Entertainment :: Theatre

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

by B. Michael Peterson
Monday Jan 21, 2013
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Erin Stewart (Yitzhak) and Jerick Hoffer (Hedwig)
Erin Stewart (Yitzhak) and Jerick Hoffer (Hedwig)   (Source:Christopher Nelson)

It’s the event of the year, the show of 2013 not to miss . The event to which I’m referring, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," starts out like any other weekend night on the theater scene with arriving, meeting up with friends and colleagues to experience a piece of community documentation as you are challenged to feel inspired and think about issues that still affect our daily lives.

In this day and age it is rare that every audience member, including critics alike, experience an entire storytelling experience to be cathartic and therapeutic. Jerick Hoffer’s portrayal of Hedwig Schmidt-Robinson was brilliant, polished and on point. The performance is filled with passion and powerhouse vocals that entice the audience to do imaginable acts of debauchery and ensues a connection that only comes once a decade.

What is great about this production is the relationship between Hedwig and Yitzak, which is not blinded. Many productions have artistic limitations for the actor who plays Yitzak, and finally here is a production that showcases both Hedwig and Yitzak. Erin Stewart (Yitzak) breathes life and desperation to once again walk the stage and the earth as the highly talented drag queen that she is.

Jerick Hoffer’s portrayal of Hedwig Schmidt-Robinson was brilliant, polished and on point.

Director Ian Bell has brought to life a cult classic rock show that has been performed a million times by a million actors and a million different directors. His artistic vision captured the essence of the story in its raw form. He strips down the bells and whistles, which makes this storytelling experience a must-see at The Moore Theater.

It’s not all about finding the right talent, but rather feeding and fueling the energy and guiding a script that can be overbearing to the naked eye.

Besides the brilliant direction by Ian Bell and empowering performance by Jerick Hoffer, one needs to take note to the brilliantly designed set by Jennifer Zeyl. The set fuses a feel of the underground punk rock scene of the 1990s in Seattle, New York City and London. I wish I could have seen more trash and graffiti on the stage, but The Moore Theater could not have been a more suitable and perfect venue for the home of this show.

"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" runs through Jan. 27 at the Balagan Theater, 1524 Harvard Avenue in Seattle. For info or tickets, call 206-329-1050 or visit http://www.balagantheatre.org/

B.Michael Peterson works as a Freelance Writer in the Seattle-area. When not writing for EDGE, his work can be seen as a staff writer and columnist for Seattle Gay Scene.

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