Passing Strange2008

Passing Strange is a musical with lyrics and book by Stew and music and orchestrations by Stew and Heidi Rodewald. It was created in collaboration with director Annie Dorsen.

The musical was developed at the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in 2004 and 2005, one of the only works there ever to be invited back for a second round of development.[1] It had productions in Berkeley, California and Off-Broadway before opening on Broadway in 2008, garnering strong reviews and several awards. Spike Lee filmed the musical on Broadway as a documentary, premiering the film in 2009.

Passing Strange premiered on October 19, 2006, at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, California. It was then produced off-Broadway at The Public Theatre in New York City, running from May 14, 2007, through June 3, 2007. The musical began previews at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway on February 8, 2008, and officially opened on February 28, 2008, with the same cast that starred at the Public Theatre.After 165 performances, it closed on July 20, 2008. Directed by Annie Dorsen, the musical was choreographed by Karole Armitage, with scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy and lighting design by Kevin Adams.


book & lyrics
Stew and Heidi Rodewald
Created in collaboration with Annie Dorsen
Annie Dorsen
music orchestration
Stew and Heidi Rodewald
Karole Armitage
scenic design
David Korins
costume design
Elizabeth Hope Clancy
lighting design
Kevin Adams
sound design
Tom Morse
executive producer
Joey Parnes
company manager
Kim Sellon


"With “Passing Strange,” Stew, Rodewald, and Dorsen have created a work of such singularity that it prompts comparisons less to traditional theatre than to the eccentric iconoclasm of the producer Prince Paul, who, in works like his 1999 hip-hop opera, “A Prince Among Thieves,” ushered in the sound of the New Negro. "

Hilton Als,
The New Yorker
"Call it a rock concert with a story to tell, trimmed with a lot of great jokes. Or call it a sprawling work of performance art, complete with angry rants and scary drag queens. Call it whatever you want, really. I’ll just call it wonderful, and a welcome anomaly on Broadway, which can use all the vigorous new artistic blood it can get."

Charles Isherwood,
The New York Times