Here’s a show that deserves a longer run.
This Texas Light Opera and Aria Creative Productions staging of Hedwig and the Angry Inch is playing the Woodlawn Pointe only this weekend, but it’s absolutely worth catching.
John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s off-Broadway musical tells the story of Hedwig, a self-described “girlyboy” caught in a gender crisis who relates the tale of his — and her — life growing up in East Berlin and escaping to the United States with an American soldier after undergoing a botched sex change operation.
We catch up with the entertainer some time later as she’s jealously following her more-famous rock star ex, Tommy Gnosis, around the country. Here. Tommy’s performing at the AT&T Center while Hedwig is playing the more modest “Woodlawn Point-y” in “San Antonio, Tex-ass.” Yes, the dialogue has been customized here and there for local laughs.
Roy Thomas is phenomenal as Hedwig. He’s played the part for years, and it shows. The character fits him like an old friend, and he brilliantly brings out all the aspects of Hedwig’s personality: the bitterness, the longing, the mournfulness — and especially the humor. As Hedwig’s glowering husband, Yitzhak, Morgan Clyde adds yet another character to her already considerable ouevre.
And can they sing! These are some serious rock voices.
Thomas and Clyde are backed by a crazy-good band comprised of Jesse James (Kryzhtoff the Guitarist), Alan Miller (Jacek the Bassist), Jaime Ramirez (Slszp the Keyboard Player) and Kristi Tabersmith (Schlatko the Drummer). They play loud, in-your-face rock and roll, the way it should be done.
The modestly-staged production, directed by David Stone-Robb, is a triumph of resourcefulness. The desired effect — to look like a down-at-its-high-heels, touring rock show — is successfully achieved by way of graffitied fragments of the Berlin wall and evocative screen projections. The lighting design by Joshua Dominguez completes the picture. Also terrific is the intentionally threadbare costuming by Susie Hamilton and, of course, the wigs by Nicholas Adams Bordovsky and Denise Ebara.
This run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch is benefiting Pride San Antonio, Fiesta Youth and American Veterans for Equal Rights. It plays tonight at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 and 6:00 p.m., and Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are available online. Get ’em!
The Woodlawn Pointe is located at 702 Donaldson Avenue.