Chicago Tap Theatre pays homage to David Bowie via ‘Changes’

"From June 30 – July 16 at Stage 777, the company will reprise one its most popular shows, “Changes,” a “tap dance opera” that pays homage to the science fiction serials of the 1940s and to the music of David Bowie. Choreographed by Yonally, directed by Harrison McEldowney, and featuring all new arrangements of Bowie’s music by Kurt Schweitz, it tells of a planet inhabited by peace-loving aliens, and the events that unfold when they encounter both a power-hungry species from another world, and a potential hero in the mold of Major Tom. Yonally plays Altego, the bad guy, who, along with two henchmen, arrives on the planet, subjugates its inhabitants and takes their wings.

“We wanted to bring this show back to honor Bowie,” said Yonally, who, along the way, has learned that one of Bowie’s kids even takes tap lessons in New York. “For the previous two incarnations of ‘Changes’ we just used the original Bowie tracks, but with his death [in January 2016] we thought: People want to hear his voice. So we found tracks of him singing without any background orchestrations, added live violin and cello, and created something I think is special.”

By Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times, 6/28/17