Have you seen The Total Bent yet?

Stew, Heidi and members of The Loser's Lounge at Barbés in Park Slope, Brooklyn. (Photos © Steven P. Marsh)

Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? was supposed to see The Total Bent, the new show by Stew and Heidi Rodewald of Passing Strange fame, in one of its very first Public Lab performances at The Public Theater in downtown Manhattan last month. But then construction delays at the theater — the Public is undergoing a massive, and much-needed, facelift — got in the way.

That created some pretty massive chaos, forcing The Total Bent‘s schedule to push back. Some shows, including ours, were canceled and rebooked.

So we haven’t seen the show yet. We’ll be there for the penultimate performance on Sunday afternoon, March 18.

All the changes also forced the scuttling of interviews and press access to the creative team.

Director Joanna Settle.

The director, Joanna Settle, wound up unable to sit down with us for the interview we had aimed to do. But she did find time this morning to drop us a quick note about her experience with the  show:

Thanks for reaching out to me. YES – The Total Bent has been a complete joy to collaborate on I must say. Stew, Heidi and I have been engaged in the piece for about 3 years now, and it’s taken many twists and turns narratively along the road to the workshop version running at the Public in PublicLabs right now.  PublicLabs is such a gift to artists – an opportunity to include an audience in the development of a new work in the deepest way possible.  We’ve made radical changes to the piece throughout the workshop, and have been blessed with TRULY one of the finest casts I’ve ever been lucky enough to work with. Climbing inside/creating this story with Stew and Heidi has been such a treat.  Thanks for asking! -Joanna

If you haven’t seen it or booked tickets yet, you may have trouble. But there are a few performances left, and they aren’t all sold out at this point.
Since we haven’t seen it yet, we can’t give you a good sense of the show, but it’s clear from the reports of others who have seen it that it’s very much a work in progress.

A friend who saw the show a couple of weeks ago thought the music and some scenes were “wonderful,” but had “major issues with the script.”

The author of the blog Broadway & Me saw the show recently and offered an enthusiastic take on it just this morning:

If you see The Total Bent— which, if you haven’t done, you’ll have to rush to do because it closes this weekend—you may or may not see the same show I saw. For The Total Bent,the latest work by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, is part of the PublicLab at the Public Theater, a workshop in which the creative team continues to tinker right through the last performance.  But at just $15, it’s a bargain for the adventurous theater lover. (Click here to read more…)

We’re excited to see what we’ll get on the final day. Given the quality of the creative team and the cast, we’re sure it’ll be fun.

To book tickets to The Total Bent, which are just $15, click here. The final performance is at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 18.


2 responses to “Have you seen The Total Bent yet?

  1. I saw it on Friday night. There are some amazing songs in there–par for the course with Stew and Heidi, really–but the book is almost completely incomprehensible.

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