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Passing Strange 

When: June 13-28 2014
Indie-rock musician Mark Stewart, aka Stew, is a rock ’n’ roll lifer whose band The Negro Problem has toured around the world and released albums of so-called Afro-Baroque cabaret music. With that background, Stew and bass-playing musical collaborator Heidi Rodewald, with input from stage director Annie Dorsen, created this semi-autobiographical musical that captures the journey of a young man’s self-discovery — from his middle-class adolescence in Los Angeles through his adventures in Europe with sex, drugs and art. The renegade piece began life in the Bay Area in 2006, and later opened in New York on separate occasions in 2007 and 2008, gaining some critical admiration and winning a Tony Award for Best Book but eluding long-run success. (The musical was filmed — live onstage — by Spike Lee, and gained some notoriety in its 2009 release.) Stew’s stew of performance/concert art and philosophical existentialism now receives its Nashville premiere from forward-thinking Street Theatre Company, under the direction of Jon Royal. The cast features AJ Eason (of AJ & The Jiggawatts) as the Narrator, plus STC vets DeVon Buchanan, Tamiko Robinson and LaToya Gardner, among others, with newcomer Elvie Williams as the pivotal character Youth. MARTIN BRADY

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