A Covid Cure for 2020 and beyond; joy unexperienced since the world closed it doors, windows; shrinkage of entertainment venues and the intimacy of darkened halls, resurrected by “American Utopia” a visionary reminder of what once was and will rise again; palpable hope oozes from its prognostic pores; visionary David Byrne, a stylistic revivalist, an Elmer Gantry, preaching his code of inclusiveness with an international “choir” of prodigious devotees; a drought of exuberance has been replenished a thousandfold.
Whimsically wonderful David Byrne, directed by Spike Lee, struts his physical fluidity in tune with his mental acuity and unrivaled voice; choreography (Annie-B Parson) and lyrics secure prime real estate in the chronicles of musical dynamos. Byrne’s ingenious compositions refreshingly spew aphorisms from the benign to the sublime: harmless, pithy political pandering, tempered with exalted quotes from James Baldwin (1924-1987); Dadaist, Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948), “Ursonate” receives acknowledgment of his surreal craft. Byrne’s magnetism commences barefoot, suited, with his inimitable twang and cradling the human brain; connectedness weaves its lyrical message throughout; viewers embraced, held high over the performers as they challenge the confines of the stage; pulsating, unbound freedom echoes in the refrains of “Everybody’s Coming to My House”, “Doing the Right Thing”; “Bullet” and “Everyday is a Miracle” blazingly pierced every one of my sensibilities; chocking, blinding poignancy tore my heart to shreds, mended by “Road to Nowhere”. Here is everlasting music, comfortable in the rarefied chambers of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi.
“American Utopia” begs viewers to watch, listen, turn to the highest decimal, if the neighbors complain, invite them in and dance. Dance, cry, sing, as if the survival of your soul depends on it.