David Byrne’s American Utopia—which officially opened its return engagement October 17—has been closed since December 22 with several members of the Tony-winning production isolated at home with positive COVID-19 test results.
Rather than canceling additional shows, Byrne and the American Utopia band will return to Broadway's St. James Theatre December 28 with a modified program.
Watch a video message above from Byrne, who also said in a statement, “Fortunately, the vaccinated band members and crew who have tested positive don’t have severe symptoms and are staying home following the CDC guidelines. Unfortunately, they can’t come to the theatre for the next week or so, which means we’ve chosen to make some creative changes to enable us to put on a show.
"What we are doing could be called Unplugged, or maybe Unchained. We are adding some songs by Talking Heads as well as songs from my solo catalog, that will supplement songs already in American Utopia. I know it’s going to be a 'once in a lifetime' experience, that will only be seen for a few performances. We are ready to have a good time!”
During New Year's Week, American Utopia offers performances December 28 at 8 PM, December 29 at 8 PM, December 30 at 5 PM and 9 PM, January 1, 2022, at 5 PM, and January 2 at 3 PM.
American Utopia features Byrne with band members 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. The company standbys are Renée Albulario, Alena Ciera, Chris Eddleton, Evan Frierson, Abe Nouri, and Natalie Tenenbaum.
Under the guidance of production consultant Alex Timbers (Moulin Rouge!), the show features lighting design by Rob Sinclair, sound design by Pete Keppler, and musical direction by Karl Mansfield and Mauro Refosco. Annie-B Parson provides choreography and musical staging.