Street Theatre presents rock musical Passing Strange

(l to r): AJ Eason, Elvie Williams, LaToya Gardner. photo: Heavenly Perspective Photography

(l to r): AJ Eason, Elvie Williams, LaToya Gardner.
photo: Heavenly Perspective Photography

Street Theatre brings Nashville yet another local premiere with the rock musical Passing Strange. With book and lyrics by singer/songwriter/playwright Stew and music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, Passing Strange tells the tale of a young African American man’s journey to discover who he is and to find meaning in life. A charming mix of performance art, philosophical existentialism, comedy, and rock—this coming of age story will have audiences redefining what the American musical means to them.

Nominated for seven Tony awards and winner of the Drama Desk award for Outstanding Musical, Passing Strange is a ‘tall tale.’ As our narrator recounts his life story, a troupe of players reenacts and brings to life his journey of enlightenment and discovery. The creator of the piece, Stew, had never written a play before but said he was inspired by Shakespearean productions, which were performed in front of rowdy audiences. A longtime rock musician and performer, he wanted to combine the energy of a rock show with the lively potential of a theatre setting.

Stew commented that the title of the show, taken from Shakespeare’s Othello, reminds him of a rock musician who tries to attract a girl with his on-the-road stories, as well as referring to the history of African Americans passing as White, and the passage of time.

STC is excited to announce A.J. Eason of A.J. & The Jiggawatts starring as the Narrator, as well as audience favorites, DeVon Buchanan, Tamiko Robinson, LaToya Gardner, Patrick Moore, Lauren Jones, and introducing Elvie Williams as ‘Youth.’ Passing Strange features direction by Jon Royal and musical direction by Rollie Mains.

Passing Strange runs June 13 through June 27 with tickets ranging from $18 to $24 plus a pay-what-you-can option on every Sunday show. For specific performance dates, special events, and to purchase tickets, visit www.streettheatrecompany.org.

Performances are at Street Theatre, 1933 Elm Hill Pike, just off Briley Parkway. For more information, call 615-554-7414. Street Theatre Company is supported by Metro Nashville Arts Commission and Tennessee Arts Commission.

Street Theatre Company is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to fostering professional, affordable and accessible theatre, music and arts education in Nashville. Founded in 2004, the organization produces high quality performances and educational workshops, and provides artistic opportunities for young people.

For more information, visit the official website at www.streettheatrecompany.org