By Chris Heide
Hedwig and the Angry Inch is hands-down, the best show I’ve seen all year. As a heavy consumer of musical theatre, I do not make this statement lightly. It is a bombastic and wonderfully produced musical that truly embodies the chaos and instability of the past year.
I literally walked into the Paramount Theater knowing very little about Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It was a show that was highly recommended to me by friends. The only thing that I knew is that the titular character of Hedwig was a genderqueer singer and had been previously played by Neal Patrick Harris on Broadway. Because of my lack of knowledge about the details of the show, my experience was nothing short of spectacular.
The show is essentially a one act, faux concert. It’s an edgy off-Broadway production, dressed up as mainstream fair. We (the audience) get to know the background of Hedwig, through a seamless blend of song and stand-up comedy. This is definitely not a show for kids. The humor is sexualized, the choreography is lewd and the music is filled with nuance and pain.
The bulk of the storyline presents an allegory for self-discovery. Euan Morton is outstanding in the role of Hedwig, a character filled with pop-culture parody and scintillating voracity. Morton perfectly encapsulates Hedwig’s conflicting character traits of insecurity and arrogance. With a soaring voice, Mortin truly nails his performance.
Another highlight of the show is Hannah Corneau as Yitzhak, Hedwig’s downtrodden husband. Corneau is a bit of a scene stealer and a delicate counterbalance to Morton's gravitas.
Easily, the best number of the show came in the form of the finale, “Midnight Radio”- Hedwig’s big, emotionally transformative number. It’s an epic, chill-producing finale that perfectly wraps up this bawdy, adrenaline-filled 90 minute spectacle.
Simply put, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is must see theater.