powered by FreeFind


Passing Strange

Original Cast Recording Cover

Musical in 2 Acts. Book and lyrics by Stew; Music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald. Orchestrations by Stew and Heidi Rodewald.

Belasco Theatre, Broadway - Opened 28th February, 2008; Closed 20th July, 2008(165 perfs. 20 previews)


The musical was developed at the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in 2004 and 2005, one of the only works ever to be invited back for a second round of development. It 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.


A young black musician travels on a picaresque journey to rebel against his mother and his upbringing in a church-going, middle-class, South Central Los Angeles neighbourhood in order to find "the real". He finds new experiences in promiscuous Amsterdam, with its easy access to drugs and sex, and in artistic, chaotic, political Berlin, where he struggles with ethics and integrity when he misrepresents his background as poor to get ahead. Along with his "passing" from place to place and from lover to lover, the young musician moves through a number of musical styles from a background of gospel to punk, and then blues, jazz, and rock. He finally returns home.

Musical Numbers

  1. Prologue (We Might Play All Night)--Narrator, Heidi and the Band
  2. Baptist Fashion Show--Narrator and Ensemble
  3. Church Blues Revelation/Freight Train--Narrator and Ensemble
  4. Arlington Hill--Narrator
  5. Sole Brother--Youth, Terry and Sherry
  6. Must've Been High--Narrator
  7. Mom Song--Narrator, Mother and Ensemble
  8. Merci Beaucoup, M. Godard--Narrator and Stewardesses
  9. Amsterdam--Ensemble
  10. Keys--Marianna, Youth and Narrator
  11. Keys (It's All Right) - Narrator
  12. We Just Had Sex--Youth, Marianna and Renata
  13. Stoned--Youth,Marianna,Ensemble
  14. Berlin, A Black Hole With Taxis - Narrator
  15. May Day--Narrator and Ensemble
  16. What's Inside Is Just A Lie/And Now I'm Ready To Explode - Mr Venus, Youth, Narrator
  17. Surface--Mr. Venus
  18. Damage-- Narrator, Desi and Youth
  19. Identity--Youth
  20. The Black One--Narrator and Ensemble
  21. Come Down Now--Heidi and Desi
  22. Youth's Unfinished Song - Youth
  23. Work the Wound–Youth and Narrator
  24. Passing Phase--Youth and Narrator
  25. Cue Music - Mother, Narrator
  26. Love Like That--Narrator and Heidi

Roles and Original Cast