Tag Archives: PBS

Passing Strange; PBS (Upcoming Show)

Spike Lee’s documentary film of the musical Passing Strange makes its national debut on PBS, this Wednesday, January 13, 2010.   Lee’s 135-minute documentary records some of the show’s final performances before it closed in 2008.

Passing Strange features a Tony Award-winning book by Stew, lyrics by Stew, and music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald.

The film stars original cast members Stew, Rodewald, de’Adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker, Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Chad Goodridge and Rebecca Naomi Jones.

Locally there will be multiple airings, so set your PVRS.  It plays at 6 pm and then repeats at 11:30 pm on Shaw 87 and also at 9 pm on Shaw 27.  Check your local listings.

Chess In Concert

Watching Chess In Concert on PBS’s Great Performances, over breakfast this morning, had me longing for a full-scale revival of the 80s rock musical.  The score by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson is nothing short of epic and Tim Rice’s intricate lyrics demand careful repeat listens.


I’ve listened to the original album with Elaine Paige and Murray Head countless times, but had never seen it performed before.  This version was staged in May of 2008 in London, starring Josh Groban (Anatoly), Idina Menzel (Florence), and Adam Pascal (Freddie) and is now available on CD and DVD.

While the show’s American run was a flop, the original London version ran for three years and the original concept album has attracted a major cult following.

Locally, Applause! Musical Society did a concert rendition of Chess in 2003 (which I missed).  I’m crossing my fingers in the hopes that a Vancouver theatre company might dare to take on Chess sometime in the future.

PBS: Chess in Concert

A London concert version of  the pop-musical Chess featuring Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal and Josh Groban is set to air tonight (June 17) on PBS’s Great Performances (Shaw channel 43 in Vancouver).