Thursday, December 17, 2009

SOB's Favorite Shows Of The Noughties: #13 - Passing Strange

SOB's Favorite Shows Of The Noughties: #13 - Passing Strange (2008, Belasco Theatre, New York City, NY)

Introduction: Hard as it is to comprehend that we're already 119 months into this "new" millennium, we are fast approaching the end of its first decade. While we have yet to agree on what exactly we should call the '00s, I'll take a cue from the fine folks at The Times of London and the BBC and henceforth refer to them at the Noughties.

With that small introduction, I'm pleased to present my list of plays and musicals that wowed me the most during that time. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of shows I've seen over the last ten years, I give you my countdown of my 25 personal favorite shows of the Noughties.

Last year's absolute best, most cosmic musical was also the most unusual and unexpected, and yet somehow oh so real. Passing Strange succeeded in taking the Great White Way in an entirely new, infinitely intelligent direction, compliments of a musician named Stew. This exacting artist took us on a wild trip in quasi-strolling minstrel style, expertly telling the story of his own formative adult years with such humor, passion and grace that I found myself tearing up many times over as chills shot down my spine.

Stew's storytelling alter ego, Youth, was played with awkward charm by Daniel Breaker, a sensationally expressive new stage star in an astonishing breakthrough role. Breaker was duly honored with a well-deserved Tony nomination.

Often veering toward the existential when it's not reminding you of "The Wizard Of Oz," Stew's ethereal odyssey wasn't as much about saying "there's no place like home" as it was reassuring you that you actually can go home again. I couldn't help but fall head over heels in love with this smoke-hazed tale.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post. I paid my own way for this performance.

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