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Lazarus

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qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/29/08
Lazarus #1
Posted: 8/21/20 at 3:34pm
Did anyone see this? I am intrigued by it because of Michael C Hall, Bowies death and the context of his life in which he wrote some of the material/had some of the vision behind this. But I must admit reading/listening it didnt appear to make a lot of sense.

Is it that he is a dying alcoholic/drug addict and most of the show is in a psychotic state to help explain the madness? (Eg he is not really an alien, and the ending might be him finding reconciliation in death).

Its hard to understand how it all fits together if we are meant to take it literally.
"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
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JBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/6/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/6/12
Lazarus#2
Posted: 8/21/20 at 4:14pm

I didn't manage to get a ticket in NY because of how sold out it was, but I was living in London when it played there, so I did end up getting to see it. This was an interesting experience, because it seemed to me that it was more well-received in London than in NY. I attribute that to a few reasons (1) unlike the NY production, the entire London production happened after Bowie's death, and I think there was a greater sense of weight to it. Obviously, the NY production was still running when he died, but that was after the critics had come, and after word of mouth had spread, (2) I got the sense that there was a degree of "hometown pride," as Bowie was English. (3) As an Ivo Van Hove / Enda Walsh product, it was naturally very abstract and bizarre (those who only know Walsh from his work on Once and Sing Street may not realize that his plays are usually quite strange, dense, and dark, almost like Beckett).I think the Brits are more accustomed to that kind of theatre than we are. 

I personally enjoyed it, but I had the major benefit of knowing ahead of time that it would be confusing and abstract. As such, I was in the right mindset, and I just sort of allowed the mood, the themes, and the broad character arcs to sink in, without getting too caught up in the confusing details. I imparted this advice onto several friends who saw the show after me, and they all came back saying the same thing: "I loved the show, and I'm really glad you told me to go in with that mindset." 

Given that the show is a sequel to The Man Who Fell to Earth, I think we can assume he really is an alien. I've never seen or read the original, but I read the synopsis, and my understanding is that he's literally an alien. That said, I do still think that the ending IS meant to represent a reconciliation with death on a metaphoric level. 

Michael C. Hall and Sophia Ann Caruso were both wonderful. 

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TotallyEffed
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/29/07
Lazarus#3
Posted: 8/21/20 at 4:15pm
It’s David Bowie, so maybe don’t take it literally.

Watch the film/read the book it is based on, The Man Who Fell to Earth.
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CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/1/04
Lazarus#4
Posted: 8/21/20 at 5:57pm
I had no idea this show was about aliens. I still haven’t made it all the way through the album, I was so confused.
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JBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/6/12
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joined:
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Lazarus#5
Posted: 8/21/20 at 6:05pm

Given the fact that it's a jukebox musical, I don't see how one can expect to follow the story by only listening to the album. I'll grant you that the story IS, in fact, confusing, but I don't think the confusing story is the reason you can't follow it through the album. Unless it were to include a lot of the dialogue, any album of a jukebox musical is going to be pretty unhelpful to listeners trying to follow a narrative story.

 

Kruth1
Swing
joined:12/13/18
Swing
joined:
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Lazarus#6
Posted: 8/21/20 at 6:10pm
I started as an intern at NYTW two weeks before the show closed and managed to see it on closing night sitting on a stool at the back of the house. I’m not a big Ivo fan and didnt know much about Bowie at the time and so I was thoroughly confused the entire time. The actors were all great with the material they were given though. I remember being impressed with Krystina Alabado and am happy to see her star keep rising
Kruth1
Swing
joined:12/13/18
Swing
joined:
12/13/18
Lazarus#7
Posted: 8/21/20 at 6:11pm
I started as an intern at NYTW two weeks before the show closed and managed to see it on closing night sitting on a stool at the back of the house. I’m not a big Ivo fan and didnt know much about Bowie at the time and so I was thoroughly confused the entire time. The actors were all great with the material they were given though. I remember being impressed with Krystina Alabado and am happy to see her star keep rising
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
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joined:
7/22/03
Lazarus#8
Posted: 8/21/20 at 9:25pm

I saw a matinee a day or two before Bowie died. It was really something. Great performances from the leads, terrific ensemble, good band, excellent visuals.  It was very impressionistic and I thought about it for a long time. I was comfortable with the ambiguity.  A few months after that, I happened to read an interview with the writer Michael Cunningham about a phone call he received from David Bowie sometime after some version of The Hours came out.  Bowie had an idea he wanted to talk about and wondered if he could drop by Cunningham's place.

He described the strange sensation of having this gender/genre-bending icon drop by. He mentioned that Bowie fixated on an odd little collection of Barbie footwear Cunningham had on a bookshelf. The interview managed to reveal a key that helped me unlock some essential mysteries of the show and also the Roeg film of The Man Who Fell to Earth.

Bowie pointed out that arguably the most famous poem on the planet is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty and yet nobody knows anything about its writer, Emma Lazarus. It was like a lightbulb flash. Of course the show is about Thomas Jerome Newton's seeming ability to rise from the dead. But it's really about how the ideals of the US are often kept from immigrants, outsiders, others. Knowing this, it made what happened in the Roeg film seem even sadder and more tragic. And it helped me see that the musical was working on multiple levels, including luminary.

I'm so glad I saw it. The new songs were particularly great. The classics interpolated well. I came away with a special affinity for Michael Esper and Lynn Craig. And I love that I never saw ANY mention of Emma Lazarus in the production materials or reviews or chat. I'm so glad Michael Cunningham told that story to an interviewer. Oh, Bowie had dropped by to chat about whether Cunningham might have been interested in working on a stage show.

Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
LightsOut90
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joined:5/2/14
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joined:
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Lazarus#9
Posted: 8/21/20 at 11:19pm
They showed a filmed version a few years ago in Brooklyn, wonder why its never received a bugger release...?
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steven22
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joined:5/19/06
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joined:
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Lazarus#10
Posted: 8/22/20 at 9:23am

Saw it once at NYTW and twice in London. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The show is weird but unlike anything else. 

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qolbinau
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joined:6/29/08
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Lazarus#11
Posted: 8/22/20 at 10:22am

LightsOut90 said: "They showed a filmed version a few years ago in Brooklyn, wonder why its never received a bugger release...?"

Interesting. Was it a high quality filming? If so, I assume the reason must be rights/contractual/money? It seems like the perfect thing to sell to Netflix right now. I’m sure it would happen if it could. 

"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
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JBroadway
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joined:4/6/12
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Lazarus#12
Posted: 8/22/20 at 11:08am

Here's an article about it: 

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/film-of-david-bowies-lazarus-musical-to-get-live-score-201700/

It seems to have ben a special screening that incorporated the band in a live performance. As such, I would guess that the recording somehow excludes or diminishes the band track, which would make it unsuitable for streaming. 

StephieElise
Featured Actor
joined:11/12/12
Featured Actor
joined:
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Lazarus#13
Posted: 8/22/20 at 11:18am
I saw The Production Company’s production of it in Melbourne last year. It was very well done but I have absolutely no idea what it was about.
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
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Lazarus#14
Posted: 8/23/20 at 9:23pm

Immigration. Dominant culture. Fear of the Other.

Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile