Tribeca Film Festival Screens Spike Lee's Passing Strange Documentary May 2

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02 May 2009

Daniel Breaker in <I>Passing Strange</I>
Daniel Breaker in Passing Strange
Photo by Carol Rosegg

Academy Award nominated director Spike Lee's documentary of the Broadway rock musical Passing Strange makes its New York premiere as part of the Tribeca Film Festival May 2.

The film, which will be screened at the Directors Guild Theatre at 7 PM, will be followed by a discussion with Lee, Passing Strange's Tony-winning co-creator Stew and Heidi Rodewald.

The concert documentary of Passing Strange received its world premiere as part of the 25th annual Sundance Film Festival last winter. Lee will also debut his documentary "Kobe Doin' Work" at this year's Tribeca Film Festival.

Lee and his crew filmed Passing Strange live at the Belasco Theatre during its Broadway run on July 19, 2008, a day prior to the musical's final performance. Passing Strange features a Tony Award-winning book by Stew, lyrics by Stew and music by Stew and his longtime musical partner Heidi Rodewald of The Negro Problem.

The documentary of Passing Strange captures original cast members Stew and Rodewald, as well as de'Adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker, Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Chad Goodridge and Rebecca Naomi Jones. The on-stage band includes Jon Spurney, Christian Cassan and Christian Gibbs.



With the aid of director and collaborator Annie Dorsen, Passing Strange incorporates autobiographical elements of Stew's life to tell the story of a young black bohemian who leaves behind his middle-class, church-ruled upbringing in Los Angeles to travel abroad in search of his artistic and personal identity.

The Broadway production of Passing Strange featured choreography by Karole Armitage (Hair), scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy and lighting design by Kevin Adams.

It was announced May 1 that PBS will broadcast the Spike Lee documentary. Variety reports that PBS' "Great Performances" series will air the Passing Strange doc in 2010. The producers of the film are also exploring a possible limited theatrical release in late summer or early fall, according to the industry paper.

For further information, visit TribecaFilmFest.