it's like to be a conductor by allowing her to mimic his arm motions as he sings. Despite not being able to understand his Arabic lyrics, she remains mesmerized by him and wonders if his visit to Bet Hatikva was meant for her by fate ("Something Different").
Itzik sings his son to sleep ("Itzik's Lullaby"), but in frustration with his lack of ambition in life, his wife leaves. Simon is initially concerned, but Itzik tells him that this happens often and that she always returns. Sometime later, she does, and their son begins to cry. Simon is able to soothe the infant by playing his original concerto on his clarinet. Itzik and his wife reconcile, and Simon says goodbye to Avrum before going to bed.
Dina finally asks more about Tewfiq's life. When she approaches the topic of his son, he reveals that he and his son were never quite understanding of each other, something that haunts Tewfiq to this day as the likely cause of his son's suicide. He additionally implies that his wife also ended her life due to the resulting heartbreak. Now visibly distraught, Tewfiq resists Dina's romantic advances as Haled arrives with news that the bus will be there in the morning to take them to Petah Tikvah. Teqwfiq starts to leave the room, upset, while Dina solemnly recalls the meaning of their relationship ("Something Different (Reprise)"). Once Tewfiq is gone, Haled jokingly compliments her eyes, and she kisses him forcefully.
Distraught, Telephone Guy questions his devotion to his loved one as he continues to guard the pay phone. He and the citizens of Bet Hatikva long for the presence of a meaning to their lives as they anticipate the return to normalcy ("Answer Me"). Suddenly, just as Telephone Guy gives up hope, the phone rings and he speaks to his girlfriend for the first time in months.
The following morning, the Band is gathered by Dina's cafe before they prepare to board the next bus. As they begin to board, Dina hands Tewfiq a piece of paper with "Petah Tikvah" on it to ensure he doesn't forget.
Later that day, the Band makes it to the Petah Tikvah Arab Cultural Center. Once they are in their places, Tewfiq begins his orchestration, and the stage cuts to black.
Check back soon when libretto and/or lyrics for The Band's Visit becomes available.