376. Inside David Byrne’s American Utopia: A Behind the Scenes Special


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From the early days of Talking Heads, David Byrne has been developing unique and fascinating new ways to present his music to the world. There’s no finer example of this than the jaw-dropping American Utopia show, which the NME called “The Best Live Show Of All Time”. Today we are delving inside the process of creating and performing the show from its early touring incarnation through to the wildly successful Broadway run that has just triumphantly resumed at the St James Theatre. I talk to key members of the band and cast about the show's merging of rock concert with modern dance piece and Broadway show, the innovative staging and unique challenges of reconfiguring classic songs for the show, the costumes, memories from the road, celebrity encounters, working with Spike Lee on the film version, how they went from collaborators to family and the challenges and joys of finally bringing the show back a year later than planned. Thank you to cast members Angie Swan, Bobby Wooten, Chris Giarmo, Mauro Refosco and Stéphane San Juan for sharing their insights and stories, to Aussie queen of rock radio Zan Rowe for joining me to break down what makes the show special and publicist Michelle Farabaugh for making the whole thing possible.

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