Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the story about a woman’s journey to becoming complete and whole, and embracing that journey of finding herself and her other half.
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the story of a woman who comes to terms with her life, accepting the path that she has traveled to find herself and her other half, and embracing who she has become and where she is, through the regaling of the events of her life leading to this state of content.
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the story of woman telling the tale of her rough journey to find herself, “the one”, and reaching the state of being complete, in a one-time rock performance in front of a curious audience. From a botched sex-change surgery to being deserted by her first love, and from giving her heart and soul to a rock star to being the mysterious center of a scandal, the audience learns that Hedwig has given away many parts of herself along her journey. Through all of the pain, heartache, and struggle , Hedwig finds her other half, transitions from part to whole, and comes to terms with her journey, embracing the steps that brought her here, never to look back.
Hedwig Through Fuchs THE WORLD OF THE PLAY
The world of this planet is very familiar and similar to someone from the New York or Berlin areas in the 1980s-1990s. The direct, immediate world of this show is a theater, the Belasco Theater specifically, on Broadway, with an emergency door that is in earshot of Times Square. It is a very specific world based in reality.
The landscape is chaotic: Berlin Wall, Times Square, a set of a demolished Middle Eastern Street with a car in the center. It is a rock band scene which unto itself is this chaotic world of drugs, tours, noise and disillusion. The landscape therefore sets this chaotic tone of loud noise, loud colors, loud experiences. One knows that what happens in this world is some sort of creation and brilliance that grows out of disaster.
If there is an emergency exit to the outside, why can there not exist other hidden places? The ghost of David Belasco (real) is hidden in the theater, hidden in myth. So of course there are places that the ghost is hiding, places where happiness is hidden – those kinds of hidden spaces. THE SOCIAL WORLD
The social world spans a timeline where structures change. The actual time of the show within the show does not change, but it touches on the changes of relationships – from when homosexuality in the military had to be hidden to a time present when that is no longer the case. It seems as there is a social divide between the flamboyant and free, who where their hearts on their sleeves (the Hedwigs of the world) and the suppressed, those who keep mask on, are tortured from the inside, silently, hiding (the Tommys of the world). CHANGES
Three Key Frames:
1- The opening, Hedwig sings Tear Me Down, painting himself strong, as a result of having grown tough from his life experiences.
2-The End, Midnight Radio is the conclusion where we see Hedwig coming to terms with herself, feeling whole and content.
3 – The Turning Point – At the end of Exquisite Corpse, Hedwig has this turning point where she rips herself off of herself (clothing )and smashes herself (tomatoes) to the ground and then comes back as Tommy to sing the reprise of Wicked Little Town. The song puts her in Tommy’s perspective and she gets this sort of apology from Tommy, closure to move forward.
Hedwig’s feelings toward herself change in her story of her life. The audience is meant to experience her change in emotions with her on the journey of her life.
The action moves from the stage to the emergency door. Which actually is confusing. Is Tommy really outside to be in ear shot, or is that just a bit as part of the show that Hedwig is putting up? YOURSELF
This is a journey of empathy. We dislike the lovers, then forgive them. We learn to accept the angry inch along with Hedwig. WORLDS COLLIDE
This script is so rich with recent pop culture and political references including Tim Curry, Kathy Griffin, TMZ, Anderson Cooper, Hurt Locker, “unhappy meal,” Lillian Vernon Catalogue, Yoko Ono, Aretha Franklin etc. With references to a real theater and the Belasco Ghost, to Times Square and historical events like the Berlin Wall and military policies, the story seems very real and connected to the real world. With all of the modern references like TMZ, Griffin and Hurt Locker, I wonder how long the show can last in this framework, and how it has changed since 1997 and how it will change into the coming, 25, 50 years to come. The Hurt Locker and the Twin Towers (also referenced) are events that took place years after the original script came out, so something must have changed already. PATTERNS
Hedwig makes a changes, and they end bad. However, the whole sum of the play is her finally accepting what is to come and what has happened, so that breaks the pattern. Also there is a pattern of heavy energy rock to softer, lamenting rock music. There is a pattern of reaching out to the audience member in the balcony. Hedwig also has the pattern of going to the emergency door to bring that world into his show.
Hedwig blows a kiss to Tommy at one point. Was this just a symbolic gesture to Tommy because he was nearby? Also, was Tommy actually nearby, or was that whole appearance of Tommy in Times Square just part of the show? Also what happened to Tommy’s parents – were they killed or divorced?
How much has changed in the script since the original? Is one allowed to tailor the pop culture references?
Is Tommy still “the one” and she has to move on and accept that, settling for Yitshak?
Cover Image Credit: http://www.playbill.com/production/hedwig-and-the-angry-inch-belasco-theatre-vault-0000014041