Crushing Rocks: Hedwig & The Swimming Pool

A PROJECT NEAR AND DEAR to my heart has been resurrected! The production of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH that thrilled audiences four years ago is coming baaaaack, heading (“heding,” if you will) to A Club, April 1st and 2nd, with the possibility of more performances to come.

Hedwig has been a part of my life since I emerged from Seattle’s Egyptian Theatre in the summer of 2001 having seen its film adaptation for the first time (with mom, sister and conservative aunt in tow, whose comment, “That guy who played Yitzhak was sure handsome!” is of particular note to those already in the know…). Since then, I’ve named a music website (now-defunct The Wig Fits All Heads) and a PR firm (WigPR) in her honor, and I made my arts review debut on the pages of the Inlander’s “Reader Review” (remember those??) section proclaiming all her glory upon arrival at then-Newport Cinemas! (We may call all of this bias, and you’ve now been forewarned!).

Hedwig follows the story of Hansel, a young boy growing up with his mother in Communist East Berlin, dreaming of life on the other side of the wall and looking for a way out. In his teens, he meets an American GI who is willing to marry him and whisk him away to America, if he’ll “leave something behind.” Hansel undergoes a botched sex change operation, adopts the name of Hedwig in starting life anew, and then, once arrived in the U.S., is unceremoniously dumped by Luther and (in the most natural and logical next step) sets out on the road with a rock band to tell her tale—with angsty teenage boys, domestic disturbances and some unforgiving audience members along the way.

It’s theatre but it’s also a rock concert. It’s a brave leap both on stage and on screen, and it has a HEART to it that’s both unexpected and undeniable. The thing is, man, the wig really DOES fit all heads—everyone can take something from Hedwig, even if it’s just a quizzical furrowing of the brow (like my aunt!), or a great song (also like my aunt!). And while gender-bending might be the most obvious thing about this tribute to life on the edge (of society…), its lasting appeal lies in its ability to capture the hearts of even the most skeptical viewer. Give it a shot, then, dear reader.
Not your speed, you say? (How could you?! Hehe.) The west coast premiere of David Mamet’s newest play, Race, is currently running at Interplayers through April 16, while the Civic Theatre has traded their stage for a SWIMMING POOL for their production of Metamorphoses, through April 17 (please tell me about that!).

On the MUSIC music side of things, Platform Booking has partnered with the Inlander, Audio Affiliated and for a show benefitting earthquake victims in Japan on April 22. A $10 minimum donation gets you through the door at Nyne Bar & Bistro, with two stages featuring music from Flying Spiders, Jesi B & The Allrights and DJ Stone Tobey (and more!), as well as live art by Darcy Lee Drury, Jason Corcoran and Tiffany Patterson. It’s a big, awesome collaboration between the best and the brightest—and chances are it will expand in the days prior. Do it to it!

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