Michael C. Hall In David Bowie’s “Lazarus” – Review

Michael C. Hall David Bowie Lazarus Live Review

David Bowie’s “Lazarus” is a spiritual successor to Walter Tevis’ sci-fi novel “The Man Who Fell to Earth”. At its core, “Lazarus” is a two-hour meditation on grief and lost hope, but it takes so many wild, fantastical, eye-popping turns that it never drags.  

The plot centers on Newton (Dexter’s Michael C. Hall), an alien who lives a miserable, reclusive life ever since he shunned his human ex-lover and was experimented on by the government. His last attempt to build a spaceship to return to his home planet – where his family is – was foiled.

Now, the morose martian spends his days subsisting on cereal, staring at a television, and getting drunk on gin. His assistant, Elly (Fargo’s Cristin Milioti), struggles with her marriage at home and subsequently finds herself increasingly attracted to her boss. Also, a cherubic, mysterious girl (Sophia Anne Caruso) appears and devotes herself to helping Newton escape, while a sinister stranger named Valentine (Michael Esper) lurks in the shadows.  

Michael C. Hall David Bowie Lazarus Live Review

The set was also minimalist: an unmade bed, a refrigerator, a record player, and a giant television. Behind glass windows, seven musicians played the soundtrack. The music proved to be a huge highlight of the experience.

Some subplots – such as Valentine stalking an attractive couple – felt less than essential to the story. Non-sequitur scenes, such as a bizarre moment when Newton is confronted by a geisha character, seemed to indicate that the protagonist exists outside of our perception of time and space. Director Ivo van Hove also further promoted this concept by sleek, layered scenes where Newton observed multiple plotlines occur simultaneously.  

Click here for the full review.

Michael C. Hall Talks About “Dexter” And His New Play “Lazarus”

Michael C. Hall Lazarus

 Via timeout: If you ask Michael C. Hall, being known worldwide for playing a convincingly charismatic serial killer is every bit the head trip it sounds. “It’s existentially challenging,” he says with a laugh. “People have told me that they relate to the character and that they have their own homicidal fantasies that the show’s soothed.” When he’s off the clock, the 44-year-old is a low-key kind of celebrity who could be mistaken for an average guy if his clothes weren’t just that much nicer and his looks that much more handsome. Sitting by the window at a West Village coffee-shop not far from his home—we won’t say which spot, because, you know, creepy—the former Dexter star isn’t attracting any scarily devoted superfans, but he’s still drawing glances from the clientele over their flat whites. The roles Hall takes tend to be far from the fairly normal guy he seems to be, whether it’s a vigilante forensics analyst on “Dexter”, a gay funeral home director struggling with his sexuality on “Six Feet Under”, a glam-rock gender bender in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” or the reason for our chat today: an extraterrestrial captain of industry in new Off Broadway show Lazarus.  

“I had no mission statement to have a certain number of characters surrounded by bodies,” he says. “It’s just the way it’s unfolded. I just take it as it comes, and this seems to be what keeps coming. But, yeah, I do seem to find myself with the chance to play characters who are in their ways singular or odd or isolated or extreme.” 

Hall plays one of his most atypical roles yet in Lazarus, an adaptation of Walter Tevis’s 1963 novel, “The Man Who Fell to Earth”, with a script co-written by Enda Walsh and direction by Belgian visionary Ivo van Hove. Not only is Hall tackling the character David Bowie nailed in Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 film adaptation, but he’s also singing a selection of Bowie songs, including some that were written specifically for the stage show and have yet to be performed in public by anyone—even Ziggy Stardust himself. “I met him probably a month or so before we started rehearsals and sang through most of my stuff,” he says of working with Bowie. “And it was a very heady experience to sing Bowie songs in an East Village apartment for Bowie. I had to turn off a part of my brain just to keep my head about me.”  

Despite working from the same source material as the film, not to mention Bowie’s involvement, Hall insists that Lazarus will be “its own organism.” The play picks up with Newton where the movie left him, well after he gave up on his mission to bring Earth’s water to his own drought-stricken planet and succumbed to the sad, decadent lifestyle afforded to him by Earth’s market for alien technology. “A great number of years have passed,” says Hall, “and he’s in a state of self-imposed exile, in a world that he meant only to visit and can’t leave, and is in a bit of a prison of his own making, a prison of his own mind.”  

“The name of the film is The Man Who Fell to Earth,” points out Hall, “not The Alien Who Fell to Earth. He comes to planet Earth and falls victim to appetites and ego and longings that are fundamental to any human’s experience. He’s simultaneously singular and an everyman.”   

The actor describes Lazarus’s staging as “some sort of mash-up of the realistic and the existential” and “as much an interior as an exterior landscape,” but he’s not willing to give away much more. Maybe he got used to keeping secrets during Dexter’s age of spoiler alerts. “It was kind of miraculous that we were able to keep things under wraps on Dexter,” he says, “given how many people were involved in making that show. I mean, we were never required to sign a nondisclosure agreement. We had watermarked scripts and cover letters that said please don’t divulge any story secrets, even to your family or significant other.”   

The North Carolina native moved to NYC in 1993 for the Graduate Acting program at NYU. “I don’t think what I was able to do in 1993—coming here, living in the far East Village and going to grad school without being completely crippled with debt—would be possible now,” he tells me. “Of course, when I got here, the conversation was the same. Everyone was telling me how great it used to be. Maybe that’s just perpetual,” he says. “But there are times when Manhattan just feels like sort of a self-congratulatory playground for the rich. That can be distressing.” Hall certainly seems uninterested in that kind of environment; he says one of his favorite things to do in the city is walk his dachshund-spaniel mix Sal (short for “Salamander”) every day in Washington Square Park.  

For the time being, he says he’s more or less living at the theater. “Lazarus” is taking up so much of his headspace that Hall seems a little disoriented when I bring up his upcoming project “Christine”, the Antonio Campos film about news anchors in ’70s Florida that’s slated for release next year, before his secretive reflex kicks in. “I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to say about it,” he tells me. “Something happens.” Fair enough.

“DEXTER” – The Cast After Two Years

It’s been over two years since Dexter officially came to an end, and since then the cast has continued to kick butt in other projects. Check out what the cast has been doing after the jump.  

 

Michael C. Hall (Dexter Morgan): Since starring in the Showtime series, the 44-year-old has focused most of his attention towards Broadway plays. He played the lead role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, playing a transgender singer, last year, and early next month he’ll star in the off-Broadway musical Lazarus co-written by David Bowie. He’s dating writer Morgan Macgregor, 

Dexter Cast Two Years Jennifer Carpenter (Debra Morgan): In August of this year, the 35-year-old welcomed her first child with fiancée and musician Seth Avett. She currently stars in the CBS showLimitless”.   

James Remar Dexter Cast Two Years  James Remar (Harry Morgan): The 61-year-old has kept busy since Dexter” ended. He has a recurring role in NBC’s show State of Affairs” and a few movies coming out later this year including The Night Watchmen”, Decommissioned”, and The Wrong Side of Right”. He also starred in the film Unnatural” earlier this year.  

Julie Benz Dexter Two Years Julie Benz (Rita Bennett): The 43-year-old was in the Hallmark movie Charming Christmas”. She starred along her best friend Jaime Murray (Lila West, Season 2) in the SyFy series “Defiance”. The show was cancelled on October 16 after only 3 seasons.   

David Zayas Dexter Cast Two Years David Zayas (Angel Batista): The 53-year-old is on the FOX show Gotham” and has a bunch of movies coming out next year including Tallulah” with Ellen Page and Zachary Quinto, and The Lennon Report”.

Desmond Harrington (Joey Quinn): stars on the ABC show The Astronaut Wives Club” and will be in the movie The Neon Demon” with Keanu Reeves next year. He guest starred on an episode of “Limitless” recently with Jennifer Carpenter.    

C.S. Lee Dexter Cast Two Years C.S. Lee (Vince Masuka): has had guest spots in a bunch of hit TV shows including “Criminal Minds”, Fresh Off the Boat” and True Detective”. He will be in the upcoming Starz show Power next year.

 

Aimee Garcia (Jamie Batista): Next year the 36-year-old will be in the movies Rush Hour”, After the Reality” with Matthew Morrison, and Sister Cities” with Michelle Trachtenberg.   
Preston Bailey Dexter Cast Two Years Preston Bailey (Cody Bennett): The 15-year-old has continued to act and has been in a handful of movies including “By God’s Grace” with his brother Brennan,18, and “A Million Ways to Die in the West” with Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron.  

Christina Robinson Dexter Cast Two Years Christina Robinson( Astor Bennett): The 18-year-old has a few movies coming out next year including Emma’s Chance” with Joey Lawrence and Trail’s End”.    

Lauren Velez Dexter Cast Two Years Lauren Velez (Maria LaGuerta): was in a few episodes of WE TV’s South of Hell” and will be in the movies Officer Downe” and Adrift” next year.  

Yvonne Strahovski Hannah McKay Dexter Cast Two Years Yvonne Strahovski (Hannah McKay): is also in the ABC show “The Astronaut Wives Club” with Desmond Harrington. Next year her movie “All I See Is You” with Blake Lively will hit theaters.  

For the rest of the cast members click here.

Jeff Lindsay About “Dexter” Series And Moving On: “The Adaptation They Did Was Very Faithful In Spirit, And Very Well Done. So I Got No Complaints At All About Showtime.”

Jeff Lindsay About "Dexter" Series And Moving On: “The Adaptation They Did Was Very Faithful In Spirit, And Very Well Done. So I Got No Complaints At All About Showtime.”

Jeff Lindsay spoke on “Cityscape” about Dexter’s final book, “Dexter Is Dead”, and about his experience as the author of its murderous but oddly beloved main character. While Lindsay consulted for a while on the first season of Showtime’s spinoff (and snagged a brief role in the third), the “Dexter” TV show went its own way from the books before too long. The divergent plots didn’t bother Lindsay, who says he was luckier than other authors he knows whose work has made it to the screen. “The adaptation they did was very faithful in spirit, and very well done. So I got no complaints at all about Showtime.”  

Lindsay is puzzled, however, by the fact that so many people like his character. In general, Dexter kills people who are themselves awful; but Lindsay says he often wonders, “What’s wrong with people? Because you should remember that he’s a bad guy, he’s a serial killer. And no one seems to get that.”  

It seems, too, that some forget that Dexter Morgan is fictional. Lindsay told Don that he’s been threatened and harassed by readers and show-watchers unhappy with the end of the show or, inexplicably, with him—to the extent that “it makes me a little nervous from time to time.” But despite unwanted attention in that respect, he is happy with having ended the series and looking forward to next steps. “I have a couple of things out there,” Lindsay said, acknowledging that despite a collaboration with Marvel Comics on Dexter graphic novels, “I’m still sort of at the ‘throw things at the wall and see if they stick’ phase.” 

Lindsay also touched on differences in the publishing world since he began his series with “Darkly Dreaming Dexter” and has some unconventional advice for aspiring writers. “I have two pieces of advice. The first is, don’t do it—find something else to waste your time on. And the second piece is, if you have to—which is the only excuse, if you can’t help it—learn to arc weld. Because you’re gonna have to have a semi-independent profession…to pay the rent until the unlikely event that lightning strikes and you can support yourself with writing. It’s a lot harder now.”  

Click here to listen to the interview.