“Babies’ brains have hundreds of millions more neural connections than we do as adults,” David Byrne tells us early in his show, American Utopia, now running on Broadway.
By the end of the show, I’m pretty sure everybody in the audience has regained at least a few of those lost neural connections.
I had the chance to see this last week with my two lads, who are in their early twenties.
By the end, everybody’s dancing, cheering, self-consciousness gone. It’s a performance that turns a room full of mostly middle-aged, mostly tired Talking Heads fans into a bunch of happy babies.
The visuals are astonishing in their simplicity: from Maira Kalman’s stage curtain to David Byrne and his musicians all dressed in pale gray suits, feet bare—the coolest marching band you ever saw.
The band is loaded with percussion and dancers and joy—constantly in motion like a Busby Berkeley musical for the modern age. The music is a wall of sound. By the end of it, you think you can pretty much solve some problem. You at least got to dance like nobody’s watching. Even your two boys loved it.
The Sunday Morning profile up top gives you a glimpse of it all. The show runs through February 16 if you find yourself in New York.