Tag Archives: Daniel Breaker

Daniel Breaker and special guests played Joe’s Pub

Daniel Breaker and his crew at Joe's Pub. (Photos 2012, Steven P. Marsh)

Broadway star spices up his elegant cabaret set with help from fab up-and-comer Jo Lampert and Broadway vet Morgan James

The inimitable Daniel Breaker at Joe's Pub.

We’re hoping Daniel Breaker is going to be a regular on the Joe’s Pub stage. His performance there Sunday night, April 22 — his second cabaret show there — showcase the winning singer/actor even better than the first. He seemed more comfortable in his role as a front man, and less like an actor putting on a show.

Jo Lampert kills it at Joe's Pub, with drummer Christian Cassan in the background.

With the help of a dozen or so musical compatriots — including drummer Christian Cassan and music director/guitarist Jon Spurney from his time in the hit musical “Passing Strange” — Breaker put on a great show.

He sang original and classic cabaret numbers, and even dipped into rock with Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” charming the crowd all evening.

Breaker’s special guest vocalists once again gave him a run for his money. In Breaker’s last show at Joe’s, guest Condola Rashad  threatened to steal the spotlight altogether with her amazing power and charming stage persona.

Breaker clearly didn’t feel threatened. He chose equally intense guests for this show. Jo Lampert, who not long ago was a production assistant at Joe’s Pub and who was involved in the Public Theater’s incarnation of “Passing Strange,” blew the doors off with her rendition of Beyonce‘s “Halo,” and also filled in superbly on backing vocals.

Morgan James, currently in the cast of "Godspell" on Broadway, at Joe's Pub.

Morgan James, who’s in the ensemble with “Godspell” on Broadway, also did a great job.

Kelvin Dinkins Jr. and William Jackson Harper (a must-see in our book after his amazing work “The Total Bent” at the Public Theater) helped out on backing vocals.

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Condola Rashad: Stick Fly’s not-so-secret weapon

Producer Alicia Keys to appear at post-show talkbacks this week

Condola Rashad outside the Cort Theatre. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

When Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? saw a preview performance of Stick Fly on Broadway, we had a great time. The show is flawed, never quite making a clear point while keeping the audience entertained.

But we decided to check out Lydia R. Diamond‘s play (being promoted far and wide in the name of Alicia Keys, one of the producers of the comedic family drama with a twist) even before we knew what the show was about. That’s because we we were blown away by the actor with a below-the-title billing who absolutely steals the show: Condola Rashad.

Keys will be attending the show and conducting “an intimate post-show conversation” on Monday, Dec. 19 and Thursday, Dec. 22.

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Stew and Heidi are working on a Passing Strange followup

stew-autograph

Stew outside the Belasco Theatre after the final performance of Passing Strange. (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)Attention, Strange Freaks! Stew and Heidi are at work on a new show.

Attention Strange Freaks: Stew and Heidi are at it again!

Stew, who won a 2008 Tony Award for the book of the hit rock musical Passing Strange, and Heidi Rodewald, who co-wrote the music, have another show in the works!

Stew, who has repeatedly and vigorously made it clear in song and speech that he’s glad he’s not on Broadway anymore, never said he wouldn’t write another play. But his grueling Broadway experience made him realized that  if he did another show, he would not write himself into it. (Passing Strange is a fictionalized version of Stew’s coming of age, in which actor Daniel Breaker portrayed Stew under Stew’s watchful eye as narrator.)

Heidi Rodewald

Heidi Rodewald

Stew talks about the work in progress in a new interview with Theatermania.com, revealing that Joanna Settle will direct the show at NYC’s Public Theater, a venue that played a pivotal role in the creation and nurturing of Passing Strange.

Stew and Settle aren’t strangers. Stew recently composed the music for a site-specific outdoor production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream that Settle is directing for Shakespeare on the Sound in Connecticut.

Here’s an excerpt from Stew’s wide-ranging interview:

I had wanted to work with the director Joanna Settle, who is also going to be directing the new work at the Public that Heidi Rodewald and I are doing. And, of course, working with Shakespeare’s words is like a great vacation for me. I like nothing more than writing music. I don’t particularly like writing lyrics or books or prose, but music is a joy for me. I’m like a kid with a basketball; it’s not really work. I love that people think it’s work, but the truth is it’s fun. Making words, that’s a job. … [The new show in the works] has nothing to do with me. I mean, I’m writing it so it has something to do with me, but the subject matter doesn’t. We’re having fun with a few historical figures, and that’s about all I can say about it at this point except that it’s music-oriented. I have not cast myself in it because I now have the brains to know I won’t be able to get anything done if I am trapped in a play.

The interview doesn’t answer the question of when the show will be staged. So it’s likely that Strange Freaks — as members of the Passing Strange family are known — will likely have to wait awhile to see it. But, as with Passing Strange, Stew will almost certain try out the songs in his upcoming concerts. Passing Strange, for instance, was developed in part from his Travelogue shows back in 2004.

(For the full interview, visit Theatermania.com. Thanks to Bill Bragin (@activecultures) for bringing it to my attention.)

Luckily,  Strange Freaks won’t have to wait for that show to get another dose of Stew and Heidi. Keep reading for all the details. Continue reading

Up for a Passing Strange road trip?

So glad he's not on Broadway: Stew and his adoring fans after the final Broadway performance of <i>Passing Strange</i> on July 20, 2008. (Photo by SPM, all rights reserved.)

He’s so glad he’s not on Broadway: Stew and his adoring fans after the final Broadway performance of Passing Strange on July 20, 2008. (Photo by SPM, all rights reserved.)

Just a month after hitting the Tribeca Film Festival, Spike Lee‘s film of Passing Strange will be screened at the Seattle International Film Festival on Saturday, May 23.

Spike Lee at the final Broadway performance of Passing Strange on July 20, 2008. (Photo by SPM, all rights reserved.)

Spike Lee at the final Broadway performance of Passing Strange. (Photo by SPM, all rights reserved.)

They’re doing an interview and Q&A session, oddly, before the screening, which no doubt will help avoid the really thorny audience queries, like what co-creator and narrator Stew really meant by “What’s inside is just a lie.”

Spike is also slated to get the SIFF’s 2009 Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Directing.

Think that means they really, really wanted him to show up?