Saturday February 24th 2018

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

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OAk26yzxXL59yGAnM5z9s7wAn2Hk1zZ5mMs1G9CA9W1w3kqamWtKpgBtNO8X6PrR8Somewhat Recommended ** I have never felt that my age would interfere with my ideas about what I see and relate to you, my readers, but, in this case,  the winner of the 2014 Tony-Award for “best Revival of a Musical, :Hedwig and the Angry Inch” fell SHORT of my expectations ( about a half inch, at least). This is a brash “rock musical” performance art, lasting a bit over 90 minutes with no break in the action at all. While Rolling Stone proclaims this piece as” the BEST Rock musical ever!”, I find this to be far behind shows like “Rent” as far as mass appeal.

The story is about two very unique characters, although they make it seem as if it is only about  Hedwig. Yitzhak, Hedwig’s “husband” (played by Hannah Corneau, who has a marvelous vocal range and ability) is almost as important as Hedwig (Euan Morton, who has played this role before) in this “gender-bending, musical that breaks down the fourth wall, allowing the two main characters and the musicians to play off the audience and the events of the evening. Created by John Cameron Mitchell (book) and Stephen Trask (music and lyrics), “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” is a story of one’s finding himself (or can it be her self).  It can also be said ,that it is about finding your “other half”. As we find that Hedwig is a man becoming a woman, or is he a transvestite. In fact, is his “husband” also seeking her other half. It gets a bit confusing, to say the least.

The presentation is so bright ,as directed by Michael Mayer ,with lights flashing and music being played by the Angry Inch musicians, led by Justin Craig, Matt Duncan, Tim Mislock and Perry Yanowitz. The songs, “Tear Me Down”, “The Origin of Love” (which is what this tale is really about), “Wig In A Box” ( an amazing number where Morton and Corneau truly shine), “”Wicked Little Town”. “Hedwig’s Lament” and the final number “Midnight Radio” where we get to watch the transformation of each, to what each really is are all songs that help propel the story and yet, one will never recall one note of any of these numbers.inch3

Unlike many Rock Musicals (“Rent” for example) there was no cult following in this audience. No one knew the songs and chanted out lines on cue. In a Rock musical, that plays a big part in drawing the audience into the story and the power of the book. This one lacked that “pizzaz”. Hedwig is indeed a unique character, and there is no question that Morton plays him exceedingly well. The show has been around since 1998 (off -Broadway) and then made the move from an intimate space, like the Jane Street (where “Tick,Tick Boom” had its birth). Perhaps, as the years go on, Hedwig will find its following and become the “cult” the producers had hoped for.

You can see for yourself, as “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” will continue at The Oriental located at 24 West Randolph Street (between State and Dearborn Streets) thru March 19th with performances as follows:

inchTuesdays  7:30 p.m.

Wednesdays  7:30 p.m.  matinée at 2 p.m. on 3/15

Thursdays  7:30 p.m.

Fridays  7:30 p.m.

Saturdays  2  and 8 p.m.

Sundays  2 p.m.

Tickets range from $35- $108 and can be purchased at any of the Broadway In Chicago box offices, at the Broadway in Chicago Ticketline at 800-775-2000 , at all Ticketmaster outlets and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com

To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”inch2

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