Hedwig and the Angry Inch - 30 April 2014

broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Belasco Theatre, 30 April 2014.

Where to begin? I have been firmly in camp "Gentleman's Guide" all season. Now, my loyalties are evenly split. Expect each two win their respecting New / Revival categories and duke and out on everything else, with possibly a close split on some.

The conceit for this staging is perfectly. Perfect in tone to Hedwig and a perfect slay of so many Broadway offerings. I managed to get in early and snag a Hurt Locker Playbill and "LOL" plenty while listening to a pre-show soundtrack that (if you check your Hedwig Playbill) reveals itself to include offerings not only from the members of "The Angry Inch", but Lena Hall's band "The Deafening." Mayer (in probably his best work to date) and Mitchell have perfectly framed the show and the Belsaco Monologue and the banter throughout the show about the theatre and references to other musicals are not only informative, but gut-busting at times.

For those complaining that the show is too big, I whole heartedly disagree. They have less designed a show, than designed a space.. Much like the Kit Kat Klub or 54 Below. They created a space for this to happen. The specifics to Hedwig are what? Projections? She had those at the Jane in 1999. The band? Same. A small rack of costumes and wigs? Flashier, yes, but perfectly trashy and not out of line. The only 'bigger' element of Hedwig is one set piece for "Wig in a Box"... Everything else is the environment - the remnants of Hurt Locker - the Hedwig employs for her own delicious devises.

Julian Crouch's scenery almost makes me want to see what Hurt Locker would fully look like. Arianne Phillip's costumes are glitzy, over the top and never go so far as to be out of Hedwig's means. Mike Potter's hair and make up are almost across the board stellar. Tim O'Heir's sound is rock and roll loud yet always intelligible. Spencer Liff's musical staging is seamless. The real stars on the tech front are Kevin Adams' brilliant lighting and Benjamin Pearcy's astonishly good projections.

I can NOT get away without devoting something to Lena Hall, a woman I have always found to be a stellar rock singer with a reasonable legit voice and a passable actress, usually pleasing to watch but almost always miscast and misused. She is giving a career making star turn her. Absolutely unrecognizable - even in her body language - until she opens her mouth and spot on perfect the entire night. The heartbreak, the pain, the depression and the devotion are SO deep in her performance. Take a few moments to watch as Yitzhak is left to the side.. A 100% committed performance that will break your heart. You will cry when Yitzhak is finally given voice.. Not to mention the final moments of the show.

Now, the real draw.

Neil Patrick Harris can only be summed up with "wow". He disappears into this role and is simply brilliant. Watching the layers peel away through the night is spectacular. He can make you forget just about everyone. Absolutely jaw droppingly wonderful from the moment he descends to the stage amid a deafening (no pun) cheer, to an emotional climax, he is wonderful and his ad-libs and his wit make you fall in love.

For the record, the melding of performance and tech left me in tears during "Origin of Love". I dare you to not be in awe.

For those with a dislike for audience participation, avoid the first 8 rows of the orchestra, the house left aisle or the box seats. That is safely in what I can only call "The Hedwig Zone", where you can anticipate being spoken to, flirted with, kissed, licked, petting, caressed, mounted, motor boated, have water spat at you, props given to - or thrown at - you or to be heckled and chastised for leaving your seat... after all, it's only 95 minutes.

Miss the production and you will regret it.
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
How about adding "Loads of spoilers!" Or "Chock full of spoilers" or "I'd turn back if I were you" somewhere here?

Expect demerits because (all together now) there's already a thread for thiiiiiiiiiiiis.
"I hate dead people!" -- Joan Rivers. A Piece of Work
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Haha. Namo, I gave away no legitmate spoilers, I went into no REAL specifics.. and what someone who has SEEN the show could identify is phrased so that it could be a spoiler to someone who has not seen the production.
darreyl102
Broadway Legend
joined:8/23/08
Pay no attention to Namo. He/she just wants a reason to complain.

Darreyl with an L!
Updated On: 5/1/14 at 06:04 PM
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Actually I just know how delighted I was by the little surprises I didn't have spoiled before I saw it and don't really think my suggestion was so outrageous. A little courtesy goes a long way.
"I hate dead people!" -- Joan Rivers. A Piece of Work
darreyl102
Broadway Legend
joined:8/23/08
But there arn't "Loads" of spoilers or even "hock full of spoilers"
Darreyl with an L!
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
Girl ; don't be such a bitch and have the courtesy of putting the word " spoiler" on your title.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
yeah, I thought there was TMI in your post.
<-----craves juicy pizza
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Ah, the rub of BroadwayWorld... "tell us everything, tell us nothing."
There are no spoilers in my post. If you read spoilers, it is because you saw it and you pit it together.
I said nothing overt other than the actors showing layers, I talked about HURT LOCKER - which there is an entire thread on this board devoted, that the dialogue reflects the space - which is every production of Hedwig and NOT a spoiler, as it a concert, and that there is audience interaction, which you would expect at a concert, which people always ask a out, and I did not say what all WILL happen, merely what could at any given performance as Inlisted a variety of acts in tune with Hedwig.
Yes, I included certain verbage that those who have seen the production will see and remember and those who who have mot will see as innocent non-spoilers unless they think too hard or ask elsewhere.
Really people... It s a chat board. Let's chat without chatting. Heaven forbid you talk about a show.
Did yiu know that Dolly traditionally dons a red dress, Peter ears green rights, a magic carpet flies in Aladdin and most shows have curtain calls?? I am damned for ruining.
By the way.. SPOILER:: THE HOUSE LIGHTS GO DOWN AND THERE ARE USHERS.
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
All right. Then label it "Spoiler-free" if you're so absolutely secure in your thought about this.
"I hate dead people!" -- Joan Rivers. A Piece of Work
actorgaedu
Stand-by
joined:5/12/03
As Rizzo would say, "Some people are so touchy"
?Look, I'm 40, I'm single, and I work in musical theater - you do the math!?
rlb237
Chorus Member
joined:1/11/14
Excellent review whole-heartedly agree with everything you've said. It was one of the most amazing times I've ever had at a Broadway show -- and I only saw the third preview. I'm sure it's even more amazing now. I'm seeing it again in July and I absolutely cannot wait.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
"Pay no attention to Namo. He/she just wants a reason to complain."

You mean, "Pay no attention to Chris." There. Fixed it.



Updated On: 5/2/14 at 09:08 AM
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Wrote the poster who accused me of posting in a thread just to take a swipe at him.

Hedwig fans will recognize this as the moment where an audience member shouted "I love you Neil" at Hedwig and it was reported all over the place.
"I hate dead people!" -- Joan Rivers. A Piece of Work
aliangel531
Swing
joined:5/4/12
Does anyone know how the mezz seats are in the Belasco? I was looking at Mezz Row F seats 2-8 on the right or Mezz Row F seats 1-7 on the right :)
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
I've been in the first, second and third row mezzanine on the aisle at the Belasco and they are fine. I imagine the rest of the rows are too.
"I hate dead people!" -- Joan Rivers. A Piece of Work
Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
We saw it from Mezz , second row, aisle, 101 and 102. Beyond good. Usher considered them the best seats in the house.
<-----craves juicy pizza
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
That is exactly where I was for Twelfth Night. I tried to warm the seat up for you.
"I hate dead people!" -- Joan Rivers. A Piece of Work
Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
omg Namo - omg- those seats are magical. When I approached my seat that night, I saw a woman sitting in it. I was just a little brusque (ahem) in telling....um, asking her to move. Lo and behold, it was one of my oldest and most favorite friends, whom I hardly ever see!!!!! We had quite the reunion. Her seats were just across the aisle.

Interesting about those particular seats~
<-----craves juicy pizza
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
If I remember correctly those are great seats.. but a little tight with the leg space?
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!