Get ready for an electrifying stage experience! David Byrne’s American Utopia is heading to HBO this fall. Critically lauded director Spike Lee is at the helm of a special event documenting the aforementioned musical. Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has cultivated a musical experience for the ages from his studio album of the same name.
Now, the filmed version of David Byrne’s American Utopia took place amid its Broadway run at the Hudson Theatre in New York City. Byrne was joined by a slew of 11 musicians, singers, and dancers the world over. The musical garnered acclaim from critics and audiences alike as it sold out to theater lovers from around the globe.
So, what’s this show about? Here’s a snippet from David Byrne himself. You can read his note in its entirety here.
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…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. By that, I mean we might go ‘ooh and ahh’ at pyrotechnics and wild video projections, but it’s the people on stage that interest and move us the most. The human connection, I realized, carries more weight and emotion than all the gadgets in the world. If I could foreground the performers, I might connect in a visceral and exciting way.
The best way to describe David Byrne’s American Utopia is to think of it as a plea for common sense and human decency. Perhaps it’s showcasing a “utopia” that we could attain someday. That is, if we as humans can discard our misplaced, ill-conceived notions of race and sexuality. If we can toss bigotry out the window for good. Regardless, this musical event has resonated with countless souls during its tenure, and I’ve no doubt Spike Lee has done the stage production justice with his unique directorial vision.
Below, you can watch the brief teaser for David Byrne’s American Utopia. The special event is slated to air on HBO and stream on HBO Max Saturday, October 17th at 8pm.
What do you think of David Byrne’s American Utopia? Sound off in the comments below!