Music

STEW: Passing Strange

Posted by: TED Guest Author

StewI had the great fortune of seeing Stew’s new show Passing Strange this evening at Stanford.  The show, co-written by Stew and his collaborator Heidi Rodewald (who describes herself as "the thinner, lighter half" of STEW), is two hours of pure energy, thoughtfulness, poetry, and, of course, Stew.  Passing Strange is the story of a young man’s journey from church in Los Angeles to a hash bar in Amsterdam to an anarchist collective in Germany and back again to church in Los Angeles in his quest to find "the real" — what Rick Warren call’s The Purpose Driven Life.  Stew adeptly narrates the show from a podium on the stage; playing guitar and banjo, he drives the story forward through song and verse.  The results are nothing shy of spectacular.  If you live in the Bay Area and missed the show this time around, have no fear, Stew will be back in the Fall to perform Passing Strange at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.

Comments (1)

  • June Cohen commented on Mar 13 2006

    Thanks so much for filling us in, David! We’re envious here at TED HQ; very much looking forward to the NY run…

    I thought I’d add another interesting detail, which I omitted from my original post on Passing Strange: Stew’s musical has actually been developed through a fascinating new program at NY’s Public Theater, in which they identify musicians who may have a theater piece in them, and work with them over the course of years to bring these pieces to life. Other forward-thinking arts institutions (Sundance, Berkeley Rep, Stanford) play a role as well. Such a smart way to inject new life and new voices into musical theater! So I’m doubly interested to see Passing Strange — both as a Stew creation and a harbinger of what’s to come from the Public …