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October 31, 2014

Spike Lee's Strange heading to PBS

by Mike Moody, posted May 1st 2009 1:07PM
spike lee passing strangeTrailblazing filmmaker Spike Lee has done some great work for TV. One of my favorite Lee TV projects is Sucker Free City, his underappreciated pilot/telemovie for Showtime about San Francisco's criminal underground. And who could forget the Emmy Award-winning Hurricane Katrina doc When the Levees Broke for HBO?

Lee is returning to TV with his latest project, Passing Strange, which has just been picked up by PBS' Great Performances series at the Tribeca Film Festival. Strange is expected to air on PBS next year.

The film is a theatrical stage production of the Tony nominated Broadway musical of the same name. It's about a black man who travels to Europe in the 1970s to find himself. The music is by Mark Stewart, or Stew, an acclaimed L.A. based singer/songwriter.

I've never seen the original stage production, but I'm looking forward to Lee's take on this material. Considering the director's passion for music and good stories, this is probably something his fans should not miss.

Reportedly, Lee and crew are hoping to release Strange for a limited theatrical run later this summer or in the fall. Maybe Great Performances will distribute it to theaters for special screenings, similar to what they do for the Metropolitan Opera's "Live in HD" series. With Spike's Lee's flair for stunning visuals, I'd love to have the option to view this on the big screen.

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olek

I heard a song with an alababa southern accent that goes ty tara ty ty ta ta ta "mew mao mew maua miouo mew." It repeats 4 times. I heared it on pbs 12:00 noon on aug. 2008 ,15. It is similar to im blue. It has normal lyrics" i see"...

July 10 2009 at 6:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
olek

I heard a song with an alababa southern accent that goes ty tara ty ty ta ta ta "mew mao mew maua miouo mew." It repeats 4 times. I heared it on pbs 12:00 noon on aug. 2008 ,15. It is similar to im blue. It has normal lyrics" i see"...

July 10 2009 at 6:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mfeige

also I forgot to mention, calling it "Strange" is weird. It's really "Passing Strange"

May 02 2009 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
christopher

I saw this at South By--It's just a recording of the stage show.

That said, "just a recording" is not an insult. The play is powerful, entertaining, and this is one of the most quality recordings of a stage performance you'll ever see.

I'll not only be watching this on PBS, but buying the DVD once that ever comes out--it is breathtaking.

(Oh, and I already have the cast recording--the music is second to none, very unbroadway, and incredibly enjoyable)

Also, don't think of this show as a second-rate RENT--where that show was overwrought with emotion and had a short-term cultural shelf life, Passing Strange's themes are universal and timeless.

GO SEE NOW.

May 01 2009 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to christopher's comment
mfeige

I couldn't say it any better than christopher said it, but since sundance twice or three times a week I've looked for news about "Passing Strange" being picked up. I've been listening to the soundtrack near non-stop since I saw it in June. This is one of my favorite if not my favorite play of all time and I've seen quite a few. Just loved it, so glad that everyone who missed it in the theatre can still see it. I just need to know when and I will be watching.

Matt

P.S. read the site all the time, have never commented. That's how much I love passing strange.

May 02 2009 at 12:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tobias

Sounds Great...

May 01 2009 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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