I keep wanting to post something of substance, but Passing Strange is clouding my mind. How ridiculous is that?
When I came to NY before I went to Israel over spring break, Daniel (my older brother) had to go to work. I was staying with him for the three days before I left on my trip, so while he was at work, I wandered around the city a bit. He was living on the Upper West Side, so I just wandered straight down to Times Square and looked around there a bit. Because I didn't really have any particular place in mind, I just sort of walked around in circles looking for something that might be fun to do. Somehow, I kept walking on 44th between Broadway and 8th Ave, and I saw the sign for Passing Strange. I had no idea what that show was, so I kept walking, not even stopping to glance at the poster or signs that were around it. Around 5, Daniel called me and we went to TKTS to see if we could get tickets for anything that night. He told me to choose two shows, just in case one was sold out. My first choice was Spring Awakening, and then I picked one at random, and it was Passing Strange. Spring Awakening was sold out, so we got tickets for Passing Strange.
We went to dinner at this place called Mars 2112 (a weird alien restaurant across the street from Mamma Mia), which was interesting. During dinner, Daniel and I talked about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life regarding theatre or a cruise line or whatever I thought I wanted to do, so I kind of had that in the forefront of my mind when we went into the show. We ate dinner quickly, then headed over to the theatre.
When we first got into the theatre I didn't really know what to expect (since I hadn't heard of the show), and they were playing this really weird music that sounded like it was badly recorded. It wasn't music that I recognized, but it seemed kind of "olde tyme" or however you spell that. The show started off with Stew (the narrator) starting the story with the rock and roll kind of vibe, and it was very cool. The show continued, chronicling Stew's life through other actors. The whole story just really got to me, and made me think. It was about Stew's life and his attempt to write songs and music and whatnot.
I think one of the things that got to me the most was towards the end. Stew was talking about how after one of the free previews, his friend (who has a pretzel stand down in the East Village) told him that the thing that the Youth was looking for in the play, the "Real" only exists in art. And that really got to me. Of course he lightens the moment immediately with a "damn pretzel man. You're [deep]*" but it was enough to set me off crying immediately. It was just so...sad? Profound. I don't even know. The whole show just made me think about everything. I don't even know how to explain it really.
Anyway, while I've been back in NY, I've seen the show twice. (Unfortunately it closed today, otherwise there's a good possiblity I would have seen it at least once before I leave next month.) The second time I saw it, I was with Rachel and Daniel, which I've already briefly talked about.
The last time I saw it was Saturday at 2pm. Spike Lee filmed it. I think I cried through the entire thing. It just really made me...feel. Wow, I sound so lame, but it's really true. It made me think about my life, and how I'm always searching for something to make me understand more about my life, but it's just out of reach. I don't know if I'm even making sense.
I'm really glad that I was able to see this show as many times as I did, even if it doesn't make sense to you. The show is just so poetic and fun and amazing and...yeah. I hope when it comes out on DVD or on TV or whatever form Spike Lee decides to release it in that you watch it. At least listen to the music.
Some of my favorite quotes:
"Only love is real"
"Love is more than real"
"Right when it was starting to feel real"
"Is it alright?"
"If I was any more real, I'd be fiction!"
"Don't be sad about your chosen path/and where it's taken you thus far./'Cause that is what you did, and this is who you are. And it's alright."
"Come down now/remove your mask see/all you've got to do is ask me/I'll give you all the love life allows."
"My love is more real than all your dreams."
"I've been thinking about leaving my fingerprints on your being."
"Life is a movie too/starring you/you're whole family's the cast and crew./that's a little secret between god and you."
It makes more sense if you're listening to it. I urge you to buy the soundtrack because it has the liner notes and all the lyrics and helps you understand who's singing so you can follow the story a bit better. I love everything between Youth and Desi. And everything with the mother. Really, everything is good. If you go to the website you can listen to a few of the songs. Check it out. Seriously.
And now I'm off to bed with the soundtrack playing in the background.
*I can't remember the right words right now, but that's the general gist.