ORIGIN OF HEDWIG

SYNOPSIS
 

“The most wholly rounded piece of ROCK theatre we have seen in years” David Bowie
 

HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH tells the story of Hedwig Schmidt, the unfortunate victim of a gruesomely botched sex-change operation, and an "internationally ignored song-stylist". Her journey to find true love, "her other half", is a rock and roll odyssey which leads her across the Berlin Wall, across the world, and from man to woman.
 
Hedwig begins her journey as Hansel, a young boy growing up in Germany under a Stalinesque regime, and the equally strict regime of his mother. He finds what he believes to be an escape from his dreary existence in the form of a handsome "sugar daddy" – an American G.I. named Luther, who promises to take him away from Germany. The caveat, however, is that Luther can only take a bride back to America. Desperate to escape his situation, Hansel willingly agrees to a sex-change operation – an operation which is botched, leaving Hedwig with a one-inch reminder of her past.
 
Abandoned by her husband, living a down-and-out existence in America, Hedwig's journey to find her other half seems to have ground to a halt. Having fallen in love again, this time with Tommy Gnosis, who leaves her when he becomes a Rock and Roll Superstar, Hedwig takes stock of her situation and forms her own band: The Angry Inch.

“The first rock musical that truly rocks” Rolling Stone Magazine


HISTORY
 

“Sensational! Hedwig is a phenomenon!” Peter Marks, The New York Times

HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH was originally presented at the Westbeth Theatre Centre on 27 February 1997. It opened off-Broadway at the Jane Street Theatre on 14 February 1998. The show was an instant hit, honoured at the OBIE (off-Broadway) awards, and nominated for 4 Drama Desk awards, including Outstanding Musical, Music, Lyrics, and Actor (John Cameron Mitchell). The cast recording was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album. This production closed on 9 April 2000 - a three-year run.
 
HEDWIG toured extensively in the USA (LA Production was produced by David Bowie) as well as productions in Canada, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Philippines, and the UK (UK national tour is still running!).
 
2001 saw the release of the New line Cinema Feature Film of HEDWIG which won two awards at the Sundance Film Festival (Director’s Award and Audience Award) and over 18 International and USA film awards including the Berlin International Film Festival’s prestigious Teddy Award for Best Picture and Best Foreign Film at the British International Film Festival.
 
In 2004, a celebrity album ‘Wig In A Box’ was released celebrating the songs from HEDWIG. Artists included Cyndi Lauper, Rufus Wainwright, Ben Folds, Yoko Ono and many more.
 
Now it is Australia’s turn to get that WIG down off the shelf and experience the best roller coaster rock show since The Rocky Horror Show LIVE ON-STAGE.


Produced Off Broadway by Peter Askin, Susann Brinkley and James B. Freydberg at the Jane Street Theatre where it opened February 14, 1998, under the direction of Peter Askin.
Originally produced in New York City by David Binder in association with the Westbeth Theatre Center, Arnold Engelman, Producing Director.

 
CREATORS
 
JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL - TEXT

John Cameron Mitchell wrote Hedwig and the Angry Inch, an off-Broadway musical play about Hedwig, a transgendered rock musician chasing after an ex-lover who plagiarized her songs, in 1998. Three years later, he directed the feature film version of the play, casting himself as Hedwig.

He also appeared as the gentle country lad, Dickon, in the Broadway musical version of The Secret Garden, and can be heard on the original cast recording.

After the success of Hedwig, Mitchell expressed an interest in financing, writing, and directing a film which would be of high quality, but would incorporate explicit sex in a naturalistic way. That movie would be called Shortbus. Completed in 2006 after a 2-year long talent search and shooting process, it was presented in May 2006 at the Cannes Film Festival. Mitchell was also the executive producer for the film Tarnation, a critically praised and award-winning documentary about the life of a gay man named Jonathan Caouette. In 2005, Mitchell also directed the Scissor Sisters video of Filthy/Gorgeous, which was banned from American MTV for its explicitly sexual content.

 

STEPHEN TRASK - MUSIC AND LYRICS

Stephen Trask is an award-winning musician and composer.

He was the music director and house band member at the New York drag club Squeezebox, where he perfomed with stars like Debbie Harry, Lene Lovich and Joey Ramone, as well as various drag queens.

Trask composed the music and lyrics for the Off Broadway stage musical and 2001 film "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", about a transexual rock star named Hedwig. In the show, Trask's real-life band Cheater perfomed as Hedwig's band "The Angry Inch". He received an Obie Award for the play and a Grammy award nomination for the movie.

He has also done two films with Paul Weitz (filmmaker). He composed the score for 2004's In Good Company and "American Dreamz," for which he also co-wrote the numerous songs the contestants sing. In addition, he scored the 2003 movie "Camp: A Comedy about Drama," and The Station Agent.