David Byrne’s American Utopia will air on HBO and HBO Max on October 17th at 8pm. The special event presents a one-of-a-kind film of the critically-acclaimed Broadway show which features music from the Talking Heads as well as Byrne’s solo career.
For the show, Byrne is joined by an ensemble of 11 musicians, singers, and dancers from around the globe, inviting audiences into a joyous dreamworld where human connection, self-evolution, and social justice are paramount. The musical numbers accompanied by brief monologues allow Byrne to address various sociopolitical topics from police brutality, immigration, climate change, to the critical upcoming election.
American Utopia is directed by Oscar and Emmy-winner Spike Lee and was recorded during the show’s run at the Hudson Theatre in New York City between October 2019 and February 2020. The Broadway run followed Byrne’s world tour of the show in 2018, which NME said “may just be the best live show of all-time.”
“Because of how theatrical the show is, others started telling me ‘this needs to go to Broadway,’” Byrne said in a statement when the Broadway run was announced. “Parked in a beautiful Broadway theatre we can perfect the sound, the lights, the movement. I thought to myself that this new context might be good – it might bring out the narrative arc a little bit more, to make it just a little more explicit.”
You can watch a preview for the film below.