NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, December 7, 2015, 9:00 PM
You’d have as much luck raising the dead as you would making heads or tails of the hyperactive and hallucinogenic David Bowie jukebox musical “Lazarus.”
Far out? You bet. What’s it about? Who the heck knows?
The show is based on Walter Tevis’ 1963 brain-twisting sci-fi novel. In the ’76 film version, Bowie played humanoid Thomas Newton, who comes to Earth to save his dying planet. Michael C. Hall steps into the addled-alien role, channeling the idiosyncratic pop god’s burly theatricality in his vocals.
The story by Enda Walsh (“Once”) layers in a young girl (a satin-voiced Sophia Anne Caruso) who appears to help Thomas get home, but has another agenda. Michael Esper (“The Last Ship”) is a mysterious and menacing presence. Cristin Milioti (“Once”) is Newton’s obsessively devoted assistant.
The production threads together a bit of new music and covers of hits like “Changes,” “All the Young Dudes,” “Young Americans” and “Heroes.” As in most jukebox shows, tunes are shoehorned in, but at least it’s very tasty ear candy.
Belgian director Ivo van Hove, now represented on Broadway with “A View from the Bridge, guides a game-for-anything cast. Actors burn calories jumping on a bed, sliding through murky liquid and teetering on towering stilettos.
Tal Yarden’s great video projections steal the show — such as it is. Despite being blessed with Bowie cool and an ace catalog, “Lazarus” is a two-hour endurance test.