The cast of David Bowie‘s off-Broadway musical Lazarus, led by actor-singer Michael C. Hall, performed the play’s haunting title-track Thursday on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Hall adopted Bowie’s dramatic vibrato, emoting lines like “Look up here, I’m in heaven/ I’ve got scars that can’t be seen” over an ethereal, jazzy atmosphere of saxophone, trombone and steel guitar.
Lazarus, staged at the New York Theatre Workshop through January 20th, is a sequel to Bowie’s 1976 movie The Man Who Fell To Earth and tells the surreal story of alcoholic millionaire alien Thomas Newton. Ivo van Hove (Scenes From a Marriage) directs the musical, which stars Hall alongside Cristin Milioti, Sophia Anne Caruso and Michael Esper.
“Lazarus,” the song, is Bowie’s latest single from upcoming album ★ (pronounced Blackstar), out January 8th. The LP was recorded in secret in early 2015 New York’s The Magic Shop Studio and produced by longtime Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti. “We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar,” the producer told Rolling Stone. “We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn’t do a straight-up hip-hop record. He threw everything on there, and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock & roll.”