Hedwig and Angry Inch is probably as close to a religious experience as I will ever get. It’s a feeling that’s similar to when you leave a really amazing rock concert. Kristen and I saw a matinee of Mothers and Sons yesterday and played the 5pm lottery for the 7pm performance of Hedwig. We were semi-sad when we didn’t win because that would mean hanging out for another couple of hours and not being home by 10pm. But then we won the 8pm lottery for the 10pm performance and we realized that there was little-to-no-chance that any tourists from Oklahoma would be waltzing in by accident so the show would probably be the most risque it could be. Our seats were great – the Belasco being a teeny tiny house and all. We went and put glitter on our eyes at Sephora (because, well, obviously.) and then returned to the theatre to be rocked out of our brains.
Let me backtrack for a second: A friend sent me a copy of the off-Broadway cast recording in 1999. I was almost 13. Being that I was 13, I didn’t really get it. But fast forward to a couple of years later and I’d fully immersed myself in the scores of shows like HAIR and The Rocky Horror Show, so I was now 100% on board with Hedwig. I knew pretty much every word. Which is an odd thing for a 15 year old to be able to boast especially when their friends in Suburbia, USA have never heard of glam rock or John Cameron Mitchell.
It’s a rock concert from the second Yitzhak introduces Hedwig. I probably would’ve been really annoying to sit next to if not for the fact that everyone in the audience was pumped as could be to be there. The lights, minimal set, and animation for Hedwig were beautiful and overwhelming (in a good way). Lena Hall was the perfect mix of tough and vulnerable with a beautiful, crystal clear voice to match. The Angry Inch band tore it up every second.
And last but most certainly not least, Neil Patrick Harris never once made Hedwig… into The NPH Show and was an amazing Hedwig – vocally and physically. I will never understand how he jumps around the set in 6" platform heels for 100 minutes with ease.
And thank you, NPH, for calling out the latecomers: “It’s a 10 o’clock show! How could you be late?!”
The entire cast onstage pours their blood, sweat, and tears into the show and it’s amazing the watch. Also: not one cell phone went off during the performance which was a refreshing change from the matinee of Mothers and Sons where 4 cell phones went off in 90 minutes. At least not that we could hear over the score. I don’t know how the HIMYM fans will react to seeing NPH onstage but I’m curious to find out. And although I’ve seen him in person before, saying hi and thanks to John Cameron Mitchell afterward was fun too.
I was absolutely wire after the show. It was really difficult to fall asleep. Oh well, totally worth it. I will definitely be back to Hedwig and the Angry Inch again. And soon. It’s not about Neil Patrick Harris (he’s great, but I’m not a diehard fan), it’s about the music and the energy.