Before you read this review, stop! Pick up the phone or go online to Forrest Theatre and order tickets to Hedwig and the Angry Inch before they sell out! Hedwig is playing this week only at the Forrest Theatre in the heart of Philadelphia’s Gayborhood, and is in short, fucking fantastic! Part rock concert, part love story, and all attitude, Hedwig shares her tale of growing up in East Berlin, singing in the oven, leaving “stuff” behind, the search for her other half and learning to accept herself in all her glory [hole]. She’s as hardcore as a blitzkrieg yet soft like a gummibären.
Euan Morton is superb as Hedwig and brings to life John Cameron Mitchell’s creation with such sincerity and fragility that your heart aches for her as she flips the bird, thrusts her angry crotch around the stage, and basically takes out all her frustrations on her loyal, devoted band! Morton’s amazing vocals showcase his range and solidify him as an exceptional singer, but his portrayal of Hedwig’s persona is truly stunning. His ability to portray all the individuals who have played a part in Hedwig’s life, seamlessly switching accents and mannerisms, is completely mesmerizing.
However difficult it will be to tear your eyes away from this uber personality, be sure to keep your eyes and ears on Yitzhak, Hedwig’s husband and backing vocalist, played by Hannah Corneau. With vocals that range from grunge rocker to Broadway ingénue, Corneau will blow you away. Not an easy task when sharing the stage with Hedwig. This is also Yitzhak’s story, a lead vocalist in the shadows of the bigger personality–desperately wanting to break out but not leave, to own it but also share! Hedwig isn’t into sharing so Yitzhak stands by her, if only a few paces behind and to the right for the time being.
The rest of the stage is filled with the incredibly talented musicians that make up Angry Inch. The Grammy-nominated members (Justin Craig, Matt Duncan, Tim Mislock and Peter Yanowitz) are the same who shared the Broadway stage with Neil Patrick Harris and Michael C. Hall. They aren’t a band put together for the Hedwig production; from the very beginning they demonstrate they are a real band possessing group camaraderie. Hedwig and the Angry Inch has exactly the strong force of talent required to support this amazing production.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch is playing at the Forrest Theatre April 18-23. Get your tickets at www.forrest-theatre.com.