Performance of Bowie musical 'Lazarus' becomes memorial for musician

NEW YORK -- A performance of David Bowie's trippy, melancholy musical "Lazarus" turned into a memorial for the Thin White Duke on Tuesday night as fans who had bought tickets to celebrate his music instead found themselves mourning his passing.

See Full Article

"It was incredible. I wept a lot," said Evan Schwartz, a 20-year-old student from Stanford, Connecticut, who saw the show for a second time after scoring a ticket in an online lottery. "It was beautiful."

Tuesday night's performance was the first time since Bowie's death on Monday that the show went on at the 200-seat New York Theatre Workshop in New York's East Village. Some audience members left in tears.

Cast members did not acknowledge the death or make any changes to the show. They also declined to comment. The only official nod to Bowie's death was a video screen in the lobby showing a photo of the musician with the words "In Memoriam, 1947-2016." Fans left flowers near the entrance.

Starring "Dexter" and "Six Feet Under" actor Michael C. Hall, the musical has been a hit since previews began on Nov. 18. Bowie's death only made tickets more desired, with a single matinee seat going Tuesday afternoon for $1,900 on StubHub.

Bowie wrote the musical with Irish playwright Enda Walsh as a sequel to the 1963 novel "The Man Who Fell to Earth" by Walter Tevis, which inspired the 1976 film of the same name that he starred in. The musical is directed by Belgian avant-garde director Ivo Van Hove.

Bowie was clearly the draw for Roberta Bethencourt, a New Jersey resident who has been a Bowie fan since she was 12 years old.

"I used to go to the library and when other kids were getting books, I was getting 'Space Oddity' and bringing it home and playing over and over again," she said. "I had no idea what an impact he had on so many people. I loved him because he was so different and unique."

The 18-songs in the musical include some of Bowie's biggest hits -- including "Changes," "Heroes," "Absolute Beginners" and "Life on Mars" -- as well as new songs like "Lazarus," taken from Bowie's latest "Blackstar" album.

The opaque story centres on millionaire alien Thomas Jerome Newton, who Bowie portrayed in the film. Newton, played now by Hall, has imprisoned himself in his own apartment, drinking gin, eating Twinkies, being tormented by his past and watching TV. He cannot leave -- or die.

His new assistant gets sucked deeper into his world, Newton is visited by an ethereal girl who creates a rocket ship out of masking tape to take him home, and he's harassed by an enigmatic, black-clad figure. At one point, the stage is filled with white liquid resembling milk, which some actors bodysurf on. At another, it's is filled with dark balloons.

The story has a recurring theme of creatures caught between worlds and the exhaustion that comes with daily survival. "I'm done with this living," a character cries out a one point, in a line that had more depth after Bowie's passing.

The rest of the 11-member cast includes Tony Award nominee Cristin Milioti and Broadway veteran Michael Esper. There is also a video appearance by Alan Cumming.

The New York Theatre Workshop, an engine for bold works, has not been immune to tragedy like this. Almost 20 years ago to the day, playwright Jonathan Larson died on the eve of the company's first preview of his groundbreaking "Rent."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Mahershala Ali to star in 'True Detective 3'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Oscar winner Mahershala Ali will front the third season of TV police drama True Detective. The Moonlight star recently signed on for the anthology series, which previously starred Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey in season one and Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams last year. Source
  • Michael Jackson estate owes Quincy Jones $9.4 million, jury finds

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — A jury on Wednesday found that Michael Jackson’s estate owes Quincy Jones $9.4 million in royalties and production fees from “Billie Jean,” ”Thriller“ and more of the superstar’s biggest hits. The award from a Los Angeles Superior Court jury fell short of the $30 million the legendary producer sought in the lawsuit filed nearly four years ago, but well above the approximately $392,000 the Jackson estate contended Jones was owed. Source
  • Michael Jackson estate owes Quincy Jones US$9.4 million: jury

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A jury on Wednesday found that Michael Jackson's estate owes Quincy Jones US$9.4 million in royalties and production fees from "Billie Jean," "Thriller" and more of the superstar's biggest hits. The award from a Los Angeles Superior Court jury fell short of the $30 million the legendary producer sought in the lawsuit filed nearly four years ago, but well above the approximately $392,000 the Jackson estate contended Jones was owed. Source
  • Michael Caine has secret cameo in 'Dunkirk'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Movie veteran Michael Caine has a small cameo in pal Christopher Nolan’s war movie Dunkirk - but he doesn’t actually appear in the film. The actor, who has appeared in a handful of Nolan’s projects, including the Dark Knight trilogy, was recorded giving orders to Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden’s fighter pilot characters. Source
  • Jennifer Aniston teases Jason Bateman with throwback photos at his Walk of Fame star unveiling [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Jennifer Aniston poked fun at her pal Jason Bateman as he unveiled a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday. The actor’s frequent co-star donned a floral patterned dress to salute Jason at the ceremony and she used the event to joke about her first meeting with Bateman. Source
  • Jon Stewart returning to HBO with standup special

    Entertainment CTV News
    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Jon Stewart is bringing his comedy to HBO. The network announced Wednesday that Stewart will return to the network for his first stand-up special since 1996. Stewart is also set to host the "Night of Too Many Stars" tribute in November benefiting Next for Autism, which will feature sketches, short film and standup comedy. Source
  • Angelina Jolie reveals health, marriage problems in new interview

    Entertainment CBC News
    Angelina Jolie revealed she developed high blood pressure and Bell's palsy last year. The actress-director told Vanity Fair she credits acupuncture for her full recovery from the paralysis, which was caused by nerve damage and led one side of her face to droop. Source
  • Justin Bieber the 'Tom Cruise' of Hillsong Church

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Justin Bieber is being called the “Tom Cruise” of the Hillsong Church. The Sydney-based church – with branches in 19 countries – has found itself in the spotlight after the troubled troubadour cancelled the remaining 14 dates of his Purpose tour. Source
  • Angelina Jolie reveals Bell's palsy diagnosis in Vanity Fair

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Angelina Jolie says she developed high blood pressure and Bell's palsy last year. The actress-director tells Vanity Fair that she credits acupuncture for her full recovery from the paralysis, which was caused by nerve damage and led one side of her face to droop. Source
  • $20M Annie Leibovitz collection rejected for 4th time by Canadian tribunal

    Entertainment CBC News
    A federal tribunal has — for the fourth time — rejected the bulk of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia's enormous Annie Leibovitz collection, raising questions about whether the prints by the famous American photographer will ever be displayed in Halifax. Source