Sorry, no `Passing Strange’ `Sex’

The Tony Awards are less than a month away, and it seems sex is already tripping them up.

The wonderful musical Passing Strange, which played Berkeley Repertory Theatre before heading to the Public Theater in New York and then to Broadway, is stirring up some controversy.

It seems the Tony Awards (to be hosted by Whoopi Goldberg on Sunday, June 15) are doing things a little differently this year by planning a pre-show show that will include numbers from nominated musicals. Stew, a writer/performer of Passing Strange, and his composer partner Heidi Rodewald had planned to perform the rousing “We Just Had Sex,” which isn’t nearly as salacious as it sounds. In fact, here’s a sample lyric:

We just had sex. There’s nothing sleazy ’bout a natural reflex. It’s nice and easy. No need to crane your necks. It’s all cool and breezy, baby. What’s a little bedroom traffic? Evening News is more pornographic!

Apparently the suits at CBS were less than thrilled with the title (I mean, come on, they just HAD sex, they’re not HAVING sex on your precious network), calling it “inappropriate for broadcast.” Well “Two and a Half Men” is inappropriate for broadcast for 30 minutes every Monday night.

Man up, CBS. Let Passing Strange work its musical magic on the American masses (or at least the small percentage of the masses that will watch a Tony Awards special on CBS). And in case you don’t know, this year’s Tony Awards telecast has a catch phrase, and it’s vaguely sexual: “There’s a little bit of Broadway in everyone.” Suggestive, no? Like maybe after seeing a Broadway show we should perhaps smoke a cigarette.

You can hear the controversial song for yourself soon. The live recording of Passing Strange will be the first Broadway cast recording to be available online before it hits brick-and-mortar stores (all three of them that remain).

The cast recording will hit iTunes May 27. Thank you, Ghostlight/Sh-k-Boom Records, for bringing Broadway musicals into the 21st century.

Check out the Passing Strange Web site here.

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