Stew, Heidi Rodewald and Michael Cerveris Set for Total Bent Event; Casting Announced

News   Stew, Heidi Rodewald and Michael Cerveris Set for Total Bent Event; Casting Announced
Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris (Evita, Sweeney Todd) will join Passing Strange collaborators Stew and Heidi Rodewald for a special Public Forum event Feb. 27 at Joe's Pub.

Heidi Rodewald and Stew
Heidi Rodewald and Stew Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The 9:30 PM concert and talkback is presented in conjunction with the Public Lab production of The Total Bent, by Tony winner Stew and Rodewald. The evening promises "a provocative conversation about life in a recording studio and what happens when the worlds of theater and rock collide."

Joanna Settle (In Darfur, Nine Parts of Desire) will direct The Total Bent, which will run Feb. 14-March 4. It has book and lyrics by 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 Public has also announced casting for The Total Bent, which will include 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 will have 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 phone (212) 967-7555 or visit PublicTheater. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.

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