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I saw the film at SXSW 2009 and thought that Lee did an excellent job at capturing the energy and emotion of the show. There were times when I was dancing in my seat - the same points where I was dancing in my seat at the Belasco. You may not have heard of this show, but I encourage you to get the DVD and see for yourself - it's really good. It'll be well-worth the cost of the DVD.
A black male who grows up middle class, preppy, with a single mother in South Central,LA (the hood- black american slum). He is into rock music and talks proper, but has no white friends. Despite being in the church choir he spokes weed with the rest of the members. He goes to Amsterdam in search of himself wooing women into thinking he is this black american gangster (passing) when really he is a nerd that is frequently passed up by black girls back home in search of their tupac shakur types and jocks. His mother who forces him to go to church yet avoids going herself calls asking when he will return home.
But, to him home is not where you grow up or where your parents live, but where you are most at peace. This play is so deep and so beyond race and culture. Anyone who loves the arts or is currently going through growing pains I strongly suggest to see this play. As well as anyone who struggles with overthinking or social anxiety. This play is about stereotypes and trying to find yourself and place in the world. Something we all as humans can relate to. Spike lee did it big with this one. I love that it raises questions about stereotypes without the militant/aggressive tone spike lee tends to have in his movies. Yet, the passion is still there without offending even the most faint at heart. I saw it live in nyc and had premium seats. It was so exciting being in the front row and stew even included me in one of the skits where he had to engaged the audience. I froze for a sec, lol.
Spike Lee's camera work perfectly captured the stage play, and I've been repeatedly impressed during subsequent viewings. I've been recommending it all of my friends, and through this review am recommending it to strangers as one of those rare movies you buy rather than rent.
The story is compelling and asks a lot of questions about what's "real" or important in life. It's a journey that anyone who's done any soul seeking will be able to relate too. I'm really glad this was captured on film. As too often happens with theater, the performance entirely evaporates into the ether at the curtain call - and if you weren't physically there (in NY in the short span of time the show played), then you're S.O.L. Thanks Stew and Spike Lee for documenting this and sharing it with the masses.
You will never forget Passing Strange-I thank Stew, his band (Heidi sings like an angel) and the phenomenal cast (they are all amazing, but Daniel Breaker is a force of his own and I am not sure that it is fair that one person should be allowed to have that much talent) for what each has given me and continues to give every time I watch the DVD.
You owe it to yourself to own Passing Strange. Rock on!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This show is an inspiration. Brilliant in every possible way - from book, to music, to direction. Songcraft and wordplay of the most extraordinary order, truly. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ralph Farris
I am one of several reviewers who happened upon this while flipping through channels and landing on a PBS station. I caught it near the beginning. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Rosiequeenofcorona
Stew is a phenomenal master of phrasing, hearing his words was worth the price of this dvd alone.
The cast is extraordinarily good. Read more
An interested take on the journey of a young American throwing off his conventional upbringing to explore new cultures that permitted him to reinvent himself. It rambled a bit. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Bobbie G.