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David Bowie Musical Lazarus Will Be Sad, Shocking and Full of "Itchy Violence"

In an interview with The New York Times, Lazarus director Ivo van Hove and playwright Enda Walsh revealed more details about the anticipated new production that features music by David Bowie. The production, which begins previews Nov. 18 at New York Theatre Workshop, has been shrouded in mystery.

Walsh revealed that Bowie's lyrics and music were charged with "a mixture of romance and itchy violence."

In reading from the show's script, van Hove told NYT: "Lazarus focuses on Newton as he remains on Earth, a man unable to die, his head soaked in cheap gin, and haunted by a past love. We follow Newton through the course of a few days where the arrival of another lost soul might set him free."

David Bowie
David Bowie

"That’s the best I can do," the director told the publication. The story is inspired by Walter Tevis' best-selling 1963 novel "The Man Who Fell to Earth," about a human-looking alien who comes to Earth seeking a way to bring water back to his dying home planet. It was also adapted into a film in 1976 starring Bowie in the lead role of Thomas Newton.

Van Hove said that he has been a longtime Bowie fan and was very excited at the idea of collaborating with the music icon. He added that he was immediately drawn to the script.

NYT also spoke with the show's playwright, Tony winner Walsh ( Once). "This is really my territory," commented the writer. "I understand that isolated, lonely, broken, unstable sort of character."

Michael C. Hall will star in <i>Lazarus</i>
Michael C. Hall will star in Lazarus

The show's star, Hedwig's Michael C. Hall, also spoke with NYT. He commented that Lazarus was "broken and fractured; the information comes late... You don’t know what you’re watching for about 40 minutes or so," he said, before adding that the story would build to "a sad and shocking ending." Joining the lead cast of Lazarus are Cristin Milioti ( Once) and The Last Ship's Michael Esper.

The cast also includes Krystina Alabado ( American Idiot), Sophia Anne Caruso ( The Nether), Nicholas Christopher ( Whorl Inside A Loop), Lynn Craig ( Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), Bobby Moreno ( Year of the Rooster), Krista Pioppi ( Spring Awakening national tour), Charlie Pollock ( The Wild Party) and Brynn Williams ( Bye Bye Birdie).

As previously reported, Lazarus is NYTW's fastest-selling production in the company's history. It sold-out its initial engagement in just three hours, prompting a three-week extension. Performances will now run Nov. 18-Jan. 17, 2016.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit NYTW.