David Byrne’s American Utopia, the theatrical concert performance that played a limited engagement on Broadway to great acclaim and full houses for five months in 2019 and 2020, and months ago announced a 2021 return, has found its venue: Utopia will begin performances at Jujamcyn’s St. James Theatre on the previously announced Friday, Sept. 17.
Byrne will return to Broadway with his original American Utopia band fully intact: Jacquelene Acevedo, Gustavo Di Dalva, Daniel Freedman, Chris Giarmo, Tim Keiper, Tendayi Kuumba, Karl Mansfield, Mauro Refosco, Stéphane San Juan, Angie Swan and Bobby Wooten III.
“It is with great pleasure that finally, after a year+ like no other, I can announce that our show is coming back to Broadway,” Byrne said. “You who kept the faith, who held on to your tickets, well, you knew this would happen eventually! September 17 – remount previews begin.
“We’re moving to the St. James Theatre – just down 44th Street from the Hudson, where we were before,” continued the former Talking Heads frontman. “The stage is a little wider and the capacity is a little bigger – I guess we did alright! Seriously, New York is back, and given all we’ve witnessed, felt and experienced, it is obvious to me that no one wants to go back to a world with EVERYTHING the way it was – we have an opportunity for a new world here. See you there.”
The move from the Hudson to the St. James would also seem to reinforce Bruce Springsteen’s insistence regarding the strictly limited run of his own show, Springsteen on Broadway: The Boss has said that his return to Broadway will run from June 26 to Sept. 4, and the Fall booking of the St. James by Byrne signals that Springsteen is serious this time about leaving on time.
The Hudson, meanwhile, has long been planned as the venue for the revival of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite starring Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker. That production, postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic shutdown, has not yet announced performance dates.
American Utopia tickets are on sale now, and all ticketholders with valid prior bookings have been emailed with their performance information. Ticketholders may contact their point of booking with any questions or requests.
In the gorgeously staged performance, Byrne and his 11 culturally diverse musicians present new takes on old Talking Heads classics and selections from Byrne’s solo albums including his most recent American Utopia. With Moulin Rouge! director Alex Timbers serving as production consultant, Utopia also features choreography and musical staging iby Annie-B Parson that pays tribute to Byrne’s distinctive moves in fresh ways.
The Broadway production at the Hudson was filmed by director Spike Lee for a 2020 HBO adaptation (currently on HBO Max).
The production is the latest in more than 30 Broadway productions, new or returning, to set Fall dates as the industry reopens from the Covid pandemic shutdown of 15 months and counting.
David Byrne’s American Utopia is produced by Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Patrick Catullo and Todomundo with Hal Luftig, Jonathan Reinis, Shira Friedman, Annapurna Theatre, Elizabeth Armstrong, Thomas Laub, Steven Rosenthal, Erica Lynn Schwartz, Matt Picheny, Steve Traxler, Len Blavatnik, Nonesuch Records, Warner Chappell Music and Ambassador Theatre Group Productions. Allan Williams serves as Executive Producer.