Rock musical goes concert-style at UIC Theatre

"Passing Strange" is a coming-of-age rock musical set in Los Angeles and Europe.

“Passing Strange” is a coming-of-age rock musical set in Los Angeles and Europe.

WHAT:

Jeff Award winner Derrick Sanders, UIC assistant professor of theatre, directs students in Stew’s Tony-nominated rock musical “Passing Strange” and invites the audience to stand at the stage’s edge as at a concert.

WHEN:

April 8, 9, 13, 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m.
April 10 and 17 at 2 p.m.

The April 14 performance will be followed by a discussion led by theatre critic Jonathan Abarbanel, UIC adjunct instructor of theatre.

WHERE:

UIC Theatre
1044 W. Harrison St.

Derrick Sanders

Derrick Sanders, director.

DETAILS:

“Passing Strange” tells of an unnamed character, “the Youth,” who leaves Los Angeles to explore Europe, seeking what’s real through music, sex and drugs with a succession of friends who see him through romantic stereotypes while he hides his middle-class background.

“This production will be distinctive from any other,” said director Sanders. “First, the cast is usually seven actors playing multiple roles. Our cast is more than 20; this provides an epic-size journey for our audience to witness.

“In addition, I have asked that the audience stand during the performance, creating the atmosphere of a music festival like Lollapalooza or Coachella. I believe ‘Passing Strange’ is more of a rock concert than a traditional musical. Just as the music has transported and transformed the Youth, this experience will be a visceral journey for the audience, making them part of the community that shapes our hero.”

“Passing Strange” was performed on Broadway; off-Broadway at the Public Theatre; and at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre between 2006 and 2008. Its final Broadway performances were filmed by Spike Lee, who premiered “Passing Strange: The Movie” at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009.

For those unable to stand during the 100-minute performance, a limited number of seats are available. To reserve a seat, please contact the UIC Theatre box office at (312) 996-2939.

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