This Strange Freak’s name is fog

The Englert Theatre, one of the University of Iowa's performing arts venues in Iowa City. (Photo courtesy Jacob Yarrow, Unversity of Iowa)

Weather scuttles Stew & The Negro Problem’s Iowa Omnibus show — for now

What does Mother Nature have against Iowa City, Ia.?

Stew at Joe's Pub on Jan. 23, 2012. (Photo © 2012, Steven P. Marsh)

In 2008, the Iowa River overran its banks and devastated the city, destroying much property in the city, including the notable Max Abramovitz-designed Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

The flood-ravaged Hancher Auditorium, designed by Max Abramovitz, the architect of Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.

The latest natural disaster didn’t cause physical damage that we know of, but the psychic damage is certainly huge. A “freak fog” closed the local airport and kept Stew and Heidi Rodewald and their band, The Negro Problem, from making it to Iowa City in time for their Feb. 2 gig.

As we reported the other day, Stew & The Negro Problem were to present Iowa Omnibus as the centerpiece of a Feb. 2 show at the Englert Theatre, a civic auditorium that is housing some of UI’s performing arts productions. It was commissioned by UI’s Hancher Auditorium, the campus performing arts presenter, inspired by Stew and Heidi’s 2010 Brooklyn Omnibus shows, as well as their hit musical, Passing Strange.

Stew & The Negro Problem. (Photo © 2012, Steven P. Marsh)

Jacob Yarrow, programming the director of the Hancher,  bummed about the problem. He led the way in commissioning Iowa Omnibus, and wants to have it heard.

Here’s an account of what happened, as reported in Eastern Iowa Life:

Stew was unable to travel to Iowa City in time for the show due to travel problems in Minneapolis.

“He made it in to Minneapolis, but all they canceled all the flights to Cedar Rapids because of fog,” said Rob Cline, Hancher’s director of marketing and communications. “Stew doesn’t drive, so by the time anybody could do anything about it, it was too late to go get him. After this settles down, we will explore the options to reschedule.”

Yarrow’s not sure when the show when Stew and Heidi and the band will finally be making it to Iowa City. They’re working on a play, The Total Bent, that has its first performances at the Public Theater in New York City on Valentine’s Day. So it may take a little doing to reschedule. But Yarrow seems like a very determined guy, and a big fan of Stew and Heidi’s work. So we’re sure it’ll all get sorted out soon.

Here’s hoping this is all sorted out quickly. Anybody up for a trip to Iowa City?


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