So we’ve come to the final weekend on Broadway for Passing Strange, the robust coming-of-age rock musical masterminded by wily rock-soul-funk-folk-weirdo Stew. A brief but eminently respectable run, it had: To wildly generalize, it’s basically The Hold Steady: The Musical, given Stew’s half-sung, half-carnival barked delivery and half-celebratory, half-rueful tales of youthful indiscretion. (Often in Amsterdam.) “Keys” was a monster.
A bummer if you missed this, but Spike Lee is apparently filming the production tomorrow, so look for some Netflix- or Tribeca Film Fest-worthy fanfare somewheres down the road. And don’t feel too bad for Stew, who is taking the proverbial long view about it all:
I learned a thousand or so things about all aspects of my craft, and life, from being up here. But the most important thing I learned, for the purposes of understanding how I feel right now, is that I am NOT a Broadway baby. I was born to do many things but I was not born to be here. So I am indeed going to be happy to have my life back. Heidi and I have many projects that require our attention and we are excited and eager to get to them. And I want to spend real time with my loved ones, both here and in Berlin where I live. And I want to book a gig at some really out of the way dive in some deep, dark corner of New York Town and make a hellishly melodic, soulful noise all night long.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 18, 2008