We still have no idea how long this pandemic situation will go on (and all the dummies rubbing against each other on beaches and in bars really isn’t helping things), but at least HBO is giving us something to look forward to—a light at the end of one of many tunnels, if you will. The network has announced that it will debut David Byrne’s American Utopia, the filmed version of Byrne’s hit Broadway show, sometime later this year. Yeah, that’s kind of vague, but honestly the wait might feel less painful without a specific date attached. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee directed the filmed iteration of the show, which features Byrne performing songs from his American Utopia album, as well as tracks from Byrne’s solo work and his iconic group the Talking Heads, alongside 11 music artists from all over the world.
In an official press release, Nina Rosenstein, executive vice president of HBO programming, described the filmed show as “a uniquely transformative experience and a perfect example of how entertainment can bring us together during these challenging times.” Byrne adds:
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.
Spike Lee also provided a brief statement about the collaboration:
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. And dat’s da ‘once in a lifetime’ truth, Ruth. Ya-dig? Sho-nuff. Peace and love. Be safe.