Hey Sugar Daddy, Bitches Need Some Sugar in Their Bowl

Alright, it’s time for the long-awaited return of a bitches on Broadway review – and we’re taking it to the top right now with multiple Tony winning show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch!

Hedwig Set

Key cast: Neil Patrick Harris (I don’t need to provide credits for him, right??) as Hedwig, Lena Hall (Nicola in original Kinky Boots cast) as Yitzhak. Note that NPH is leaving soon to be replaced by Andrew Rannells (Elder Price in the original Book of Mormon cast) as of August 20
Theater: Belasco Theatre, 111 West 44th Street
Ticket price range: $65 – $200
Our rating: 5 wig-raising stars
Our theater rating: 3 – a smaller theater makes tickets a little pricey and harder to come by without shopping about a month in advance; side views are definitely impaired in this theater, even in seats that aren’t marked as such when you buy them, so BE AWARE!
On through: October 2014 (additional dates TBD)
Synopsis: “Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a musical comedy that tells the story of a fictional rock ‘n’ roll band, fronted by Hedwig, a transgender woman and “internationally ignored song stylist” from East Berlin.”

The nitty gritty – our thoughts on this show:

This is, hands down, one of the best shows we’ve ever seen. EVER. Kristin is putting it second – behind only Kinky Boots (which the bitches are going to go see again this week). We’re talking about a complete package deal, from hilarious numbers & witty banter, through powerful ballads and intense moments where you are practically jumping out of your damn seat. Let’s get into this sugar bowl of a show, shall we?

This show is structured in a very interesting way, with Hedwig primarily narrating her own story while performing a concert with her band. There are no scene changes, only a handful of moving set pieces, and everyone on stage at the beginning will be there almost the entire time, with no new additions. It runs as one enormous monologue, more or less, with occasional punctuation from other characters (mostly Yitzhak) and a never-seen ex-boyfriend Tommy Gnosis. Needless to say, the role of Hedwig is incredibly demanding and really requires a special kind of actor to deliver – someone who can single-handedly carry you through a very difficult emotional plot, while still engaging and connecting you with the others on stage. NPH is clutch, and hopefully Andrew Rannells can bring that much-required star power to the role.

Flawless! Eat it, bitches.

Flawless! Eat it, bitches.

Hedwig aside for a moment, we don’t want to mislead you at all about Lena Hall’s Yitzhak. Minor character though he may be, Yitzhak has a powerful and much-needed presence on his own, even in relative speaking silence. He’s suave and sexy, and his song “When Love Explodes” – though it may be a bit tongue in cheek – is actually one of the best in the show. It’s a bit of a roller coaster ride with Hedwig – from her joy at interacting with you at the beginning, to the heart touching “Origin of Love,” to the pounding and crushing “Angry Inch,” all the way to the very end. And let us just tell you, the finale will give you absolute chills. It is so ripe with so many emotions, so intense, and yet finally uplifting in the best kind of way.

If we had any complaints to speak of, they’d be as follows – and this is TRULY getting into nitty gritty: the acoustics are incredibly loud, and it can make some pieces a little difficult to process and understand. This is doubly true if you’ve never seen the film version or don’t know the music – it would be pretty tricky to keep up with this kind of plot at this sound level if you don’t already know the gist of it, so study up before you go. As a second mark against it, it seems like the show had a botched cut job itself – it’s an angry inch (or 30-60 minutes) short of what it could be. It runs a mere 90 minutes and has no intermission whatsoever – there’s not a single moment for you to really process or take a breather from the dominance that is Hedwig. And maybe that’s intentional, but we want MORE Hedwig, while also wanting a bit of a break to process some of the big numbers.

Those downsides aside, this is an impeccable masterpiece if done with the right cast, and you will not regret mustering up the change to see it. Remember, study the tunes & book in advance! You’ll actually find some reasonable prices if you give yourself time.

Our recommendations:
Best seen with: Anyone that isn’t a prude / is ready for the intense experience of up & down emotions with our much-beloved Hedwig; also a perk if they’re the type that will get really invested in a show and lift up their hands in that finale
Best food nearby: We went to Wolf & Lamb, a gourmet kosher spot with a short but well-executed menu. They have fried pickles that are out of this world, and some incredible burgers that are juicy, flavorful, and well-portioned. It’s a little bit further than some of the other restaurant-to-theater plans we’ve made, but well worth it. If you’re looking for something closer, there’s The Lamb’s Club across the street (a little pricey), and the well-rated and very modestly priced Kellari Taverna one block off.
Best metro stop: Times Square-42nd Street (1, 2, 3, N, Q, R, S, 7)
Best parking garageEdison ParkFast at 50 W. 44th Street, which we used for Book of Mormon, is still very reasonable (at $10-25) and quite close at a mere 2 blocks away

Time for the obligatory Hedwig selfie – we’ll have some more photos of us and the cast to share with you later this week. You can also anticipate seeing some new pics from Kinky soon, too, because a reprise was definitely in order!

hedwig selfie

 

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About Kristin R

I'm a twenty-something woman living in NYC working in the nonprofit sector, learning to thrive in the Big Apple while balancing my new life as a (quasi) stepmother.

Posted on August 4, 2014, in Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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