By L. Mores
Lazarus is a musical written by David Bowie, as well as a book written by Enda Walsh. Following the journey of a man who is supposedly from another planet, Bowie uses a variety of artistic techniques and a multitude of songs to produce a visual spectacle memorable to all those who have witnessed it.
The first part of the musical I'd like to talk about is the "American boys" song (which I tried to search up its real name but failed, so please excuse that). In this section of the musical the three women (or the witches that look like the ones from Sabrina, as I like to say) are on the center of the stage whilst singing beautifully. The song itself isn't that captivating – the way in which they chose to create movement all the whilst standing still is. The woman who is a little bit in the front of the others uses a variety of hand gestures to really captivate the audience. She chose to move her wrists in a really, as I like to say, creepy manner that I can't really explain in words. As the tempo of the song increased, so did her hand movements, making the scene unfold brilliantly. That element of eeriness added to the scene literally only captivated the audience more, and made us wonder the reason as to why she chose to produce such gestures. Was it because she was meant to be a celestial being which moved differently to mortals? Or was it simply because the character was feeling jittery and that was how they manifested it? Who knows. I also found their positioning to be really interesting, too. The fact that the three of them were on center-stage literally just transferred all the focus to them, which I think was the artistic intention of the director. During the other scenes they were usually moving around, but here they were in fixed positions whilst singing. I think that was to demonstrate the sort of 'groundedness' of the characters and their significance in aiding the alien being navigate through the Earth. I hope that makes sense.
The second bit in which I found really interesting was the very first scene in which the alien walks awkwardly through the stage whilst the lights are flashing dramatically. The first part I found particularly engrossing was the manner in which the actor walked. It was as if there was a string pulling him in every direction, making the simple act of walking look extremely tiresome and energy-consuming. His posture was very fascinating; he was bent backwards in an angle that looked almost impossible to recreate. To me, the actors body language and walk only put forward the idea that he was not a regular human being – he was something alien and foreign, something that just didn’t belong. His walk reflected the heaviness he was feeling inside, how tired he was of being a stranger in another planet. The lights flashing dramatically to me were a reflection of his inner conflicts, the multitude of ideas flashing through his alien mind all at once, consuming his every thought. That body posture and walk must've taken a long time to perfect, and I commend the actor tremendously for doing such a great job.
The final thing which I want to discuss is the ending scene of the musical. The alien and the girls who lives inside of his mind are, to me, dead and on their journey back to their planet of origin. Both of them are laying down on stage, but since the platform is elevated, we can only see their reflection on the mirror in front. The entire scene is dark except for the little light shun on them – a light that is made by a cluster of projected stars and cosmos. The scene is so captivating that you literally forget what they're saying and just pay attention to the visual masterpiece created before you. The stars projected and the soft movements they make give the scene a soft and light feel, a perfect and bittersweet ending to the tense musical. The foreign being seems to have found peace in dying, and the mellow tone of the scene clearly reflects that. He is finally going back to his planet of origin, undergoing a journey through space alongside his mental companion, and you are transported there with him through the stars projected.
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