Picks and Pans Review: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Let's begin with an explanation of the title. Hedwig and the Angry Inch are a rock band. Hedwig is an East German-born, long-legged, wig-wearing lady rocker who was once a he. Or still is, sort of; the "angry inch" is what's left of Hedwig's manhood after a botched sex-change operation.
This rock musical is about the wrath of a (would-be) woman scorned. It is also, depending on how deeply you want to think about it, a testament to the transforming powers of rock and roll and an allegory about the Eastern Bloc succumbing to the wiles of the West. An adult Hedwig was sweet-talked into her sex-change surgery by an American G.I. who then brought her to Kansas and ditched her. She was again betrayed by Tommy (Michael Pitt), a teenager she fell in love with, who stole her songs and used them to became a humongous rock star.
With its mix of songs (written by Stephen Trask), comic monologues and animation, Hedwig is, like the chanteuse, unique. Mitchell, who directed and wrote the movie (based on his hit Off-Broadway musical), is irresistibly watchable. Hedwig isn't for everyone, but those on the same dyed-blonde wavelength are in for a glorious ride. (R)
Bottom Line: You go, uh, girl
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