(Photo by Catalina Kulczar)
By Tom Millward
Talking Heads singer/songwriter David Byrne has once again teamed up with his Here Lies Love collaborators choreographer Annie-B Parson and production consultant Alex Timbers to stage a theatrical concert, inspired by his #1 album "American Utopia". Having played a hugely successful international tour, with more than 150 dates in 27 countries over nine months in 2018, the show will head to Broadway this fall for a strictly limited engagement.
Mr. Byrne commented: “Because of how theatrical the show is, others started telling me ‘this needs to go to Broadway.’ Why not? But what did that mean? Parked in a beautiful Broadway theater we can perfect the sound, the lights, the movement. I thought to myself that this new context might be good- it might bring out the narrative arc a little bit more, to make it just a little more explicit. I asked Alex Timbers, whom I’d worked with twice before on musicals, to help. He brought some original and insightful ideas to the room, ideas I was too close to imagine, and we used those to build on what we had."
Synopsis: "David Byrne’s American Utopia is the once-in-a-lifetime Broadway event that marks a major cultural milestone in the worlds of music and theatre. Innovative pop/rock icon David Byrne shares the spotlight with a diverse ensemble of 11 musical artists from around the globe, delivering a theatrical concert that’s as surprisingly poignant as it is supremely funky."
Alongside Mr. Byrne, the cast also includes Jacquelene Acevedo, Gustavo Di Dalva, Daniel Freedman, Chris Giarmo, Tim Keiper, Tendayi Kuumba, Karl Mansfield, Mauro Refosco, Stephane San Juan, Angie Swan and Bobby Wooten III.
The creative team behind David Byrne’s American Utopia also features musical direction by Karl Mansfield, lighting design by Rob Sinclair and sound design by Pete Keppler.
The "American Utopia" album was released in March 2018 and became David Byrne's first recording to reach the top spot on the Album Chart, as well as the top 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. The theatrical concert features songs from the album alongside earlier hits from Talking Heads and his solo career.