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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 16, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 51
Hedwig rocks!
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Hedwig rocks!

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
PARAMOUNT THEATRE
Through December 18


Hedwig and the Angry Inch is considered to be the most influential American 'Rock Musical' since Hair. With music that pleases and a storyline that has spoken to the hearts of millions, Hedwig is not only a social commentary but an enjoyable musical as well. This show is the latest production at Seattle's Paramount Theatre, and it should not be missed.

Based (with liberties taken) on the life of the show's author John Cameron Mitchell (who also starred in the original production Off-Broadway) as the son of an army man who commanded the occupied West Berlin Sector. The show introduces us to Hedwig Robinson who is the (genderqueer) lead singer of an East German rock group called 'The Angry Inch.' The show is Hedwig's one-night-performance sharing his rock-n-roll music and the story of his life. After being proposed to by an American soldier, Hedwig undergoes a sex-change operation so that they may return to America as a married couple. The operation gets botched leaving Hedwig with 'a Barbie-doll front,' and 'an angry inch' of genitalia. Throughout the concert, Hedwig reveals his life, telling us his dreams, ambitions, and loves as well as the hate and hurt he has experienced on the journey.

The musicians of the show are all playing their own instruments giving the full effect of a rock concert. Four musicians, including Hedwig's husband 'Yitzchak,' are in the band, and are mostly background characters. Yitzchak (played by Hannah Corneau) is a former drag queen that gave up the wigs to be with Hedwig. Ms. Corneau's stage presence is amazing. She plays the 'straight man,' supporting sidekick to her star husband, with such grace that she easily shares the focus in the spotlight. When it comes to her breakout performance of 'Midnight Radio,' Ms. Corneau does not disappoint, and completely captures the audience - bringing down the house.

The main star, of course, is Hedwig (Euan Morton). Mr. Morton does an excellent job of bringing Hedwig's character to life. Mr. Morton knows how to bring subtle humor to a complex role allowing Hedwig's vulnerability, in certain parts, to become palpable. His presence is electric and his vocal talents bring gusto to the character's persona. Whether it is the tender song 'The Origin of Love,' the comical 'Wig in a Box,' or the explanative number 'Angry Inch,' Mr. Morton is in charge of his character, of that stage, and pretty much leads the entire show.



Hedwig and the Angry Inch (music and lyrics by Stephen Trask) started as an Off-Broadway musical, starring the book's author John Cameron Mitchell, in 1998 winning two of the season's major awards including the Obie. It ran for over two years before moving on to London's West End. It made its Broadway debut in 2014 starring Neil Patrick Harris, where it went on to win eight Tony Award nominations; it won for Best Revival of a Musical and for Best Actor in a Musical. The film (also starring John Cameron Mitchell) was released in 2001. John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask have confirmed (2015) that a sequel is in the works.

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Hedwig rocks!
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