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The day after our folk frolic at the Sacramento-adjacent Marriot, Paul, Victoria, Richie of Loose Acoustic Trio, and his lovely wife Katie motored west through orchards and mist to Berkeley to see old pal Stew’s musical Passing Strange at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.

We’ve done shows and recordings with Stew and Heidi and The Negro Problem over the years, and know well their talents, but seeing this play is like waking up and realizing your roommate is Beethoven. It’s scary. Stew is scary. This play is funny, pure poetry and sardonic nihilism, dense with political and social commentary, and it makes you cry repeatedly, and then laugh, and then cry some more. The best American play of the last 20 years? Undoubtedly. Go see it. It’s moving to New York soon, where it will RULE. If there is a hero to slay the rotting hacks of Broadway, this is it.Oh, and the cast–they’re amazing. How can people be this talented? And SpyCar cohort Marc Doten does beautiful keyboard work, rising from his own private pit onstage and descending at key moments. You must see this.