Passing Strange [Original Broadway Cast Recording] [Explicit Lyrics]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - J. Scott McClintock
The last thing he wanted was to become a "Broadway Baby," but Stew (singer/songwriter
ational treasure) sure livened up that venerable N.Y.C. Theater District with his rock musical Passing Strange. Nominated for seven Tony Awards (and taking one home), the show, which started as a collaborative project between Stew and longtime writing partner Heidi Rodewald, ran for a month off-Broadway before making the leap to Broadway's Belasco Theater for a nearly five-month run in 2008. More than any other prior "rock musical"-dubbed show, Passing Strange fully deserved the moniker. With an "orchestra pit" consisting of standard electric rock...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - J. Scott McClintock
The last thing he wanted was to become a "Broadway Baby," but Stew (singer/songwriter
ational treasure) sure livened up that venerable N.Y.C. Theater District with his rock musical Passing Strange. Nominated for seven Tony Awards (and taking one home), the show, which started as a collaborative project between Stew and longtime writing partner Heidi Rodewald, ran for a month off-Broadway before making the leap to Broadway's Belasco Theater for a nearly five-month run in 2008. More than any other prior "rock musical"-dubbed show, Passing Strange fully deserved the moniker. With an "orchestra pit" consisting of standard electric rock instruments and a stage largely devoid of props -- and sans big dance numbers -- Passing Strange looked and felt more like a rock concert than anything else that had ever graced a Broadway stage before it. The story itself revolved around a young musician who rebels against his middle-class upbringing and sets off for Europe in search of something "real." On the way, he starts a punk band with church friends, cavorts in the coffeehouses of Amsterdam, joins a rebellious art collective in Berlin, and eventually learns to appreciate and cherish the love of his mother, way back home in those 'burbs he was trying so hard to escape. Loosely based on events from Stew's own life, this was the kind of narrative that would resonate deeply with anyone who ever felt stifled in his or her own "beige hills" middle-class existence and, judging by the musical's wide appeal, a story that succeeded in reaching theatergoers by transcending the boundaries of age, race, and social status. The musical numbers in the show ranged from wide-eyed Baptist choir grandeur to faux Brit-punk posturing, poseur blues, bohemian jazz, and full-blown rock -- with each tune draping the bare stage with its own kind of scenery. The church organ strains of "Arlington Hill" provide a soul-buoying backdrop to a group of choir kids, getting high in their choir director's VW Bug and dreaming of a life beyond the subdivisions. "Keys (It's Alright)" blasts out like a closing-time encore, as the narrator's mind is blown when he's handed (and trusted with) the keys to the apartment of a woman he has just met in an Amsterdam coffeehouse. "We Just Had Sex" follows up with a bouncy, racy account of the "free love" that transpired in said apartment, while "May Day (There's a Riot Goin' Down)" crashes against the theater walls like Molotov cocktails at a Berlin street protest. Colman Domingo (as Berlin performance artist Mr. Venus) brings down the house with his outrageous proclamations of "What's Inside Is Just a Lie," and Stew and Heidi bring the tears in the exceptionally moving and poignant closer, "Love Like That." The 2008 Ghostlight release featured the original cast recorded before a live audience at the Belasco Theater, and included extensive liner notes, photos, and lyrics.
Los Angeles Times - Charles McNulty
1/2 "Passing Strange" is one of those rare contemporary cast recordings with music that's as enjoyable to listen to as it is to experience live in the theater. Lyrically, Stew is a wizard -- introspective, verbally playful and unafraid to challenge convention or himself.... There's a wealth of music to savor, and the CD invites repeated listening, so you can hear the electric-guitar arpeggios and lush orchestrations mapping out a soul's unsteady but unstoppable progress.
San Francisco Chronicle - Robert Hurwitt
It's one of those special cast albums that repays repeated listening.

It's one of those special cast albums that repays repeated listening.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/15/2008
  • Label: Ghostlight
  • UPC: 791558442922
  • Catalog Number: 84429
  • Sales rank: 120,858

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Dave Stewart Narrator
Christian Gibbs Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Heidi Rodewald Bass, Vocals
Christian Cassan Drums
Eisa Davis Vocals, cast
Daniel Breaker Vocals, cast
Colman Domingo Vocals
Rebecca Naomi Jones Vocals
Jon Spurney Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals
de'Adre Aziza Vocals
Chad Goodridge Vocals
Technical Credits
Frank Filipetti Engineer
Chris Gehringer Mastering
Dave Stewart Lyricist, Producer, Orchestration, Book
Bill Rosenfield Executive Producer
Heidi Rodewald Composer, Producer, Orchestration
Tom Morse Sound Design
Ian Stynes Engineer
Kurt Deutsch Executive Producer
Britt Myers Engineer
Charles Isherwood Liner Notes
Jessica Disbrow Art Direction
Bill Bragin Liner Notes
Chris Geahinger Mastering
Tom Morse Sound Design
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