Review: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

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Hailed by some as the “Rocky Horror Show” for the new millennium, Hedwig and the Angry Inch does indeed live up to this comparison: a rock show with a biting wit, some very unusual characters and some great music.

Similarly with Rocky Horror, Hedwig started out as a stage musical before it made its way to the silver screen.  And while the movie helped to definitely round out the narrative, witnessing the life of Hedwig Robinson on stage actually brings the fictional story more to life than the movie ever could.

Currently on stage at the Media Club in Vancouver, the Pickled Production of Hedwig rocks this small venue not only with its music but with audience laughter and delight at the performance of Seth Drabinsky in the lead role and  Cathy Salmond as Yitzhak, Hedwig’s “wife”.

Drabinsky is superb as the bitter transvestite whose life is ruined by both a botched sex change operation and fictional rock legend Tommy Gnosis but the stand-out of the show for us has to be Salmond’s portrayal of the equally bitter Yitzhak.  It was hard not to watch Salmond even when she was not center stage as she projected her contempt towards Hedwig.  And boy can that girl sing (actually so can Drabinsky)!

Local band, Edmonton Block Heater does a great job as well as “The Angry Inch” keeping up with and playing to Drabinsky’s wild take on some of the show’s music and shows their range from hard rock to country.

Sound issues in this small non-standard venue did make it difficult to hear all of the dialogue which may be difficult to follow for those that do not know the basic premise of the story.  But sound issues aside, this is definitely a show worth seeing!

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