Photos by Keith Perks
David Byrne recently announced he will bring an iteration of his visually innovative and critically acclaimed “American Utopia” tour to Broadway. He’ll perform at the Hudson Theater, starting Oct. 4, with the official opening on Oct. 20 and closing on Jan. 19, according to the New York Times. Before that, he’ll play 18 shows at the Emerson Colonial Theater in Boston from Sept. 11 to Sept. 28.
In a journal entry on his website, Byrne wrote:
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 – we don’t have to adapt to a new place every night! It was an exciting challenge – I realized a Broadway setting would likely be a different audience than the concert crowds I was used to. The Broadway crowd has slightly different expectations. There might even be audience members who don’t know me or my music – which for me is exciting. I thought to myself that this new context might be good – it might actually help to 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, to add some extra elements and nuance, while keeping what is integral to the show.
The American Utopia tour came to the FM Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., last year (review by Michael Lester here) and XPNFest in Philadelphia (photos by Keith Perks below).