Hedwig and the Angry Inch opens today at the Forrest Theatre as Part of Broadway Philadelphia’s 2016/2017 Season, running through Sunday night. The musical adaption of the book by John Cameron Mitchel began its life Off-Broadway in 1998, was adapted in a feature film in 2001 and later evolved in 2014 as the show began its proper Broadway incarnation. The glam rock musical ran for a year at the Belasco Theatre closing in 2015 when it began a national tour.
For those unfamiliar, the rock musical is the story of Hedwig Robinson a genderqueer East German singer, who has so far been very unlucky in love. The musical plays out as a series of gigs gone wrong blurring the line between reality and musical using Hedwig’s onstage banter between songs to tell its tale of love lost. Assisted by her husband, Yitzhak, we are taken through Hedwig’s life from her humble beginnings as a young boy in East Berlin to how she ended up the collaborator and spurned lover of rock god Tommy Gnosis. Thanks to an infectious set-list and props and backdrops from Hurt Locker the Musical Hedwig shows us just how universal love and heartbreak are through her story of perseverance, loss and ultimately forgiveness.
Euan Morton stars as the hilariously raunchy Hedwig with Hannah Corneau as the Jewish drag queen from Zagreb in this touring production of the Tony Award winning musical. With some hilariously witty dialog tailored just for the Philly crowd, coupled with an breathtaking stage show Hedwig is one of the most badass musicals you will ever see. Running a lean 90 minutes without intermission you will be transfixed to your seat thanks to Euan Morton’s take on the iconic role that explodes through song after song relentlessly driving the show to its conclusion. Hedwig is not an easy role given the nature of the performance combined with its elements of improv, but Euan makes it appear almost effortless on stage. While I’ve been a fan of the film, I’ve never seen Hedwig and the Angry Inch live, but consider me converted. It’s a melodic assault on your senses that feels fresh as and relevant as ever.