Tuesday, 5 April 2016

oration or the sound and vision

Thanks to a sharp eye perusing a 1984 edition of some teen Tiger Beat magazine, the response to an inquiring reader’s question about the rumoured role of the Great Emancipator to be portrayed by none other than David Bowie, we learn about an unperformed but still immense spectacle that was to be played at one of the Olympic venues of the Los Angeles games that summer.
Far outstripping those cross-over, special guest-star sitcom episodes that kept my rapt attention (like when Fred and Ethel Mertz appeared as Darinn Stevens’—the second Darrin—parents or when the Harlem Globe-Trotters were shipwrecked on Gilligan’s Island or the angry ghost of Valerie Bertinelli haunted the Love Boat), an experimental, day-long bit of musical theatre was being orchestrated, called CIVIL warS, it was to feature the musical stylings of Mister David Byrne with libretto that included Mister Bowie as Abraham Lincoln, delivering the Gettysburg Address in Japanese. Corporate sponsors were a little anxious, and with the boycott of the American games by the polarised Communist world, the project was shelved. Read more about this amazing opera that would have perhaps been too grand and overwhelming for this Universe at Dangerous Minds. The closing ceremonies did include a UFO landing to the fanfare of Thus Spake Zarathustra and a giant grey alien that saluted humanity’s peaceful coming together.