Thursday, July 10, 2008

Passing From Broadway

Passing From Broadway

After months of rarely attracting the audiences it deserved (and ultimately needed), Passing Strange will soon pass from the Broadway boards. This "real" musical, unlike any other, is set to close on July 20.

That closing date is important as it comes one day after Spike Lee is set to film the tuner in front of a live audience. While I agree with Aaron over at ‘kül That Sounds Cool that a full-on film of the stage version couldn't even begin to capture the experience of seeing Stew's amazing, semi-autobiographical journey live, particuarly as a key component is his ability to break down the fourth wall, I guess those of us who love this work deeply will have to take what we can get.

By the time it closes, Passing Strange will have played 165 regular performances. Never mind that it was the best reviewed new musical to hit Broadway this past year. The fact that it had an ill-defining marketing campaign, coupled with dubious choices regarding its Tony Awards musical selection, as well as the fact that it didn't win the coveted Tony for Best Musical as many had hoped, it's probably no wonder that the show played to over 50% capacity (and some weeks, just barely) a tad bit over half of the 22 weeks its been around. Last week, its capacity was down in the danger zone playing to a house with less than 38%.

Such a shame. Who knows when we'll have such an opportunity to pass this way again.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Things I Learned At The Tonys... (June 17, 2008)
Tony Awards: Win Place Show (June 16, 2008)
Strange: Passing In The Heights For Best Musical? (June 13, 2008)
SOB's 2008 Tony Picks - Who Will Win (June 10, 2008)
SOB's 2008 Tony Picks - Part II (June 5, 2008)
SOB's 2008 Tony Picks - Part I (June 4, 2008)
SOB's Best Of 2007-08: Top Ten Of The Year (June 2, 2008)
SOB's Best Of 2007-08: Best New Musicals (May 29, 2008)
How 'kül Is This? Strange $25 Rush Ticket Offer (March 17, 2008)
Passing Strange (The SOB Review) (February 29, 2008)
Broadway's Strange Opening Night (February 28, 2008)
Strange Stagefellows (February 20, 2008)
Passing Strange Jersey Boys And Rock 'N' Roll: Downbeat Box Office (February 19, 2008)
Stranger Things Have Happened! (October 19, 2007)
Passing Strange To Broadway? (October 16, 2007)

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At 10 July, 2008, Blogger Esther said...

It's so sad when a show you really love closes, and I know how much you loved "Passing Strange." While I didn't love it quite as much as you did, I liked it a great deal and I admire what Stew was trying to say. I wouldn't have missed seeing it for anything. It was certainly unique, with very witty, insightful dialog and an appealing main character.

It's hard to say what could have helped "Passing Strange." Maybe the marketing could have put more of an emphasis on Daniel Breaker, who did such a tremendous job, so that people would realize it was a story of a young man's journey.

At 10 July, 2008, Blogger SarahB said...

I did enjoy it (thanks to my benefactor) and thought the book was the best thing about it. I just think a book does not a Broadway musical make - it should have stayed at the Public or some other downtown Bohemian venue.

At 10 July, 2008, Blogger Alicia said...

OK - I just posted about this YESTERDAY! And now it's closing? CRAZY! (Same thing happened to me with RENT... Maybe I should stop posting about shows closing!) Let's hope I'm able to work it into my schedule when I go to the City on the 30th...

At 11 July, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sad it's closing. I remember when it was announced it was going to the Belasco I commented on this blog that I was concerned about the show in that theatre.

For me it really lost a lot of ambiance by moving to a large traditional theatre. However, I know a lot of people who enjoyed it at the Belasco and they probably wouldn't have gone if it was on Broadway.

At least the taping by Spike Lee will ensure many people can see it even after it closes.

At 11 July, 2008, Blogger Mel said...

The reality of the closing of PS just hit me moments ago as I received an email from Telecharge that my amex had been credited for tix to the August 15 show. This was going to be my pre-closing repeat visit. I think you hit the nail on the head about the marketing. I could talk to people about the show and get them enthused to see it, but if they heard the recording, saw a tv clip or watched a commercial they pretty much lost their enthusiasm.

I put passing strange in my top 5 theater experiences. That list goes back to the original broadway production of Plenty. I don't think Spike Lee will be able to do justice to the show, but I'll be happy to have the document of an experience that will be with me forever.


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