The Public Theater Shifts THE TOTAL BENT Performances to Begin 2/24


The Public Theater announced new February dates today for THE TOTAL BENT by Stew and Heidi Rodewald and directed by Joanna Settle. The shift in dates for this Public Lab production is due to an unforeseen construction-related delay that prevented the show from getting into the theater on the scheduled start date. The Public Theater's building renovation has been underway since fall 2008 and is expected to be completed on time this summer.

This world premiere musical, with book and lyrics by Stew and music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, was originally scheduled to run February 14 through March 4 and will now run February 24 through March 18, with an additional performance added. Tickets for THE TOTAL BENT are on sale now. All tickets for Public Lab productions are $15 and can be purchased by calling (212) 967-7555 or visiting

As a result of THE TOTAL BENT schedule change, the Public Forum with Stew, Heidi Rodewald and Michael Cerveris on Monday, February 27 at 9:30 p.m. at Joe's Pub will be postponed to a later date.

The complete cast for THE TOTAL BENT features Kenny Brawner (Musician), Eddie R. Brown III (Abee), David Cale (Byron), Vondie Curtis-Hall (Joe Roy), Harriett D. Foy (Your Imaginary Friend), William Jackson Harper (Marty Boy), Damian Lemar Hudson (Deacon Dennis), and Julian Rozzell Jr. (Andrew).

Stew and Heidi Rodewald, creators of the Tony Award-winning Passing Strange, team up with director Joanna Settle and return to The Public with a new musical about a black gospel prodigy from down South and a white music producer from South London who meet in a recording studio just south of the Twilight Zone, as they both desperately seek their own versions of transcendence, salvation, and a hit record. Divine inspiration, fantastical visions, and one legendary music-producer father frame this electrifying new musical about the complicated space between the sacred and the profane.

THE TOTAL BENT features scenic design by Andrew Lieberman; costume design by Gabriel Berry; lighting design by Adam Silverman; and sound design by Obadiah Eaves and ACME Sound Partners.
Now in its 5th season, Public Lab provides new opportunities for both our audiences and artists. Our audience gains access to more of the theater they love from The Public – both Shakespeare and new work – at the affordable price of only $15. Our artists, both emerging and established, gain a new platform to further develop their work on stage and in performance.

STEW (Book, Lyrics, Music). His work for The Public includes Passing Strange, for which he received the 2008 Tony award for Best Book of a Musical, and four other Tony nominations including Best Musical. He is also a two-time Obie Award winner for Passing Strange (Best New Theater Piece/Best Ensemble). Spike Lee shot a feature film of the Broadway production of Passing Strange and it rocked selected theaters before debuting on PBS's Great Performances in 2009. It's also 100% on Rotten Tomatoes so rent it now! Stew leads a band called The Negro Problem (TNP) whose albums have survived much critical acclaim. TNP created "Making It," a song-cycle for rock band and video, which was commissioned by and performed at St. Ann's Warehouse in February, 2010. In October of that same year "Brooklyn Omnibus," another live song-cycle with video, was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy Of Music and performed there. Stew is a member of The Sundance Institute Alumni Advisory Board. Stew was Artist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin in Madison during Fall 2011 where he taught a class entitled "Song Factory" and was curator of a weekly public series at the Mitchell Theater which featured leading New York performance and music artists. January 2012 will see the release of the music from "Making It" by The Negro Problem on their new label "Tight Natural Productions." Stew and Heidi wrote "Gary Come Home" for the "Sponge Bob SquarePants" cartoon because that's all anyone cares about anyway. Website:

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