Spike Lee Goes Musical

Director Spike Lee has chosen to tackle a new genre: musical theater. It was announced before the holiday weekend that Spike Lee and the producers of the Tony Award-winning musical, Passing Strange are teaming up to film a documentary-style film of the musical performance.

Director Spike Lee has chosen to tackle a new genre: musical theater. It was announced before the holiday weekend that Spike Lee and the producers of the Tony Award-winning musical, Passing Strange are teaming up to film a documentary-style film of the musical performance.

The Academy Award-nominated director has always been known for his socially conscious films, such as Do The Right Thing, Bamboozled and Malcolm X, so it’s no surprise that Lee would want to make a film about a musical that has the theater world’s tongues wagging.

Passing Strange is the brainchild of cult singer/songwriter/composer/actor, who goes simply by Stew. Stew is responsible for nearly everything in the play, from writing the book and lyrics to composing the music to acting as lead guitarist and Narrator for the show. Along with Heidi Rodewald, who co-wrote the music to the play, Stew has created a sensation on Broadway in more ways than one. Not only do people love the coming of age story about using art and music to find what “it’s” really all about, but people don’t even know how to categorize the production. New York Times’ Charles Isherwood wrote of Passing Strange, “Call it a rock concert with a story to tell, trimmed with a lot of great jokes. Or call it a sprawling work of performance art, complete with angry rants and scary drag queens…I’ll just call it wonderful, and a welcome anomaly on Broadway.”

Filming of Passing Strange will be comprised of footage from two performances at the Belasco Theater where it is currently running and a performance sans audience. Lee did a similar project in 2000 when he filmed performances of “The Original Kings of Comedy” concert tour and compiled them into a documentary. There is no official word on when the performances will be filmed, but the completed film will eventually be released to cable television.

Leave a Reply

New Release Tuesday…

Fender’s Billy Corgan Stratocaster