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David Bowie To Revisit The Past With New Musical Based On ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’

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David Bowie by Jimmy King

The New York Theatre Workshop announced that, this winter, it will premiere the new musical theater production Lazarus, co-written by legendary musician David Bowie and Anda Walsh, Tony-winning playwright of Once. The play will be based on Walter Tevis’s 1963 novel The Man Who Fell To Earth, a book that was previously adapted into a Bowie-starring film in 1976.

Bowie has been secretly working on the play for years. Similar to last year’s Bowie compilation album Nothing Has Changed, Lazarus will be a mixture of new and old, featuring previously unheard, Bowie-penned songs as well as new arrangements of old songs. Rather than a straight adaptation of the novel or film, the play will instead be a new story featuring many of the same characters. Bowie—who had portrayed the main character, alien Thomas Newton, in the film adaptation—will not appear onstage in Lazarus.

Much like Bowie’s surreal, cult-favorite film adaptation of the book, Lazarus promises to be a unique, likely unusual production. James C. Nicola, artistic director of the New York Theatre Workshop, had difficulty describing the play other than to say that he is excited for it. Lazarus will be directed by Belgian director Ivo van Hove.

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