Passing Strange On Stage at Players By The Sea

April 17, 2013 5 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Former Warhol Factory worker, Barbara Colaciello is directing one of the most heavily awarded bits of theatrical writing of the past ten years. Playwriter Stew (Mark Stewart---who naturally has a personal connection to Barbara) has been the subject of a Spike Lee documentary of the making of this musical comedy, and got pretty universal accolades for the writing and music. Now Barbara crafts it into a full production here in Jville on the even progressive and wonderful stage out at Players By The Sea! Join us for details about the show after the jump!

Players by the Sea brings the exciting musical Passing Strange to its Studio Stage April 12 - May 4. This is the Northeast Florida premiere of the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit that was filmed by Spike Lee in 2009. It’s the rock ’n’ roll odyssey of musician-composer Stew, who rebelled against middle class life in LA and took off for Europe in search of artistic and personal fulfillment. In a journey that crosses bound- aries of place, identity and theatrical convention, Stew’s alter ego “Youth” immerses himself in the bo- hemian life of Amsterdam and Berlin, but ultimately discovers that finding himself has nothing to do with geography. Full of wit, passion and personality, Passing Strange plays like a rock concert or large-scale performance art, with a big-hearted story about coming of age.

Watch a PBS Great Performance video of the ballad from Act 2 of Passing Strange, "Come Down Now," sung by Heidi Rodewald and the character Desi (Rebecca Naomi Jones), The Youth's lover during his time in Berlin. For this and other Great Performances visit

What makes this musical event even more exciting is that Stew (pictured above on the right) himself will be appearing at PBTS on April 27, playing a jam session on the Main Stage following the show.

Passing Strange is directed by Barbara Colaciello, the award-winning director, actress and founder of the Players by the Sea School of the Arts. Bryant Miano is Musical Director, with Matt Morgan as Vocal Coach. Choreography is by Alejandro Rodriguez. The cast features Steve Anderson as Youth and An- toinette Johnson as Mother. The men and women who influenceYouth on his journey are portrayed by an ensemble including David Girard, J'Royce Walton, Kerri Alexander, and Janaye Rodgers.

Renovations in the Studio Theatre, including a new light booth and additional rows of seating will be unveiled for Passing Strange.

Check out Jeremy McTiernan amazing photos of the cast!:

Narrator: DeWitt Cooper

Youth: Steve Anderson  

Mother: Antoinette Johnson  


David Girard

J'Royce Walton

Kerri Alexander

Janaye Rodgers

"From singer-songwriter and performance artist Stew comes Passing Strange, a daring musical that takes you on a journey across boundaries of place, identity and theatrical convention. Stew brings us the story of a young bohemian who charts a course for "the real" through sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. Loaded with soulful lyrics and overflowing with passion, the show takes us from black middle-class America to Amsterdam, Berlin and beyond on a journey towards personal and artistic authenticity." ~ Dramatists Play Service

"Fresh, exuberant, bracingly inventive, bitingly funny, and full of heart." —NY Times.
"Smashes Broadway clichés with an electric guitar and the funniest libretto I can remember." —New York Magazine.
"The freshest musical in town! The songs rock harder than anything else on Broadway." —Wall Street Journal.
"With excellent songs and a vulnerable heart, Passing Strange could join Hedwig and the Angry Inch as a punk musical milestone." —Variety.
"Stew tweaks the received wisdom of racial identity as cannily and wittily as any playwright since George C. Wolfe when he unleashed The Colored Museum in 1986." —NY Sun.

Playing at Studio Stage from Fri, Apr 12, 2013 - Sat, May 04, 2013

Book and Lyrics by Stew
Music by Heidi Rodewald and Stew
Director: Barbara Colaciello Williams,  Musical Director: Bryant Miano
Choreographer: Alejandro Rodriguez, Vocal Coach: Matt Morgen
APRIL 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 MAY 2, 3, 4

Thursday - Saturday Curtain time - 8pm | Sunday Matinees - 2pm
General Admission $25

Box Office: (904) 249 - 0289

Check out a great interview with Barbara Colaciello and Stephen Dare about her experiences at the Factory and the use of part of her Warhol photographic collection at the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art here: