Spike Lee retells Stew’s story of black teenage angst

There have been many versions of “Passing Strange,” a musical about surpassing what is expected by bushwhacking your way to who you are. There was the one that lived for years in the head of the rocker Stew. Then there’s the version that was developed as a stage musical 40 miles from here at the Sundance Theater lab and elsewhere and went on to good reviews at the Public Theater in Manhattan. And then, improbably, to a 2008 Broadway run.

Now “Passing Strange” is back in Utah, this time as a filmed version of the live show, directed by Spike Lee. The film is less a documentary than a vividly shot homage in which Mr. Lee uses theatrical lighting and gorgeous music to tell a story about Stew’s story. The members of the audience at the Park City Library Center on Saturday responded as if they were at the musical itself, whooping, clapping and, yes, dancing, as the movie unfolds over a raucous soundtrack


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