Byrne sees a “utopian impulse” as his show opens in theaters

Por Jane Ross

LOS ANGELES, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Although Americans have clashed over the use of masks and vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic, musician David Byrne says he believes the health crisis showed that people actually aspire to a society better, just as you imagine in your Broadway show “American Utopia.”

A filmed version of the production, shot in early 2020, will be shown in US theaters for one night only, on Wednesday.

The show mixes “Once in a lifetime” and other songs from the former Talking Heads leader’s catalog with his commentary on current events and the human need for connection. Byrne is accompanied on stage by a small group of musicians, singers, and dancers.

Byrne said the pandemic “pulled the curtain” on modern life and led people to stop and think about the kind of world they want to live in. Many people, Byrne said, decided they want things to be better.

“For me, that’s the utopian impulse,” Byrne said in an interview with Reuters. “Yes, there is a lot of division in this particular country. But I think there is an urgency to see things improve. And that has really come to the fore during the pandemic, which is a really beautiful thing.”

The “American Utopia” movie has aired on HBO Max since October 2020. The version hitting theaters, which is being distributed by Iconic Events Releasing, will include a new introduction by Byrne and a conversation between him and the director of the tape, Spike Lee.

The show follows “a typical person who happens to be me, who goes from being more or less isolated, from being a little weird and socially awkward, to being immersed in a little community,” Byrne said.

“That little community, at the end of the movie, is ready to engage with society at large and connect with the world at large, which is a huge transformation for this person,” he added.

The theatrical show will reopen on Broadway on Friday. Byrne said he made some changes to reflect the pandemic and social justice protests over the past year.

(Written by Lisa Richwine; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)

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