The piece began as an album that Byrne, of Talking Heads fame, released on Nonesuch Records in March 2018. The recording was his first to reach number one on the Album Chart and was also his first to reach the Top Five on the Billboard 200 chart.
The concert, which features choreography and musical staging by Annie-B Parson, includes songs from American Utopi along with songs from Talking Heads and Byrne's solo career.
American Utopia opened on Broadway to rave reviews on October 20, 2019, and recouped its initial $4 million investment in mid-December 2019, just 10 weeks after opening.
American Utopia features David Byrne with Jacquelene Acevedo, Gustavo Di Dalva, Daniel Freedman, Chris Giarmo, Tim Keiper, Tendayi Kuumba, Karl Mansfield, Mauro Refosco, Stéphane San Juan, Angie Swan, and Bobby Wooten III.
The design team includes Rob Sinclair (lighting) and Pete Keppler (sound). Karl Mansfield and Mauro Refosco are musical directors. Choreography and musical staging is by Annie-B Parson. Alex Timbers serves as production consultant.
It will be broadcast on Sky Arts (channel 11) on Saturday 18 December at 6pm.
Furthermore, Joseph Charlton's Anna X will be broadcast on Thursday 16 December at 9pm. First seen at Vault Festival in 2019, the piece stars Emma Corrin (The Crown) and Nabhaan Rizwan (Informer) as two influencers who find themselves struggling to keep up with New York's social elite.
Directed by Daniel Raggett, it has set and video design by Mikaela Liakata and Tal Yarden, lighting design by Jessica Hung Han Yun, sound design by Mike Winship and costume design by Natalie Pryce.