When Hedwig and the Angry Inch was on Broadway in 2014 with Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig, we had friends who flew to New York just to see it. These aren’t super theatre nerds either, just people who love this show. So when we heard it was coming to SF with Darren Criss and Lena Hall, we knew we needed to see it. Unfortunately for her, Brittany caught a nasty cold and couldn’t make it the night we had tickets. This gave Katie the opportunity to invite her Aunt Deirdre, an actress whom Katie credits for originally instilling in her a love of the theatre, to join her for some Drama Talk and Drinks.
Photo by Joan Marcus
Katie: So, what did you think?
Deirdre: I thought it was unexpected. I have to admit I liked it way more than I even thought I would. The audience participation was great. It was almost more like being at a comedy club than a broadway musical. I loved all the San Francisco references, it made people feel even more part of it. You feel like you aren’t seeing the same show that you would see in Chicago. At first I wasn’t very sold on Lena’s part (Yitzhak), but I loved her by the end and wanted more of her. I thought Darren (Criss) was truly amazing. His physical abilities, vocal abilities, his humor, his timing. Fantastic.
K: Agreed! He (Darren Criss) carried the show so well, but I just couldn’t take my eyes off Yitzhak (Lena Hall). Even though her part isn’t the center of attention, she was fascinating to watch. I also loved the set, especially the use of the scrim that came down during the song “Origin of Love”. The projections of the animations were freaking incredible. I felt like I was watching the most awesome hour-and-a-half music video.
D: The most powerful moment for me was Hedwig’s last song, where he took off the wig and costume. When he was done, and the lights came up, not one person broke the silence, he did it so well. The whole audience was so taken by that moment; we didn’t clap and it was silent for at least 30 seconds and then the guitarist started playing and they started singing again. Such masterful direction. It was an incredibly touching moment to have that huge audience so moved that they couldn’t clap, they just had to be present in the moment. Amazing.
K: This show went by so fast for me and I love that it had no intermission. I want to see this again with Lena Hall as Hedwig!
D: I got it, here is my tagline for you: “It’s a wild interactive rock concert with a heart, and an amazing pair of gold shoes!”
K: Nice! We can use that.
The Verdict: One word “wow”. This show is moving, funny, beautiful. Get your tickets now. This show is worth every penny.
The Drama Talk: Hedwig and the Angry Inch was all around spectacular. From the story, to the actors, to the direction, to the band, to the set and lighting design, it was truly an amazing show. Literally everyone should go see it, because everyone who was in that audience (which was a pretty diverse audience) seemed to have a great time. It’s not your typical Broadway experience. In fact, at times it feels more like a rock concert or a cabaret comedy show, but the ridiculously talented actors, and amazing production totally live up to Broadway quality. Darren Criss’ Hedwig couldn’t be better, and it’s so clear why Lena Hall won the Tony for this. It’s worth every penny, despite the pricey tickets.
The Drinks: We headed up the street a block to another theatrical venue Pianofight, because we didn’t want the theatrical night to end. We had some wine and listened to an accordion playing duo as we beamed about the show.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch runs through October 30th at the Golden Gate Theatre. Tickets range from $50 – $212 and are available through the SHN website. They are doing in-person AND mobile $40 rush tickets, which is pretty cool (Click here for more info). There are also currently some tickets on Goldstar selling for $50-$70.