Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Passing Strange - You must see it!

Run, do not walk, to see this show at the Belasco Theatre on 44th. This is one of the best musicals made in the last twenty years. It's funny; it's gritty; it's poignant. And the writer and lyricist of the show, Stew (yes, he goes simply by Stew), who narrates and sings the tale, along with his musical collaborator Heidi Rodewald, has created a show that is engaging, brilliantly composed, and beautifully sung by a very talented cast, including the charming and impetuous Daniel Breaker, the beautiful De'adre Aziza, the lovely Eisa Davis, the intense Colman Domingo, the delicious and steely Chad Goodridge (for whom this was his Broadway debut), and the sultry and sizzling Rebecca Naomi Jones. This cast is backed up by a terrific band including Christian Cassan, Christian Gibbs, Jon Spurney, and the aforementioned Ms. Rodewald, and features terrific lighting design by Kevin Adams. The casting, by Jordan Thaler and Heidi Griffiths, is spot-on.

If you were a fan of Rent, you will love this show. It's a rock musical, and it's an experience. You're put in the middle of the action and Stew, the narrator, really brings the show to the audience and gets you into it. You will be mesmerized. Listen, I am not a rabid musical-goer; most musicals I really cannot be bothered with. I have seen a number of them and have liked very few. I can count the ones I have really loved on one hand: Dreamgirls; Cabaret; Rent; BKLYN; and Wicked. Oh, and Les Miserables. I guess that's more than one hand.

Coincidentally, Diana Ross, her daughter and some friends happened to be at Tuesday night's performance, and Ms. Ross was obviously enjoying it. Patrick went with us, and it was he who happened to notice her sitting just two rows back of us and across the aisle.

We hung around after the show and met a number of the cast members, who were genuinely friendly, and who were very excited about Miss Ross's visit backstage. But we were truly amazed by Stew, who is one of the most genuine and down-to-earth people you could ever hope to meet on the Great White Way. Embrace him, New York, and see his and Heidi's show! You will not be disappointed.

The show is in previews right now, and it opens February 28. I suggest you buy your tickets now because, if there is any justice on Broadway, this is going to be a blockbuster.


At 8:21 AM, February 21, 2008, Blogger Dantallion said...

I wish we had more (decent) theater up here. Sounds like y'all really had an amazing time. I didn't recognize ANY of the cast names - I'm assuming that they're not all newcomers?


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