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David Bowie co-creating new play, with new music, based on ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’

David Bowie is writing new music and collaborating with playwright Enda Walsh for a new work of musical theater based on the story of The Man Who Fell to Earth, reports the New York Times. The new work, titled Lazarus, will be presented off-Broadway by the New York Theater Workshop and directed by Ivo van Howe. Bowie, the company said, will not appear onstage in the show. At this point, little more is known about this new musical under development.

The Man Who Fell to Earth is a 1976 science fiction film directed by Nicolas Roeg, based on the 1963 novel by Walter Tevis and starring Bowie as Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien who comes to Earth in human form to bring much-needed water back to his home planet. The film has become a cult classic, and features prominently in the career-spanning Bowie exhibit that just visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

Lazarus, the New York Theater Workshop’s artistic director James C. Nicola told the Times, “has been in secret development for some years” and focuses on the story of Thomas Newton. It will include both new Bowie songs and new arrangements of existing songs.

“It’s going to be a play with characters and songs,” said Nicola. “I’m calling it music theater, but I don’t really know what it’s going to be like, I just have incredible trust in their creative vision.”