Fusion Fest returns

April 7th, 2011

Clevelanders can experience various types of artistic groups as Fusion Fest arrives for its sixth consecutive year.

The performing arts festival brings together Cleveland art groups and presents their new work to the community.

The event begins April 13 at the Cleveland Play House.

The celebration’s lineup was announced last Wednesday, and includes major acts such as the multi-media production “Pollock,” about artist Jackson Pollock and the solo show “Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto,” about the slain Pakistani prime minister.

Other performances include “The Real Americans,” about ‘Obama Nation’ and ‘Palin Country,’ as well as “Marigold Wars,” a drama about finding reason, peace and beauty in the time of war.

Another major act performing this year is sure to turn some heads just from its name, the band “Stew and the Negro Problem.”

Heidi Rodewald and the artist called Stew headline the band. They also were the same artists behind the Broadway musical “Passing Strange,” which Spike Lee later filmed.

Their show at Cleveland’s Fusion Fest will be a collage of song, text and video.

Lisa Craig of the Cleveland Play House believes “Stew” will be the most talked about part of Fusion Fest.

“‘Stew and the Negro Problem’ have never performed in the Midwest before,” Craig said.

“His material in pop, music and poetry are great examples of fusion for the Fest.” Craig went on to say that audiences will find the band to be one of the most surprising part of their visit to the Play House.

For Craig, the best part of Fusion Fest is its diversity. “Fusion Fest is just that, fusion in performances. There are various disciplines that are cutting edge [that will be present],” he said.

“It is a great chance to see and experiment, and just go hang out with friends and see something great.”

Fusion Fest runs through April 23 at the Cleveland Play House. Tickets are available  at