×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

David Bowie Musical of ‘Man Who Fell to Earth’ Lands Off Broadway

David Bowie becomes the latest rocker to try his hand at a stage musical with “Lazarus,” a new adaptation of novel “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” which he’ll co-create with playwright Enda Walsh and director Ivo van Hove.

The show, part of the 2015-16 season at Off Broadway’s New York Theater Workshop, will include new songs written by Bowie specifically for this production, as well as previously recorded songs in new arrangements. “Lazarus” marks Bowie’s second visit to Walter Tevis’ 1963 novel, following Nicholas Roeg’s 1976 movie adaptation, in which Bowie starred.

In recent years popular musicians and songwriters including Cyndi Lauper (“Kinky Boots”), Billie Joe Armstrong (“American Idiot”) and Sting (“The Last Ship”) have given stage shows a shot in increasing numbers, with varying degrees of success. Lauper’s “Kinky Boots,” for instance, became a Tony-winning hit, while Sting’s “Last Ship” quickly sank.

Bowie won’t appear in “Lazarus,” although he’s taken a turn onstage in the past. In 1980 he played the title role in a Broadway staging of “The Elephant Man,” appearing in the part that Bradley Cooper played in a revival of “The Elephant Man” earlier this season.

“Lazarus” reunites NYTW with Walsh, whose previous musical outing at the theater, “Once,” went on to a successful Broadway run. Van Hove, meanwhile, frequently works at the Workshop, and his growing international reputation has been fueled lately by a well-received adaptation of “Scenes From a Marriage” at NYTW and, in London, by stagings of “A View From the Bridge” and “Antigone.”

“Lazarus” is part of a NYTW season that also includes “Fondly, Collette Richard” from the troupe Elevator Repair Service (“Gatz”). Written by Sibyl Kempson and directed by ERS artistic director John Collins, the new play follows a married couple who get sucked into a phantasmagorical world.

Dates and casting for “Lazarus” and “Fondly, Collette Richard” remain to be set.

More Legit

  • Audra McDonald Frankie and Johnny

    Listen: How Audra McDonald Faced Her Fear in 'Frankie and Johnny'

    When producers offered Audra McDonald a role in “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” opposite Michael Shannon, she immediately said yes. Then she remembered the nude scene. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “Hell, yes, there was trepidation,” the Tony-winning actress said on the new episode of Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast. “I was [...]

  • A Strange Loop review

    Off Broadway Review: 'A Strange Loop'

    “No one cares about a writer who is struggling to write,” sings the anxiety-ridden lead character in Michael R. Jackson’s sometimes exhilarating, sometimes exasperating new musical, “A Strange Loop,” at Playwrights Horizons. The abundantly talented Jackson takes the otherwise tired trope of the young, poor and sensitive artist trying to discover his true self and [...]

  • Richard E Grant Everybody's Talking About

    Richard E. Grant to Play Former Drag Queen in 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie'

    Oscar-nominated actor Richard E. Grant will portray a former drag queen and mentor in “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” the movie adaptation of the British stage musical. “Catastrophe” co-creator and star Sharon Horgan and “Happy Valley” star Sarah Lancashire have also joined the film. Max Harwood will play the titular role of Jamie, a role inspired [...]

  • The Secret Life of Bees review

    Off Broadway Review: 'The Secret Life of Bees'

    There’s a sweet sense of sisterhood that’s simply divine in “The Secret Life of Bees,” the heartwarming new musical at the Atlantic Theater Company based on Sue Monk Kidd’s bestselling 2002 coming-of-age novel, set in South Carolina in 1964 amid Civil Rights struggles. (A 2008 film adaptation starred Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah.) The feeling [...]

  • 10 Comics to Watch

    Variety Announces 10 Comics to Watch for 2019

    Variety has chosen its 10 Comics to Watch for 2019. The honorees will be profiled in the July 18 issue of Variety and at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal at a cocktail party on Thursday, July 25, followed by a panel and showcase on Friday, July 26. The events are sponsored by Cohen & Gardner LLP. The [...]

  • Vanessa Hudgens So You Think You

    Vanessa Hudgens, Hailey Kilgore to Star in Reading of 'The Notebook' Musical

    Vanessa Hudgens and Tony-nominee Hailey Kilgore are joining an upcoming reading of Ingrid Michaelson’s stage adaptation of “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks. Tony nominee Michael Greif is set to direct the reading, which will open June 23 at Vassar College’s Martel Theater as part of their Powerhouse Theater season. Kilgore will star as the younger [...]

  • Moulin Rouge director Alex Timbers

    'Beetlejuice,' 'Moulin Rouge!' Director Alex Timbers on Creating Worlds on Broadway

    In the past year, Alex Timbers has directed the Tony-nominated “Beetlejuice” and the stage adaptation of “Moulin Rouge!” (which begins previews June 28 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre). Here, he reflects on his most recent projects and the challenges of bringing two iconic movie musicals to Broadway within a year.  Both your musicals live in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content