When Your Favorite Womanizer Meets Glam-Rock – Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig

In today’s day and age, a bit of controversy and a bit of glitter never hurt anyone. One just needs to watch this renowned production on stage, and one can feel the transition from bitter reality to a gritty, glam-rock era that is the world that Hedwig and the Angry Inch is set in.

The hugely successful musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch Broadway has tons to offer to the contemporary audience; a sequined Neil Patrick Harris in the trademark Hedwig wig aside.

Neil Patrick Harris

Hedwig and the Angry Inch first opened to audiences as an Off-Broadway production back in 1998, and to this day, has put up successful productions all over the world. Canada, Prague, Brazil, Puerto Rico, in the West End – Hedwig has traveled the world and continues to carry people on a rock ‘n roll journey.

The New York Times has called it an “unqualified pleasure” and refers to Harris as having joined “an elite club of musical-comedy supernovas.” The Wall Street Journal has called it a “thrilling production” and claimed that “Hedwig feels like a celebration.”

Furthermore, Associated Press has said that “Harris crushes it! He’s funny, twisted, poignant and very, very human.” The applause and the praise is never ending. Neil Patrick Harris is already very well-known for his role in How I Met Your Mother, and has recently landed himself a Tony award for his performance in Hedwig, along with a Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award for Best Actor in a Musical. The production won the award for Best Musical Revival in 2014 at the Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards, Drama League Awards and the Outer Critics Circle Award as well.

The story revolves around Hansel, an East German stuck in East Berlin. He falls in love with a U.S. soldier, goes through a sex-change for him and within one year, is deserted by him. The story follows Hansel, now Hedwig, recovering from this ordeal by forming a rock-band and befriending Tommy Speck.

The musical is a tale of empowerment and the power to strike back. Hedwig is yet again duped by Tommy ‘Gnosis’ who packs up and rises to the top, using Hedwig’s songs and becoming an extremely successful rock star. Hedwig and her band ‘The Angry Inch’ now struggle to make money and tail Tommy’s tour, as Hedwig is convinced this man is the one for her. And she will either love him or destroy him.

The production is loud, glitzy, glamorous and raw. Hedwig is a broken “slip of a girlyboy” who uses her pain and frustration and lets loose. Harris’ portrayal of Hedwig has certainly earned him many nods in the theatre-going audience, as he carried this show spectacularly well.

In fishnets and a wig, with glitter smeared on his face, Harris is enough to draw in those who love a good revival of a musical and also those of the new generation who are aware of the flexibility that exists in this world today when it comes to gender.

It is no secret that we live in an age where hipsters are rampant and Iggy Pop and David Bowie are well-known in many circles – and that is exactly the kind of audience this show excites. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is presented extremely well; balancing the past and the present, spiced up with humor and music to shake you to your core. It is undoubtedly a shame to miss this!

Image courtesy: Angela George [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Ivy Oscar is a professional writer and blogger from Magnolia, Delaware. She likes to write about music, sports, celebrities and all the good things in life.
Categories: Theater

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