Hedwig and the Angry Inch 2001 ****

images-3

Neil Patrick Harris may be bringing Hedwig back to Broadway, but it’ll be hard to eclipse the stunning performance of John Cameron Mitchell in this strident rock musical from 2001.  Having co-written that original theatrical show with Stephen Trask, Mitchell plays Hedwig, an East German boy who gets a botched-sex change in the hope of finding love in the West, only to have the wall brought down as he ponders his own mutilated genitals. Stirring musical numbers include (Dirty Little Town, Wig In A Box and The Origins of Love), and for once, the story doesn’t let down the music, with Hedwig’s predicament writ large by big performances and imaginative production. Hedwig may lose something in the transition from stage to screen, but it also gains a certain cinematic oomph that’s well worth seeking out for lovers of musicals.

Advertisements