'Passing Strange' Adds May 25th Evening Performance
The critically acclaimed new Broadway musical PASSING STRANGE (Belasco Theater, 111 West 44 Street) - which is currently nominated for 7 Tony Awards, including Best Musical - has been awarded the top prize by the New York Drama Critic's Circle Awards (Best Musical), the Village Voice Obie Awards (Best New Theatre Piece), and the Drama Desk Awards (Outstanding Musical).In addition to these top awards, PASSING STRANGE won two additional Drama Desk Awards (Outstanding Music for Stew and Heidi Rodewald & Outstanding Lyrics for Stew); one additional Village Voice Obie Award (for the PASSING STRANGE acting ensemble - de'Adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker, Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Chad Goodridge, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and Stew); and two Theatre World Awards (for de'Adre Aziza and Daniel Breaker).On Tuesday, May 13 PASSING STRANGE received 7 Tony Award nominations: Best Musical; Best Book of a Musical (Stew); Best Original Score (music Stew and Heidi Rodewald, lyrics Stew); Best Actor in a Musical (Stew); Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Daniel Breaker); Best Featured Actress in a Musical (de'Adre Aziza); Best Orchestrations (Stew and Heidi Rodewald). There will be an added performance of PASSING STRANGE on Sunday, May 25 at 8:00pm.On Tuesday, May 27 the original cast recording for PASSING STRANGE - which was recorded live at the Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street) - will become the first-ever iTunes "Digital Exclusive" for a Broadway Original Cast Album, with a Brick and Mortar retail availability set for July, 2008.With book and lyrics by the popular singer/songwriter Stew, and with music by Stew and his longtime musical partner Heidi Rodewald, PASSING STRANGE is directed by and created in collaboration with Annie Dorsen. PASSING STRANGE is the first musical by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, best-known for their rock-and-roll music since 2000 when they formed the band The Negro Problem, also known as STEW, promptly winning two Album of the Year Awards from Entertainment Weekly for their acclaimed works "Guest Host" and "The Naked Dutch Painter."PASSING STRANGE is the tale of a young black musician on a journey of escape and exploration: leaving the confines of his middle-class, church-reared youth in south central L.A., the further he travels the more he discovers the voyage within is the one that counts. PASSING STRANGE debuted in New York last spring at The Public Theater and has moved to Broadway with its original cast intact: de'Adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker, Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Chad Goodridge, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Stew, himself. A band of musicians joins the cast on stage, including the musical's co-creator Heidi Rodewald, along with Jon Spurney, Christian Cassan, Christian Gibbs and Stew.PASSING STRANGE opened on Broadway at the Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street) to such rave reviews as: "Bursting at the seams with melodic songs," (New York Times), PASSING STRANGE "is truly unlike anything you've seen on Broadway" (USA Today). "Call it a rock concert with a story to tell. Call it whatever you want, really. I'll just call it wonderful" (New York Times). PASSING STRANGE "taps into the energy of rock with high-voltage enthusiasm," (Associated Press), and is a "brilliant work" (The New Yorker). "From 'Hair' to 'Rent' to 'Spring Awakening,' composers have sought to reinvigorate musical theater by harnessing the energy and raw expressiveness of rock. But PASSING STRANGE, the defiantly unclassifiable musical by Los Angeles singer-songwriter Stew is a magical mystery tour." (Variety) PASSING STRANGE has choreography by Karole Armitage, the noted choreographer making her debut on Broadway. Scenic design for PASSING STRANGE IS by David Korins, costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy, lighting design by Kevin Adams and sound design by Tom Morse.PASSING STRANGE is presented on Broadway by The Shubert Organization, Elizabeth Ireland McCann, Bill Kenwright, Chase Mishkin, Terry Allen Kramer, Barbara & Buddy Freitag, Broadway Across America, Emily Fisher Landau, Peter May, Boyett Ostar, Larry Hirschhorn, Janet Pailet/Steve Klein, Elie Hirschfeld/Jed Bernstein, Spring Sirkin/Ruth Hendel, Vasi Laurence/Pat Flicker Addiss, Wendy Federman/Jacki B. Florin, and Joey Parnes, Executive Producers, in association with The Public Theater and The Berkeley Repertory Theatre.Under the auspices of The Public Theater in collaboration with Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Sundance Institute, PASSING STRANGE received an in-depth play development process over the last three years, through a series of readings, workshops and concerts which culminated in a successful off-Broadway production. As a frequent performer at Joe's Pub, The Public Theater identified Stew as an artist with great potential to crossover from the music world to theater. Stew is the critically-acclaimed singer, songwriter, founder and leader of The Negro Problem, a pop rock combo from Los Angeles. The group's albums "Post Minstrel Syndrome" and "Joys & Concerns" garnered nationwide acclaim, followed by the founding of the ensemble Stew. In addition to his many recordings with Stew and The Negro Ensemble, Stew recently composed -- to his teenage daughter's delight -- a song for "SpongeBob SquarePants."In addition to her work with Stew and The Negro Problem, Ms. Rodewald co-wrote, with Stew, the screenplay "We Can See Today" for the 2005 Sundance Screenwriters Lab, followed by a project for the Sundance Theatre Lab, as well. She also composed music for Karen Kandel's "Portraits: Night and Day."Annie Dorsen is the author and director of "Democracy in America." Other recent projects include "Antigone Arkhe," "The Crazy Girl," "Somewhere Someplace Else," the American premiere of "Belgrade Trilogy," and "The Blue Bird" at Williamstown Theater Festival.PASSING STRANGE performs Tuesdays at 7pm; Wednesdays - Saturdays at 8pm; Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2pm; and Sundays at 3pm at the Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street) on Broadway. Tickets are priced $111.50 - $66.50 - $36.50 - $26.50, and are available through Tele-charge at www.TeleCharge.com, or by calling 212-239-6200. For additional information on PASSING STRANGE, visit www.PassingStrangeOnBroadway.com.
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