Hedwig and The Angry Inch Review

Seren Cho, Writer

     The national tour of the hit musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch premiered November 1st at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. This revival stars Glee’s Darren Criss as Hedwig and Tony award winner Lena Hall as Hedwig’s husband Yitzhak (who won her Tony for the musical’s first revival also starring Neil Patrick Harris).

     Through the music of classic rock, the musical tells the story of Hedwig: a genderqueer rockstar that grew up in East Berlin and how she deals with the jealousy of her former student’s fame and finding her true identity. Though the musical is short, it still clearly conveys the true meaning behind Hedwig’s story. Hedwig is in a constant state of distress throughout the show wanting to prove she is more talented than her former student Tommy Gnosis and Yitzhak who was previously a famous drag queen. At the end of the play, Hedwig goes through an unstable breakdown ripping off her clothes and wig realizing that she has spent all her life trying to prove she is worthy to the people in her life and that she really doesn’t know who she is anymore. During the last song, Hedwig finds peace by giving her wig to Yizhak as he performs the rest of the final song.

     While watching the play, you can see the obvious amount of effort Criss has put into finding the true Hedwig. Not only has Criss successfully discovered the genuine Hedwig, but he also performs every song like it is his last. He danced every dance and hit every note all the while performing in six-inch gold heels.

      I walked into the theater already knowing I was going to be amazed by Criss’ performance but knowing nothing of Hall. My previous knowledge of her consisted of only the fact that she had won a Tony in the past. I did not know what to expect from her and I’m glad I didn’t. I was completely blown away by her performance. She drew me in from the moment she walked on stage until the moment she walked off. Even while Criss was dressed from head to toe in sequins and glitter, I could not take my eyes off of Hall and I think the rest of the audience felt the same way. Everyone was entranced by her performance as if she put us under a spell. Hall’s voice is exquisite and her portrayal of Yitzhak was out of this world. I am hoping that one day I will get to see her in a different show performing just as well as she did for me in Hedwig.

     Though far from family friendly, I would still recommend trying to see the show before it closes on the 27th. I went into this show with high expectations and it has greatly exceeded them. If I had the chance to see this show again, I would without any hesitation.