If you find yourself in Oregon before the end of August, be sure to set aside a few hours to check out the world premiere of the latest musical play by Stew and Heidi Rodewald of The Negro Problem at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.
For fans, “Family Album” will seem familiar, as they’ve incorporated songs fans have heard TNP play in concert or in other, less-structured, theater pieces over the years. And charismatic guitarist Christian Gibbs, who was a linchpin in Stew and Heidi’s breakthrough show, “Passing Strange,” steps forward to take a larger role in this show.
You’ll see what I mean by the familiarity when you watch the show’s video trailer and read the review in the Los Angeles Times. After you’ve had a look, go here for more information and to buy tickets.
The show was created with director Joanna Settle, a longtime Stew-and-Heidi collaborator who now heads the theater school at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.
Tickets have been selling well, but as of today, there are 16 performance dates for which seats are still available. Prices range from $25 to $99. Go here now for more information and tickets. The run ends Aug. 31.
There’s still time to grab tickets to see Stew, the Tony Award-winning creator of Broadway’s wildest ride, “Passing Strange,” in the cabaret setting of Manhattan’s 54 Below on Friday or Saturday night.
Stew’s work speaks for itself. He’s created a great deal of thoughtful, memorable, and provocative songs for theater, with “Passing Strange” and other shows, and for clubs as a solo performer and with his band, The Negro Problem.
He’s been a favorite of mine for 15 years. His “New Stew Review” promises a preview of upcoming shows, along with old favorites. If experience is any guide, he’ll offer plenty of surprises.
A trip to 54 Below, in the cellar of Studio 54, 254 West 54th Street, Manhattan, can be a bit pricey. But Stew is worth it. Tickets for his shows, which start at 8 p.m., are $40-55, plus a $25 per person minimum. But use the code PUBLIC54 to get a reasonable discount.
Tickets and more information are available here.
Check out the video of Stew and co-creator Heidi Rodewald after the jump.
Heidi Rodewald and Stew, creators of Broadway’s Passing Strange, are presenting a Brooklyn house party in November to share their works in progress.
Creators of Passing Strange and collaborators in The Negro Problem join the inaugural season at BRIC House
BRIC (Brooklyn Information and Culture), the organization behind the great Celebrate Brooklyn! concert series, is opening the BRIC Arts | Media House to provide a permanent stage for new and established artists to explore their work.
BRIC House, at 647 Fulton Street, next door to the BAM Harvey Theater, formally opens Oct. 3. And it already has a great lineup scheduled, including two-nights of creative mashups from Tony and OBIE Award winner Stew and longtime collaborator and OBIE Award winner Heidi Rodewald.
They’re the people behind Broadway’s Passing Strange and the core members of the band The Negro Problem.
In two performances in November, the pair will unveil a show that includes pieces of several projects they have in development, including three musicals, a video-art work, two song-cycles and poems and songs that likely will show up on their next record in some form.
More information and ticket links after the jump. Continue reading
The hat was more crumpled than this at Barbès on July 25 and Stew’s energy level seemed higher than usual. (Photo © 2012, Steven P. Marsh)
By the time his latest gig in his musical living room (aka Park Slope, Brooklyn, boîte Barbès) rolled around Thursday night, July 25, singer-songwriter and Tony Award winner Stew had dumped his original staged plan to play versions of his songs from Passing Strange and other numbers from his extensive repertoire.
Instead, he launched into a tight song cycle “inspired by recent events.” In other words, songs about George Zimmerman and the Trayvon Martin case. If yoy don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s time to get out from under that rock where you’ve been living and catch up on the news!
If you’re a Passing Strange fan who passed on the show for one reason or another and are thinking now that this make you feel OK about missing, hold that thought. I’m here to tell you differently. Continue reading
Posted in Concerts, Jazz, Music, Pop and Rock, RIP
Tagged BAM, Barbès, Brian Drye, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Drye & Drye, Heidi Rodewald, Howard Drye, Joanna Settle, Mike McGinnis, Park Slope, Passing Strange, sexy, Sexy Brooklyn Mommy, Stew, The Negro Problem
UPDATE: Stew Sez Showtime’s now 9:30 p.m.
Photo from Stew’s Facebook announcement of the upcoming gig at Barbès.
There was a moment or two of confusion Thursday morning when Stew,the singer-songwriter and Tony winner for the book of Passing Strange posted on Facebook that he and his band, The Negro Problem, would be appearing two weeks from now at “our beloved Barbès” and included the date of Oct. 25.
Stew, Heidi and an incarnation of The Negro Problem at Barbés in 2011. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)
Well, fans of Stew’s work won’t have to wait that long. Maybe Stew is just jonesing for Fall. But according to the Barbès calendar, it’s Thursday, July 25, at 10 p.m., which is in two weeks.
Whew. Glad I could clear that up.
Stew posted a Facebook update on Friday, July 19, saying showtime was changed to 9:30. So I’m getting there by 9 just to be on the safe side:
showtime for stew & the negro problem’s BARBES show this THURSDAY JULY 25th is now 9:30. We will play some songs inspired by recent events.
Posted in Broadway, Concerts, Music, Pop and Rock, Theater
Tagged Barbès, Broadway, Brooklyn, Heidi Rodewald, Joanna Settle, Martha's Vineyard, Park Slope, Passing Strange, Stew & The Negro Problem, The Public Theater, The Total Bent, Tony Award, Vineyard Arts Project
Blizzard? Who cares, when there’s a chance to see Stew, Heidi and the gang in an intimate Brooklyn boîte
Stew and Heidi Rodewald perform with a version of their band, The Negro Problem, at Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn in March 2011. And yes, that’s Joe McGinty in the foreground. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)
If the predicted nightmare blizzard doesn’t bring New York City to a screeching halt on Friday, you should be at Barbès in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood to catch a surprisingly un-publicized gig by Stew & The Negro Problem.
(Click through to the jump for all the details.) Continue reading
Posted in Broadway, Music, News, Off-Broadway, Pop and Rock, Theater
Tagged Amsterdam, Barbès, Berlin, Brooklyn, Chris Rael, Church of Betty, Heidi Rodewald, Joe McGinty, Los Angeles, Loser's Lounge, Mike McGinnis, Park Slope, Passing Strange, Stew, Stew & The Negro Problem, The Chez Ocean Corrective, The Four Bags, The Negro Problem, TNP, Tony Award
Stew & Heidi Rodewald of The Negro Problem. (Photo © 2012, Steven P. Marsh)
Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone‘s favorite band, The Negro Problem, is playing a gig in Brooklyn this Saturday, July 28. They’re in the hood for the fourth and final installment of the Weeksville Garden Party, a July tradition of free weekly performances at the Weeksville Heritage Center at 1698 Bergen Street between Rochester and Buffalo Avenues in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood.
The Weeksville Heritage Center itself, dedicated to the unique history of the 19th Century village of Weeksville, founded by free blacks, is worth exploring. We’d recommend arriving early — doors are at 4, with The Negro Problem set to perform at 6 — to check the place out.
Remember, it’s free. But if you like the show and the museum, they’ll gladly accept donations. We know WYMMWIG‘s readers are generous. Don’t let us down.
Posted in Free, History, Music, News, Pop and Rock
Tagged Brooklyn, Crown Heights, Heidi Rodewald, Stew, Stew & The Negro Problem, The Negro Problem, Weeksville, Weeksville Garden Party, Weeksville Heritage Center