|Hedwig (Tyler Michaels King) and Yitzak
(Jay Owen Eisenberg, photo by Dan Norman)
|Hedwig in a quieter moment
(Tyler Michaels King, photo by Dan Norman)
A fun feature of Hedwig is that because it's presented as a concert, we the audience are part of the show. We're Hedwig's audience and she plays to us directly and includes us in the performance. She fully acknowledges the here and now, including local references and jokes. Don't sit on the aisles or in the front row unless you want to be flirted with; they've built a catwalk coming off the stage which allows even easier access to the audience (which is where Tyler's improv skills come into play).
|on the catwalk (Tyler Michaels King, photo by Dan Norman)
Our language around and understanding of transgender people and gender fluidity has change greatly since John Cameron Mitchel created the character of Hedwig in the '90s. Twenty years later, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is still an important part of that conversation. At a time when transgender people are facing renewed discrimination and violence, Hedwig reminds us that everyone is a unique individual who is worthy of life and love, no matter what body parts they have or whom they choose to love. Hedwig give us all permission to dance to our own rock and roll, whatever that looks like, whatever that feels like, whatever that is.
The fabulous transformative music-theater-rock concert experience that is Hedwig and the Angry Inch continues through May 5 at the Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis.
Know in your soul
Like your blood knows the way
From your heart to your brain
Know that you're whole.
And you're shining
Like the brightest star
On the midnight radio.
And you're spinning
Like a 45
Dancing to your rock and roll.
*Plot summary borrowed from what I wrote about the Broadway production.
**Scenic design by Michael Hoover, costume design by Alice Fredrickson, hair and wig design by Paul Bigot, lighting design by Mary Sabatura, sound design by Alex Ritter, projection and diary artist Noah Lawrence-Holder, projection design by Kathy Maxwell.