Great Performances (1971– )
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Passing Strange 

Passing Strange Poster
2:33 | Trailer
A young black artist leaves his Los Angeles digs and travels to Europe to find himself. A theatrical stage production of the original Broadway musical.


Spike Lee


Stew (book)
3 nominations. See more awards »



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Episode credited cast:
De'Adre Aziza ... Edwina / Marianna / Sudabey
Daniel Breaker ... Youth
Eisa Davis ... Mother
Colman Domingo ... Mr.Franklin / Joop / Mr. Venus
Chad Goodridge ... Rev. Jones / Terry / Christophe / Hugo
Rebecca Naomi Jones ... Sherry / Renata / Desi
Karen Pittman ... Mom - Understudy
Stew Stew ... Narrator


A young black artist leaves his Los Angeles digs and travels to Europe to find himself. A theatrical stage production of the original Broadway musical.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

guitar | theater | band | rock 'n' roll | See All (4) »





Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Normally during the song "Amsterdam" Colman Domingo as Joop remarks that the European lifestyle "makes Berkeley look like the Bible Belt" but for this special performance he replaces Berkeley with Spike Lee who directed this film. See more »

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User Reviews

An Exquisite Piece Of Theater
30 January 2010 | by scootmandutooSee all my reviews

I had the opportunity to see "Passing Strange" on Broadway twice. The second time was the night before the Tony Awards, when it was a co-favorite to win Best Musical. I have seen countless Broadway shows, but that night was one of my top 3 Broadway experiences ever. The cast and the audience were completely electric and I left the theater breathless.

This show is so open and honest about its emotions, the cast is amazingly versatile, with exceptional talent, and the music is quite memorable.

Also, when I least expected it, there was an emotional component that reduced me to tears, as it caused me to draw parallels to my own life. Great theater can do that.

I was disappointed at how the show segment came across on the Tony telecast, because the show was far better than what was shown that night, so I was thrilled when I heard that Spike Lee made a lasting record of this, to reach the audience it deserved.

My biggest fear was that it was going to be more documentary than a staging of the show.

So, naturally, I was overjoyed when I realized that the only documentary aspect of Passing Strange was the backstage snippets slipped in at the musical's intermission. It was an interesting addition to the experience.

Anyone who loves the stage and wants to see an amazing, original musical, should really check this out. It is one of those unexpected delights...not overly hyped...but thoroughly satisfying.

I must say I am mystified by the rating system on here. When I last checked it had a weighted rating of only 6.6. When one looks at the actual breakout of votes, this is almost incomprehensible. The vast majority give it a 10 (or 8 and 9). There was a much smaller amount that give it a 0 or 1, but if you average things out even a little, there is no way this is lower than an 8, by any measure. Unless one hates Broadway musicals it is a little obscene to give this film that low of a vote.

In the interest of disclosure, I work in media, and interviewed Daniel Breaker between the first and second time I saw "Passing Strange." But I have interviewed many performers and watched many Broadway shows. I had no stake in this show and was probably even more impressed by it, considering all the shows I have seen.

I cannot recommend "Passing Strange" more highly. It is unlike anything I have seen on Broadway and I would hope that Stew continues to create memorable, life-affirming experiences.

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