Saturday night was wonderful because Bridgett and I got to see “Passing Strange” on Broadway. It was great to see it again after so many months. A full and receptive audience was in attendance. I won’t ruin it for you, but will say that Stew and his team have tightened the second act. From what I remember, the current ending is a bit less dramatic, but packs an emotional wallop nonetheless. I said it before: Run, don’t walk, to see this.
Not only did we get a chance to hang with some good friends–Lincoln Center’s Bill Bragin (a big supporter of this musical through several iterations at The Public Theater where, until recently, he ran programming for Joe’s Pub) and his wife Lisa; BRC board member Jimmy Saal and his wife, Dr. Felicia Snead (both visiting from Jacksonville, FL!); Joy Bell; Ron Burman; and Ami Ndiaye–but we also got to meet Stew and hang with him and some of the cast members.
As for the actors, I can only imagine what it means to the actors to be given roles that allow them show their impressive range and abilities. My hope for the ripple effects this musical has is twofold: First, I hope that other African American artists will respond to the challenge that “Passing Strange” sets forth. I’m sorry, but the bar has been raised. Likewise, when the musical blows out a successful run on Broadway, here’s hoping that producers will step up who will champion excellence in storytelling about Black life.
Cast member Eisa Davis and Stew
Stew (l) and I after Saturday’s performance of “Passing Strange”
- Official site of Passing Strange
- My podcast with Stew
- PS Broadway run announcement
- Boldaslove.us review of PS @ The Public Theater