David Byrne says audiences seem ‘thrilled’ to be in theater

NEW YORK, -- David Byrne noticed a few things after returning to Broadway's American Utopia following the pandemic pause. It seemed younger and more diverse, and it is eager to see live entertainment

David Byrne says audiences seem ‘thrilled’ to be in theater

NEW YORK, -- David Byrne noticed a few things after returning to Broadway's American Utopia following the pandemic pause. It seemed younger and more diverse, and it is eager to see live entertainment.

He said, "They're just thrilled to be in a theatre, seeing a play, and hearing music." It's almost like "wow, how did we miss that?"

Although there had been previews for a few weeks, "American Utopia," had its official reopening on Sunday at the St. James Theatre. The music and dancing will be performed by a barefoot group that does not use wires. The theatre concert is an invitation to hope, connection, and reaching utopia. To reflect modern times, Byrne made some changes to his monologues.

Spike Lee's filmed version "American Utopia" may have contributed to some of the changes in the audience composition. This streamed during the dark live show.

He said, "I can feel that there are some audience members who don't know as much about the Talking Heads songs." They're not just music lovers, but they're also taking in the show as a whole. They must absorb and process it the same way they would any musical in which they don't know the lyrics.

He addresses the issues quickly in the show.

He says, "Thanks for leaving your home," "I used that phrase in the old world, but it had a different meaning. Many things have changed."

In some of his monologues, he refers to COVID-19.

He said that the show's nature allows him to speak directly to the audience, and not as a character in a play. This gives him the chance to share some of our common experiences. "First, I thought, "How do I do that?" I didn't want the show to be about the pandemic. It's something I cannot ignore.

Byrne contemplated musical changes during the break. He swapped songs with others in his personal catalog that spans almost 45 years. But he ultimately chose to keep the current mix.

It was obvious that the show would be returning. He knew that the show was popular because all of its pre-pandemic performances were sold out. It is also a culmination of all the ideas he had about performance over the years. Byrne felt that it was a good idea to let it ride for a while before deciding to abandon it and move on to something.

Through next spring, "American Utopia," will be performing. Byrne has already committed to another theater project in Denver, Colorado next summer. It won't continue indefinitely.

He also said that "American Utopia", which he returned to, doesn't feel outdated.

He said that the show addressed a number of issues that were brought up during the pandemic. It was in a sense lucky and perhaps prescient. We were just lucky to have caught the tenors of the times. It didn't seem lose its relevance."

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