Passing Strange

Book by STEW, Lyrics by STEW and Heidi Rodewald
In collaboration with Annie Dorsen
Directed by Kym Moore
With Musical Guest SPLEEN
*Come 15-minutes early and catch special guest SPLEEN in concert on the Stuart stage 

February 27-March 9, 2014
Stuart Theatre
75 Waterman St., 


Brown TAPS and Sock & Buskin proudly present Passing Strange, the award-winning collaboration between indie-rock musician Stew (Mark Stewart), bass-playing producer Heidi Rodewald and artist-director Annie Dorsen. At once a hybrid rock concert and traditional musical, Passing Strange is directed by Kym Moore with musical direction by Bradley Fugate and choreography by Olase Freeman.

This high energy production follows the main character—known only as Youth—from his middle-class upbringing in L.A. through the debauched world of Amsterdam to the turbulent scene of Berlin before the wall came crumbling down. Conceived of as semi-autobiographical fiction, the musical is infused with the real club sounds from the era, imbuing Passing Strange with an authenticity not seen in most rock musicals.

 Although in the original production, Stew—known as Narrator—played himself along side his band and six actors (all playing multiple roles), Brown University audiences can expect a creative refiguring of the original characters. For director Kym Moore, even the narrator becomes a role open to any of the actors. Featuring a multi-talented cast and house band, Spleen, Brown’s production turns the “autobiography” on its head, reminding us of the universality that is embedded in this coming-of-age story. It asks us all to think about what passing really means—be it the passage of time or passing for black or white. By the end of the play audiences will leave wondering: “Am I Passing Strange?”

The New York Times called Passing Strange “far richer in wit, feeling and sheer personality than most of what is classified as musical theater,” later adding that you can “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...just call it wonderful, and a welcome anomaly on Broadway."

 The musical was nominated for seven Tony Awards, winning one, for best book. It won three Drama Desk Awards, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and an Obie Award for Best New Theatre Piece. Join us for this exciting and hard rocking journey through the lives of a group of young musicians who navigate society, politics, sex, drugs and race to find themselves through their art.

February 26-March 9, 2014. Thursday-Saturday at 8pm. Sunday at 2pm.  Stuart Theatre. 75 Waterman St., Providence, RI. Tickets:  $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $7 for students. Group rates are available. Contact us at (401) 863-2838 or at Visit us in person at the Leeds Box Office in Lyman Hall, 83 Waterman Street, Providence, RI.