Today was, well, it still is for a few more hours, The International Transgender Day of Visibility. I was happy to be able to spend the day being out and, well, visible. AND FABULOUS.
I was invited by Theater Latte Da to a performance of Hedwig and The Angry Inch. I had always wanted to see this show which is based off of a movie from 2001 of the same name. My friend Kylie and I attended today’s matinee performance and had a wonderful time. Look at us being all visible.
In the show, Hedwig fronts a band and the story is not so much a traditional play but rather a rock concert where Hedwig and her (really amazing) band play songs that range from rather touching to angry and loud to inspiring. I really liked all the music, particularly ‘The Origin of Love’ and you can hear all the music from the show here. Between the songs Hedwig tells the story of her life which is at times funny, touching, and relatable.
Hedwig is a difficult character. At times I felt bad for her because of her hard life, a botched operation and unloving mother. At times I felt bad for her as we learn about her former song writing partner taking all the credit for the work she did as he rockets to fame but leaving her behind. But at other times I didn’t like her at all as she constantly berated her husband throughout the entire show.
It’s interesting to see a show like this deals so heavily with transgender issues but also feels outdated, in some ways. But that’s not the show’s fault. We as society have evolved and learned so much about gender identity since the show was written in the 1990’s. There’s a terrific and insightful Star Tribune article about this very issue here.
The cast is small and the primary roles are played by Tyler Michaels King and Jay Owen Eisenberg. King does an impressive job playing such a polarizing character. King plays to the audience, loves the spotlight and is sincere in the role. Eisenberg’s role was reduced to being yelled at by Hedwig throughout the entire play, but gets a chance to shine in the end. I would have liked to have seen more of their character. The musicians are great, the songs are wonderful and the theater itself is beautiful.
I want to thank Theatre Latte Da for the invitation. I encourage you to check it out and to let me know what you think!