Passing Strange
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About the Play

From Los Angeles to Amsterdam to Berlin and back, Passing Strange takes musical theater on a whole new trip. From singer-songwriter and performance artist Stew comes Passing Strange, a daring new musical that takes you on a journey across boundaries of place, identity and theatrical convention. Stew, a popular performer at Joe's Pub, was commissioned by The Public Theater of New York to develop this heartfelt and hilarious story of a young bohemian who charts a course for “the real” through sex, drugs and rock and roll. Loaded with soulful lyrics and overflowing with passion, the show takes us from black, middle-class America to Amsterdam, Berlin and beyond on a journey towards personal and artistic authenticity.


We have GWBush to thank for this play. Seriously. When I found out that he had never been to Europe in his youth (or in his adulthood until he becme prez!!!) I immediately knew I wanted to write a play about a kid who wanted to go to europe. That fact about Bush said a lot to me about America's lack of interest in anything foreign except that which it can exploit (always to exploit – never to learn from). Can you imagine an uber-privileged billionaire's son from any other country that would not have been curious enough to travel to a foreign country or two or 3 or 20? Especially when you're talking the kind of money where you already OWN a few airplanes yourself? As someone whose experience abroad informed and shaped my very being and consciousness about everything from sexuality, politics, culture, language and human nature, I became obsessed with this factoid and decided this incuriosity was at the heart of the war. I realized that we are actually suffering the results of Bush's and his cronies' incuriousness… their dimwitted foreign policy time and again shows that beneath it all these fuckers don't even care about trying to understand the world they wish to dominate.

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