Stew and Heidi Rodewald's The Total Bent Debuts at the Public Feb. 24 | Playbill

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News Stew and Heidi Rodewald's The Total Bent Debuts at the Public Feb. 24 Passing Strange collaborators Stew and Heidi Rodewald return to the Public Theater with their latest music theatre piece The Total Bent, which begins performances Feb. 24 Off-Broadway as part of the Public Lab series.

Joanna Settle (In Darfur, Nine Parts of Desire) directs The Total Bent, which has book and lyrics by Tony winner Stew and music by Stew and Rodewald. The duo previously debuted Passing Strange, a musical story of a young artist's journey to find his own identity, at the Public in 2007 prior to its Tony Award-winning Broadway run in 2008.

The Total Bent will run through March 18.

The cast for The Total Bent includes Kenny Brawner (Deacon), Eddie R. Brown III (Abee), David Cale (Byron), Vondie Curtis-Hall (Joe Roy), Harriett D. Foy (Your Imaginary Friend), William Jackson Harper (Marty Boy), Damian Lemar Hudson (Deacon) and Julian Rozzell (Andrew).

The Total Bent is described as a "musical about a black gospel prodigy from down South and a white music producer from South London who meet in a recording studio just south of the Twilight Zone, as they both desperately seek their own versions of transcendence, salvation, and a hit record. Divine inspiration, fantastical visions, and one legendary music-producer father frame this electrifying new musical about the complicated space between the sacred and the profane."

The production has scenic design by Andrew Lieberman, costume design by Gabriel Berry, lighting design by Adam Silverman, and sound design by Obadiah Eaves and Acme Sound Partners. Stew and Rodewald's Passing Strange was Tony-nominated for Best Musical and Best Score. Stew earned the 2008 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. Spike Lee filmed the Broadway production late in its run at the Belasco Theatre. The duo also presented their song cycle Making It at St. Ann's Warehouse in 2010. Stew and Rodewald are part of the band The Negro Problem.

For tickets, priced $15, phone (212) 967-7555 or visit PublicTheater. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.

David Cale, William Jackson Harper and Vondie Curtis-Hall
David Cale, William Jackson Harper and Vondie Curtis-Hall Photo by Joseph Moran

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