Off-Broadway promotional poster
|Basis||The Man Who Fell to Earth|
by Walter Tevis
Lazarus is a musical with music and lyrics composed by David Bowie, and a book written by Enda Walsh. First performed at the end of 2015, it was one of the last works Bowie completed before his death on 10 January 2016. The musical is inspired by Walter Tevis's novel The Man Who Fell to Earth. Bowie previously starred in the 1976 film adaptation of the same name, directed by Nicolas Roeg.
As of December 2018 there have been seven productions: one each in New York, London, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Vienna, Linz and Hamburg. Further productions are planned for Aarhus, Nuremberg, Leipzig, Amsterdam, Bielefeld, Göttingen, Melbourne, Oslo and Tel-Aviv.
New York production
The musical was staged for a limited run at New York Theatre Workshop in Manhattan, directed by Ivo van Hove. Like Bowie's contemporary album Blackstar (with which it shares the song "Lazarus"), much of the production of the musical was kept secret until its first preview in November 2015. The musical opened on 7 December 2015 with a planned run through 17 January 2016, although the production was extended to 20 January 2016. Tickets to the entire run of the musical sold out within hours of being made available.
- Michael C. Hall as Thomas Jerome Newton.
- Cristin Milioti as Newton's assistant, Elly.
- Sophia Anne Caruso as Newton's muse.
- Michael Esper as Valentine.
- Alan Cumming as the girl's killer (video insert)
Bowie's last public appearance was at the 7 December 2015 opening night of the production.
New York City's mayor's office declared the final day of the play's run (20 January 2016) "David Bowie Day" in honour of the late artist and presented the proclamation to managing director Jeremy Blocker at the curtain call of the final show.
A London production of the musical ran at the Kings Cross Theatre from 8 November 2016 to 22 January 2017, with previews beginning the week of 25 October. Ivo van Hove directed the London production. The London production was produced by Robert Fox Ltd. and Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment.
- Michael C. Hall as Thomas Jerome Newton
- Amy Lennox as Newton's assistant, Elly
- Sophia Anne Caruso as Newton's muse
- Michael Esper as Valentine
- Jamie Muscato as Ben
A performance in London was recorded for a Lazarus film; the film was shown in New York for one night in May, 2018.
Lazarus features a number of songs from Bowie's back catalogue as well as four new tracks ("Lazarus", "No Plan", "Killing a Little Time", "When I Met You").
All tracks written by David Bowie, except where noted.
|2.||"It's No Game (Part 1)"||Scary Monsters (1980)|
|3.||"This Is Not America" (written by Bowie, Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays)||The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)|
|4.||"The Man Who Sold the World"||The Man Who Sold the World (1970)|
|5.||"No Plan"||No Plan (2017)|
|6.||"Love Is Lost"||The Next Day (2013)|
|7.||"Changes"||Hunky Dory (1971)|
|8.||"Where Are We Now?"||The Next Day (2013)|
|9.||"Absolute Beginners"||Absolute Beginners (1986)|
|10.||"Dirty Boys"||The Next Day (2013)|
|11.||"Killing A Little Time"||No Plan (2017)|
|12.||"Life on Mars?"||Hunky Dory (1971)|
|13.||"All the Young Dudes"||All the Young Dudes (1972)|
|14.||"Sound and Vision"||Low (1977)|
|15.||"Always Crashing in the Same Car"||Low (1977)|
|16.||"Valentine's Day"||The Next Day (2013)|
|17.||"When I Met You"||No Plan (2017)|
|18.||""Heroes"" (written by Bowie and Brian Eno)||"Heroes" (1977)|
Original cast recording
On 21 October 2016, the original cast recording, Lazarus, was released. The album also features three previously unreleased songs from Bowie, among the last he recorded prior to his death.
Lazarus met with a mixed critical reception; while some critics praised the concept and performances, others found it pretentious and difficult to follow.
Ben Brantley said in his review of the production in The New York Times that "Ice-bolts of ecstasy shoot like novas through the fabulous muddle and murk of Lazarus, the great-sounding, great-looking and mind numbing new musical built around songs by David Bowie." Rolling Stone called the musical a "tour de force" and "theater at its finest."
Among the negative reviews, Ann Trenemen of The Times called the play "pretentious rubbish" and "nonsense on stilts", while Dominic Cavendish of The Telegraph wrote that he was "disappointed" in Bowie's final project, and that "it’s hard to engage head or heart when there’s so much enigma".
Awards and nominations
Original Off-Broadway production
|2016||Drama Desk Awards||Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Michael C. Hall||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical||Brian Ronan||Nominated|
|Outstanding Projection Design||Tal Yarden||Nominated|
|Drama League Awards||Distinguished Performance||Michael C. Hall||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Awards||Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical||Nominated|
|Outstanding Book of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)||Enda Walsh||Nominated|
|Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical||Michael Esper||Nominated|
|Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Sophia Anne Caruso||Nominated|
|Outstanding Projection Design (Play or Musical)||Tal Yarden||Nominated|
|Lucille Lortel Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical||Michael C. Hall||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical||Sophia Anne Caruso||Nominated|
Original Off-West End production
|2017||WhatsOnStage Awards||Best Actor in a Musical||Michael C. Hall||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Musical||Amy Lennox||Nominated|
|Sophia Anne Caruso||Nominated|
|Best Video Design||Tal Yarden||Nominated|
- Kurutz, Steven (16 January 2016). "David Bowie: Invisible New Yorker". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- "Lazarus – Lortel Archives".
- Holland, Eric (6 January 2016). "Producer Tony Visconti Talks David Bowie and Blackstar". Hollandude. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
- Dizon, Jan (13 January 2016). "Off-Broadway Play Lazarus Is David Bowie's Swan Song". Tech Times. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- Clement, Olivia (7 December 2015). "David Bowie's Lazarus Opens Off-Broadway Tonight". Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- "New York Declares 'David Bowie Day' as Final Play Ends". 21 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
- Clement, Olivia (7 October 2015). "Tickets to David Bowie's Lazarus Sell Out Within Hours". Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- Grow, Kory (1 March 2016). "Cristin Milioti on Fargo, David Bowie and That HIMYM Finale". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- Grow, Kory (7 December 2015). "David Bowie's Lazarus Is Surrealistic Tour de Force". Rolling Stone. New York City: Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- Felton-Dansk, Miriam (8 December 2015). "The Man Who Fell to Earth Rises Again in Lazarus...Or Does He?". The Village Voice. New York City: VF Media. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- "Bowie's final public appearance". Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- "Mayor's Office Declares Wednesday 'David Bowie Day'". CBS Local – New York. 20 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
- "David Bowie musical Lazarus to open in London". BBC. 25 July 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Longman, Will (15 September 2016). "Full cast announced for David Bowie's Lazarus". WhatsOnStage.com. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- Shea, Christopher (25 July 2016). "Lazarus, a Musical by David Bowie and Enda Walsh, to Open in London". New York Times. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Lee, Ashley (25 July 2016). "It's Official: David Bowie's Lazarus Musical Sets London Run". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Seymour, Corey (2 May 2018). "David Bowie's Lazarus Rises Again in Brooklyn". Vogue. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
- Bonner, Michael (8 December 2015). "David Bowie's Lazarus musical: song titles revealed". Uncut. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "Lazarus: David Bowie musical receives mixed reviews on London transfer". BBC. London, England. 9 November 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Brantley, Ben (8 December 2015). "Review: David Bowie Songs and a Familiar Alien in 'Lazarus'". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
- Treneman, Ann (9 November 2016). "Theatre: Lazarus at King's Cross Theatre, N1". The Times. London, England: News UK. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- Cavandish, Dominic (8 November 2016). "Lazarus review – Bowie musical lands in London, but does it really make the grade?". The Telegraph. London, England: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 30 April 2019.