Courtesy of TEDster Bill Bragin, I had the good fortune to attend the premier of Stew’s show Passing Strange at Berkeley Rep earlier this week. Bill is the Director of Joe’s Pub, the influential music venue associated with The Public Theater in New York. Not only is Bill credited with building Joe’s Pub into the powerhouse that it has become, but he is also credited with seeing theatrical possibilities within Stew’s music. Through a collaboration between The Public and Berkeley Rep (and the assistance of Stanford and Sundance), Stew has managed to unleash a show that is unconstrained by theatrical expectations. Passing Strange has evolved into a wonderfully energetic and compelling experience. If it is possible to be simultaneously ironic and sentimental, then Stew is the king of the art form. The show has received fantastic reviews and is playing through December 3rd, so if you live in the Bay Area don’t miss it. And if you live in the New York area, stay tuned — Passing Strange is coming your way next.