Passing Strange | Chicago Center for the Performing Arts | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through May 29 2011
Price: $25-$35
Like Just Kids, Patti Smith's scintillating book about knocking around New York with Robert Mapplethorpe in the 1960s, this Tony-winning musical offers a heartfelt, funny, just-ironic-enough portrait of a young American artist in search of an identity. The kid here is a music-loving black teenager raised in suburban Los Angeles by his churchgoing mother. Cowritten by Stew and based on his 1980s journey--from a "colored paradise where the palm trees sway" to wild Amsterdam and Berlin just before the fall of the Wall--the show originally starred him as narrator. That role is filled to perfection here by Jayson "JC" Brooks, backed by his tight band, the Uptown Sound. Lili-Anne Brown's crafty, stripped-down production and stellar ensemble capture the urgency, hubris, and confusion of a bohemian education--and make the case that "we're all freaks, depending on the backdrop." --Kerry Reid

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