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HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH is Shaping up with Style at The Pollard

By: Oct. 13, 2017
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John Mitchell Cameron's "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" could be considered a rather controversial choice for the Pollard Theatre, however, it is an important choice as it acknowledges the alternative culture growing in America today.

Hedwig's lyrics and music were originally written by Stephen Trask, with Cameron doing the book. "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" first premiered off Broadway in 1998 and received the Obie Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. Since then it has drawn large audiences at every performance of the show for exceptional music as well as having a somewhat shocking story. The punk rock musical tells the story of a man with sexual identity issues filled with androgynous angst as current headlines reflect in today's society.

The Pollard is the perfect venue to handle such an intimate production expressing sensitivity as well as understanding. Hedwig's is a story that needs to be told if we wish to understand these forces that are occurring in our daily lives. While "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is certainly not a show for general audiences and is certainly not suitable for children, it conveys a vital message via an excellent musical score.

There are two casts in the Pollard production. The first weekend features Matthew Alvin Brown and Renee Anderson in the leading roles. The second weekend the cast changes and Jared Blount and Beth Lipton take over the leading roles. The change will occur on Saturday night at 11:59 p.m. after the Saturday 8:00 p.m. show. Considering the material, the usual Sunday afternoon matinees have been moved to midnight, or rather, 11:59 p.m.

Brown and Anderson have performed in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" in multiple venues in the Oklahoma City area and have an excellent command of the score and wonderful chemistry. They will pass the torch to Blount and Lipton at the magic stroke of midnight as the curtain rises.

The Band, featuring Jason Hunt on piano and electric guitar, (Hunt is also wearing the "hat" of Music director), Aaron Marshall on percussion, Joel Patrick Anderson on bass, and Tristan Gfeller on guitar, is the same throughout. The four headliners are rehearsing simultaneously and learning from one another in the course of rehearsals to create their own unique story, while having a firm understanding of the story that needs to be told.

"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is directed by Artistic Director W. Jerome Stevenson with Matthew Alvin Brown as co-director. This connection increases the give and take, between the two headlining casts, allowing both casts to establish equally the quality of performance, yet create a unique perspective.

The production is being done in association with Tulsa Project Theatre where Brown is Artistic Director. It should also be noted that there is a history of superstitions in theatre which is why we say 'break-a-leg' and not 'good luck', or "Macbeth" is called 'The Scottish play', so it is quite auspicious that "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" opens Friday the Thirteenth! This bodes well for all performances!!! (Patrons might be more comfortable petting or even adopting a black cat prior to the event while walking under a ladder).

The Pollard Theatre is located at 120 West Harrison Avenue in downtown Guthrie (just 20 minutes, or 30 in the slow lane) and the ambiance of historic Guthrie is quite apropos for the show. For tickets and information visit www.thepollard.org or call the box office at 405-282-2800.

Written by Clayton J. Blair and staff



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