When I was in 9th grade, my favorite album (non-ironic) was Stop Making Sense, and my favorite television show (semi-ironic) was Degrassi. Both Talking Heads and Degrassi had guitar players: one of them a bipolar ham, the other a high-minded goofball with suspiciously dancin' feet. Last night, I saw both of these guitar players.
I'm reviewing Here Lies Love, David Byrne's new musical, for Howlround's new NewCrit program. (I realized last night that Howlround is really hard to say—even worse than Rural Juror. New NewCrit is just as bad.) To that end, I scored a ticket to last night's opening at the Public. I thought the show was still in previews. If I'd realized it was opening night, I would have dressed a little better. If I'd known this was an option, I'd have made like David Byrne, and worn a jumpsuit.
For details on the production, you'll have to wait on my review, which won't run until it's been written. (And it won't be written until after lunch, at the very least.) But I can say that David Byrne likes his new musical, and so do I. He spent the whole show dancing, bobbing his head, and singing along, providing a nice visual for what a relevant sixty year-old rock star looks like. Seeing him in a theater is not much of a novelty. There's a How I Met Your Mother bit about how every New Yorker has seen Woody Allen—that's how I feel about Byrne. I've seen him perform, seen him riding his bike, and seen him (for some reason) give a Powerpoint presentation about architecture. Last night, I got to see him have a very good time.
At one point during the play, the audience is forced to line dance. I am okay at dancing, but awful at following instructions, and felt very awkward the entire time. So did everyone else, besides David Byrne, who had presumably had time to practice. He danced behind me, having a good time, but not quite as good a time as the elderly Filipino man who was dancing to my right.
After the show ended, the audience didn't want to leave. Filing down to the lobby, we found ourselves being given cocktails, and welcomed to an after party for which I felt distinctly under dressed and quite happy to attend. Craig from Degrassi, who spent the entire play looking ashen faced and confused, was gone by this point. I drank four or five piña coladas, and left after an hour or so, when the sugar in the not-very-boozy cocktails started to make my teeth hurt. I had a marvelous time, and so did David Byrne, and it makes me happy to know that we both enjoyed our Sunday evenings for somewhat similar reasons.
An Hour Or So Later...
I just realized this post needs some music. Because the above image made me think of it:
Man, I love this song.