David Bowie is once again being an enigma with his latest project, a theatrical work based on the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth which, in turn, was based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis.
Bowie starred in that film which received mixed critical reviews when initially released but has grown into a cult favorite. Directed by Nicholas Roeg, the film also starred Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Buck Henry and Bernie Casey.
The new version will be a collaboration between Bowie and Irish playwright Edna Walsh who also wrote the Broadway version of Once. According to the New York Times, the new show will be called Lazarus and will include new songs by Bowie along with older tunes. The film also depended on older recordings by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Jim Reeves, the Kingston Trio and Joni Mitchell.
Although it would appear that this would be a Broadway musical, James C. Nicola of the New York Theatre Workshop, says that it will actually be “a play with characters and songs — I’m calling it music theater, but I don’t really know what it’s going to be like, I just have incredible trust in their creative vision.”
While plays that use music to advance the story are generally considered musicals, it is not unheard of for one to be called a play. In 2006, Peter and the Starcatcher, based on the early Peter Pan books by J.M. Barrie, was called a play even though there were a few songs within the product.
The show is expected to open later this year with direction by Ivo van Hove.
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