Indie rock is hardly a traditional path to success on the Broadway stage, but Stew has never been an ordinary musician. As leader of the group the Negro Problem, he's crafted witty, literate, and intelligently constructed pop music that didn't bear much resemblance to the work of his peers, and the fact he was an African-American artist working outside the widely accepted confines of "black music" only made him seem that much more unique. After years of pleasing critics and a small number of loyal fans, Stew enjoyed remarkable success in a new medium as the musical Passing Strange -- written, composed, and starring Stew in collaboration with Negro Problem multi-instrumentalist Heidi Rodewald -- became a Broadway success that earned Tony and Drama Desk awards. ~ Mark Deming
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