Passing Strange, a new musical that debuted on Broadway Feb. 28 at the Belasco Theatre, is a hybrid: a rock comedy musical. Taking its inspiration from the punk rock movement of the 70s, the loosely autobiographical story centers on the life of 45-year-old Stew and his alter-ego “Young Stew. The New York Times recently posted a video about the show, which you can view here.
A year ago, the real life Stew was playing to 150 people in Joe’s Pub in downtown New York City, along the way collecting fans. The Public Theater of New York commissioned him to tell the story of a young man’s journey to find “the real,” taking the viewer on a raucous trip from middle-class America to Amsterdam and on to Berlin. That lead to the Sundance Theater Lab, then the Anspacher Theater, and finally to Broadway. Stew, with composer and collaborator of 10 years Heidi Rodewald, is co-author, lyricist, librettist and star. In an interview Stew said “We just want this to be accepted as both theater and music. There’s never enough headbobbing in the audience!” It looks like the audience “got it,” having as much fun as the members of the cast.
Stew is supported by an ensemble cast: De’adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker (Young Stew), Elsa Davis, Colman Domingo, Chad Goodridge and Rebecca Naomi Jones. Annie Dorsen directing.