The National tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch that landed at the Ordway Theater in Saint Paul Tuesday night is truly a rocking show. It combines my favorite parts of live concerts and theater into a 90 minute performance unlike anything that I have ever seen before. Although the stage is filled with a band, this show feels like a one person show, pulled off wonderfully by Euan Morton, taking on the role of Hedwig.
Unlike traditional theater, this show is carried on like a live concert (when they say there is going to be extensive use of strobe lights, they mean it). But unlike most concerts I have been to, with a possible exception for Tegan and Sara, this show had much more talking and banter between the songs, which allowed the story to be told. The story of the protagonist Hedwig, a genderqueer person from East Germany, how she ended up in this theater, and the journey for love, identity and acceptance along the way. In addition to the both emotionally and witty story telling, local references were cleverly woven in. I particularly liked the reference to my not so favorite Opera Manchurian Candidate.
Music wise this show is not my favorite, I liked about half the songs and was content to sit through the other half. Even though I didn't love the music it did not keep me from feeling totally enthralled with this show. The story telling, and the character of Hedwig just felt so magical and magnetic I couldn't look away. If you are a fan of completely unique characters this is a show that you must check out while it is still in town.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch is playing at the Ordway Theater through February 19.
*Photo:Euan Morton as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Photo by Joan Marcus)