HBO Executive VP of Programming Nina Rosenstein confirmed the news in a statement, saying, “‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’ is a uniquely transformative experience and a perfect example of how entertainment can bring us together during these challenging times. Spike’s brilliant direction adds a level of intimacy to this powerful performance, and we’re so thrilled to share this groundbreaking show with our audience.”
The Broadway counterpart debuted in late 2019 and saw Byrne collaborate with 11 other musicians for a modified performance of his 2018 album, American Utopia, plus a number of songs from his old band, Talking Heads. The concert was staged at the Hudson Theatre from October 2019 to February 2020, and currently has plans for another limited run in September 2020.
Lee, who takes on the role of director, will be joined by choreographer Annie-B Parson, Ellen Kuras, Alex Timbers and Adam Gough. “It is my honor and privilege that my art brother, Mr. David Byrne, asked me to join him in concert, to invite me into his magnificent world of ‘American Utopia,’” the filmmaker said. “And dat’s da ‘once in a lifetime’ truth, Ruth. Ya-dig? Sho-nuff. Peace and love. Be safe.”
Byrne added, “Spike and I have crossed paths many times over the years, obviously I’m a huge fan and now finally here was an opportunity for us to work together. I am absolutely thrilled with the result. The Broadway show was a wonderful challenge as well as an opportunity — it was a joy to perform and, well, best to let the quotes speak for themselves. Thrilled that this show and the subjects it addresses will now reach a wider audience.”
Stay tuned for the exact premiere date of David Byrne’s American Utopia.