Hedwig and the Angry Inchis running at
Our seats were standing room, but after the show started, we were allowed to move into the empty seats at the back. I wish I could have seen the slides better, but we were off to the side. They were pretty, from what I could see, especially in “The Origin of Love,” and suitably different from the movie version.
The costumes, too, were different and unique. Donovan Leitch struts on as Hedwig in a bustier with angel wings and glowing lights on the cups– cue “You’ve Gotta Get a Gimmick” in my head– and a very short skirt with fringed leg warmers. Yitzhak (Bijou Phillips) and the band were suitably scruffy. The funniest thing about the physical appearances, however, was the height difference between Hedwig and Yitzhak, as Leitch loomed over Phillips by more than a head.
It took a little while for the cast to pick up, so the first two numbers lagged a bit, but they got better after that. Donovan Leitch’s accent was erratic throughout. His performance was overall enjoyable, despite it.
Hedwig and Yitzhak’s relationship is more tense, more bitchy in the stage production than the film as they upstage each other in “Tear Me Down” and as Hedwig berates Yitzhak constantly– but only up to a certain point. The chiding ends after “The Long Grift,” as Hedwig sings backup with Yitzhak and comments that it’s nice in Yitzhak’s corner, “out of the spotlight.” The size difference between the actors also helped increase Hedwig’s sense of vulnerability. De-wigged, Leitch’s build seemed all the more masculine, but also more defenseless.
Transformations Part 1: Leitch’s transition into Tommy Gnosis was seamless. The curtain briefly came down, and when it rose again, Tommy Gnosis was before us in a cloud of green smoke. Hedwig’s skirt was gone, and Tommy sported a belt buckle which glowed the word “WICKED” and the signature silver cross. Stunning.
Transformations Part 2: Now set free, Yitzhak returned to claim the spotlight for his own in “Midnight Radio.” It’s no surprise Yitzhak was the better drag act back in Croatia, for Bijou Phillips’s transformation was amazing. Gone was the stubble and bandana– here was a beauty in a blonde wig and Bowie-gear. She was wearing this T-shirt with the iconic Aladdin Sane image and a skirt with the same print. I want that!!
Overall, a very enjoyable evening. I was only too glad to lift up my hands.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
The Roxy on Sunset
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Go see it!