Sunday, March 21, 2010

Passing Strange

I know I’ve recently asked that you all listen to Owen Pallett which has some very theatrical overtones and once again I have to suggest something from the theater community. Trust me, under normal circumstances musical theater turns my stomach, but every once in a while something like Zappa’s Thing Fish comes along. Today we are not talking about Thing Fish, but talking about Passing Strange.

Passing Strange is a Rock Musical about a musician from California who goes to Europe to play his music and get an education in life. If you are at all familiar with Zappa’s Joe’s Garage, you may see some similarities, however this Rock Opera stands well on its own.

Composed and performed by a fellow that goes by the only name, “Stew” and a person he calls his partner Heidi Rodewald, have been working together in their band, “The Negro Problem.” Their music is great rock and great theater. It's harmonically pretty complex, complicated and sophisticated. Some melodies are haunting. The lyrics complex and intelligently written phrases that are thought provoking in structure and content.

This play was shown on PBS in its entirety and fortunately you should be able to find the two disk set at Netflicks. There is also a soundtrack, which I’ve been listening to all week.

This performance was captured on film by Spike Lee, though if you see any of the promotional material you’d think Lee, wrote, starred in the feature, but this is not so. All credit should go to Stew and Heidi and the incredible actors.

Here is the trailer. Passing Strange


Blogger darev2005 said...

Wow. Going to see if I can find me a copy. Looks like something to add to the collection of things that i will watch and the wife and kids will thing are odd. I'm used to that.

6:23 AM  
Blogger Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Glad I checked in today...I'll go looking for this!

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going straight to Amazon. Thanks Guy.

8:48 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I'm not a play person, but this captivated me. Let me know what you think.

5:27 AM  

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