Saturday, April 13, 2024

David Byrne Moves One Letter Closer to “EGOT” with Special Tony Award Announced Today for “American Utopia”


I think I first saw David Byrne and the Talking Heads in 1977 in Boston, probably at the Rathskeller. I awoke one morning to Charles Laquidara playing a song about people living in buildings “with every convenience.” It was the strangest song I ever heard, and remains a favorite 40 plus years later.

So guess what? David is receiving a Special Tony Award for his hit Broadway show, the unique “American Utopia.” He’ll receive it on September 26th at the belated 2020 Tony Awards. Bravo!

This gives David three of the four letters in “EGOT.” He has a Grammy, of course, and an Oscar for collaborating on the 1988 score of “The Last Emperor. Now he has a Tony Award. He may be Emmy nominated for “American Utopia” which was directed by Spike Lee for HBO this past year. He should win. Then he will be an EGOT.

“American Utopia” returns to Broadway this fall as soon as “Springsteen on Broadway” wraps up its summer run. The house of “Hello, Dolly!” and “The Producers” is rockin’ this year! (“American Idiot” also played there.) I could see “AU” over and over. Congrats to David!

PS Special Tony Awards are also going to Lin Manuel Miranda’s “Freestyle Love Supreme,: created by Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale iwith Miranda, and  was developed in the basement of The Drama Bookshop in 2004, which they now all own. The show ran at Broadway’s Booth Theatre in 2019. Directed by Kail, the acclaimed show features a comedic improvisational musical structure, and a rotating cast; Freestyle Love Supreme will return to Broadway for a strictly limited engagement at the Booth on Thursday, October 7 through Sunday, January 2, 2022.

Now the Tony’s will have some cool stuff to put on CBS September 26th. Good work!


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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