SEE PASSING STRANGE @ STUDIO THEATER IN DC

i’m a terrible blogger. i should have posted the minute I left the Studio Theater that the DC production of Passing Strange KICKS ASS!

They paid us the biggest compliment they could have by making it their own sweaty, complex, funked-up, wonderfully messy, multi-layered, smart-ass, tear-jerking, wild animal of a show. And I’m not blowing my own horn by saying they were great cuz they did NOT
do “our” show at all! They did THEIR show. Within three bars of music they turned my into a mere spectator.

i’ll miss my train if I rave as hard as i’d like to about the direction, the sound, the movement, the lights, the set, the projections, the Everything.

But I have to say here that Jahi Kearse is a true artist. The brother grabbed the Narrator role by it’s collar, the role everyone (except moi) said could only be done by it’s originator,
and shook it til some new kinda funk came out. And I could not have been more thankful and appreciative. I learned more about PS by watching him than I did in my entire time doing the show. He took me to school on my own play so I gotta say Thank You Brother for that. All the back-handed compliments about how it could only work with that guy in the red shirt as Narrator have been put to rest by the dynamic Mr. Kearse. Because he is an artist, he knew it was all about making the experience real for HIM and only by doing that could he make it real for us. And now it’s up to the next brother (or sister!) to make it real again. The baton has been passed… but hold tight cuz it’s sweaty.

Last but not least, the band. I need to write a separate thing about them cuz they…ROCKED THE SHIT. I don’t know where to begin except to say they brought it, nailed it and never stopped. Like Mr. Kearse, they honored our work and expanded upon it. Or let’s say they honored our work BY expanding upon it. All i know is when the bass player pulled out a tuba and the guitar player pulled out a banjo on “The Black One” I was like “Oh, shit, these people mean bizzness.” And then I was like “SHIT, why didn’t WE do that???”

gotta make that train.
And you gotta make it to see PS at Studio Theater in DC.
Tell ‘um the fat guy in the red shirt sent you.

/s

Comments (7) to “SEE PASSING STRANGE @ STUDIO THEATER IN DC”

  1. You are a beautiful, gracious man – but we knew that already. Looking forward to seeing you next month in Philly during our Fringe. Much love, Rosemary

  2. I caught this while I was in Maryland, on vacation from my home in Florida.
    It was an extremely worthy take on Passing Strange.
    I feel lucky to have seen the Broadway production and this new production.

    While the new run has a number of merits, I think the ultimate thing it will be remembered for is that it proves the show can be done without the original cast, even though people didn’t think it could.

    That said, this production was my fiance’s first time seeing the show live and she LOVED it. The moment the ensemble walked in for church, she turned to me and said “I’m so glad we came to see this.”

  3. hilarious post.

    really – tuba and banjo? maybe Gregoropoulos would have thought of that. this production sounds amazing, sorry, once again, on the Rong Coast. See you at the Echoplex.

  4. […] to make it real again. The baton has been passed… but hold tight cuz it’s sweaty." More here, on the band and […]

  5. I just wrote somebody an email, and because I mentioned your work, it came back to me with a link to the StudioTheater version of PS. Congrats! What a trip!
    Go, Big Brother!! (double entendre…hey, maybe you can re-write Orwell’s 1984 mixed with a bit of The Invisible Man…the possibilities are endless….)

  6. If any songs are good in a real and lasting sense it’s because performers other than the originator can do them. They’re Transcendent. Heck, seeing TNP re-do its own repertoire with different line-ups and in drastically different arrangements hints at that. But now you know, bud — as good as you are as a performer, your songs stand up because of their intrinsic wonderfulness . . .

  7. or while you are in Chicago check out the Univ Chicago music archives on Sun Ra — I can see you doing South Side Story about Sun Ra — they had a lot of stuff in their back-story that overlaps with “the negro problem” mentality…
    you would need a jazz collaborator, of course…

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