By Daniel Kreps
David Byrne’s acclaimed stage show in support of his 2018 album American Utopia will head to Broadway for an extended residency later this year. David Byrne’s American Utopia, which features the singer and an ensemble performing both Byrne’s Talking Heads and solo works, will first stage an 18-date run at Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre in September before migrating to Broadway’s Hudson Theatre in October.
The American Utopia performance will then run from October 4th through January 19, 2020, with the official opening set for October 20th. “As I was recording the songs for my American Utopia album it occurred to me that they would be exciting to play live- and I realized that a lot of my older material would fit right in… I imagined a live show,” Byrne wrote in a letter about the Broadway production.
“I pictured a lot of drummers, a kind of drum line/samba school/second line- that would create the rhythms. I had this vision of how exciting that would be – both for me and for an audience. I also realized that what creates the biggest impact on an audience is performers.”
Byrne continued, “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.”
Byrne collaborated with both production consultant Timbers and choreographer Annie-B Pearson on the Broadway-bound performance.
Tickets to both the Boston and Broadway performances are on sale now at the American Utopia site.