David Byrne’s American Utopia, which returned to Broadway September 17, officially opened at the St. James Theatre October 17. Between its original Broadway run and now, the acclaimed production earned two Emmy Awards (for its HBO film capture) and received a Special Tony Award.
Byrne is joined by returning band members Jacquelene Acevedo, Gustavo Di Dalva, Daniel Freedman, Chris Giarmo, Tim Keiper, Tendayi Kuumba, Karl Mansfield, Mauro Refosco, Stéphane San Juan, Angie Swan, and Bobby Wooten III. The company standbys are Renée Albulario, Alena Ciera, Chris Eddleton, Evan Frierson, Abe Nouri, and Natalie Tenenbaum.
Critics have begun filing their reviews; read them below.
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The initial run opened October 20, 2019, and continued into 2020. The production recouped its initial $4 million investment in mid-December, 10 weeks after opening.
Oscar winner Spike Lee filmed the theatrical concert during the tail end of its Broadway run; it premiered on HBO October 17, 2020. It won two Creative Arts Emmy Awards: Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special and Sound Mixing for a Variety Series or Special.
Under the guidance of production consultant Alex Timbers (Moulin Rouge!), the show features lighting design by Rob Sinclair, sound design by Pete Keppler, and musical direction by Karl Mansfield and Mauro Refosco. Annie-B Parson provides choreography and musical staging.
David Byrne’s American Utopia is produced by Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Patrick Catullo and Todomundo with Hal Luftig, Jonathan Reinis, Shira Friedman, Annapurna Theatre, Elizabeth Armstrong, Thomas Laub, Steven Rosenthal, Erica Lynn Schwartz, Matt Picheny, Steve Traxler, Len Blavatnik, Nonesuch Records, Warner Chappell Music, and Ambassador Theatre Group Productions. Allan Williams serves as executive producer.