‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’ Debuts an Uplifting Trailer

HBO’s just released the full trailer for David Byrne’s American Utopia, the filmed version of the popular Broadway show. Spike Lee directed the film which is currently sitting at 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes after its festival run.

“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,” said Spike Lee.

Byrne added, “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.”

Oscar-winner Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) produced the film through his 40 Acres and Mule Filmworks production company. Oscar-winner David Byrne (The Last Emperor) created and stars in the critically acclaimed Broadway production.

Joining Byrnes in the filmed version are his original Broadway cast members Jacquelene Acevedo (percussionist), Gustavo Di Dalva (percussionist), Daniel Freedman (percussionist), Chris Giarmo (vocals / dance & vocal captain), Tim Keiper (percussionist), Tendayi Kuumba (vocals), Karl Mansfield (keyboard / music director), Mauro Refosco (percussionist / music director), Stéphane San Juan (percussionist), Angie Swan (guitar), and Bobby Wooten III (bass).

David Byrne’s American Utopia was filmed at the Hudson Theatre in New York. HBO’s set a Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 8pm ET/PT premiere date. It will also stream on HBO Max.

David Byrne's American Utopia
A scene from ‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’ (Photograph by David Lee/HBO)

Details on David Byrne’s American Utopia, Courtesy of HBO:

Featuring David Byrne (former Talking Heads frontman) and an ensemble of eleven musicians from around the globe, the show invites audiences into a joyous dreamworld where human connection, self-evolution, and social justice are paramount. The HBO special was the Opening Night Presentation for the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, where it received tremendous critical acclaim.

The film includes choreographed, untethered performances of songs from Byrne’s 2018 Nonesuch album American Utopia, in addition to popular Talking Heads favorites such as “Once in a Lifetime” and “Burning Down the House.” Brief inter-song monologues allow Bryne to address various socio-political topics such as voter turnout, climate change, and immigration. The band’s powerful performance of Janelle Monáe’s “Hell You Talmbout” draws attention to police brutality toward Black Americans. Annie-B Parson’s choreography of the band members, who are mostly playing wireless instruments, creates a high-energy spectacle and exhilarating audiovisual experience.