David Byrne Writes Second Musical

by VVN Music

Former Talking Heads leader David Byrne is going for a second round in the musical theater.

In 2010, Byrne and Fatboy Slim released the original concept album for their musical Here Lies Love. Based on the story of Imelda Marcos, the first lady of the Philippines, the album was turned into a full production that premiered off-Broadway in 2013 at the Public Theatre, returning for a second run during the 2014-15 season. The original production won five Lucille Lortel Awards while the London production was nominated for three Oliviers.

This time around, Byrne has taken on the story of Joan of Arc, a heroine of the French during the 100 Years War and a saint in Roman Catholic church.

Byrne talked of the new show in his official blog, saying that, like Here Lies Love, this show will be almost all contemporary music with very little dialog; however, he calls the songs more "anthemic and spiritual" instead of an upbeat, disco sound of the earlier show.

David said he chose Joan of Arc because she was "someone—a nobody, a teenage girl—who inspired others to act, to overthrow their oppressors and take charge of their lives. She transforms from an innocent, into an androgynous warrior, and finally a martyr. Joan's story is about the power of the individual to make a difference and (for me) the hubris and sometimes oversteps that often go along with that. In other words—it's completely relevant."

The show is set to open next spring at the Public Theatre with Here Lies Love director Alex Timbers returning along with other Love alumni Clint Ramos (costumes) and Justin Townsend (lighting). Steven Hoggett is being brought in to do movement and Christopher Barreca on set design.


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