Monday, April 26, 2010

Perishable Theatre: "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"

For all of its cultish qualities and contemporary concerns, the rock monologue Hedwig and the Angry Inch (now playing at Perishable Theatre) has a simple, almost archetypal, agenda. It is an inquiry into origins. What has so galvanized audiences over the years, one realizes, is not its radicalism but its urgency; the quest of self-discovery and re-creation has rarely felt so perilous. Sure, the story is about an East German boy who has sexual reassignment surgery in order to marry an American G.I. and escape from his stifling life, only to find that the surgery has been sloppily performed - she is left with a closed incision instead of a vagina, and an "angry inch" of flesh - and that the liberated life to which she has fled is in a Junction City, Kansas trailer park. But the show, structured around a series of divisions and reunions, is about the possibility of transcendence rather than the thrust of transgression. Abandoned by her G.I., unsatisfied in her new life, a mere spectator to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Hedwig forms a rock band of (presumably disaffected) Korean army wives: Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She falls in love with an earnest Christian teenager, Tommy Speck, and cultivates his blossoming religiosity and his musical talent. But when Tommy discovers Hedwig's unassigned sexuality, he leaves her and takes the songs they co-wrote on the road. Hedwig follows him, playing the dumpy dives in the shadows of his sold-out arenas - hence her performance at Perishable, a stone's throw from the Dunk. The show ends with a suggestion of reconciliation - not of Hedwig with Tommy, exactly, but of Hedwig with herself.

Perishable's production, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian in a creatively reconfigured space and on a spare set by Sara Ossana, is unforgivingly immediate. From the moment Alexander Platt makes his gloriously androgynous entrance as Hedwig, to well after he takes his even more ambivalent and triumphant exit, the audience is in a state of alert excitement. Platt's charged performance - erotic, self-effacing, spontaneous, and utterly compelling - is every match for the script's ebullient lyricism; his voice, incredibly, is very nearly a match for the songs' extravagant dynamism; his wanton physicality is certainly a match for Hedwig's desperation and ambivalence. He is, in short, fearless. He is buffeted and buttressed by a volcanic back-up band and, in Elizabeth Gotauco, who plays Hedwig's long-suffering transvestite husband Yitzhak, a superb co-star and scintillating singer. Her top-range vocalizations - all "ooohs" and "aaaahs" of thrilling clarity - are so perfectly tuned and adroitly performed they stun the heart. Somehow, in the sonic mass of guitars and drums and keyboards and voices, she finds her note each time and draws it out like a silver thread.

13 comments:

淑娟淑娟淑娟 said...

Man is not made for defeat. A mean can be destroyed but not defeated...................................................................

雅莊王edgd春2蕙婷余惠其 said...

期待你發表的新文章!跟你說一聲加油。............................................................

韓秀美 said...

Make hay while the sun shines...................................................

洪志源 said...

享受你自己的生活,不要與他人相比。......................................................

宏鈺禎泰 said...

愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。......................................................................

雅明修任 said...

當最困難的時候,也就是離成功不遠的時候。..................................................

灏群 said...

分享的朋友,在精不在多,分享的幸福就在下一秒................................................

446 said...

廢話不多,祝你順心~^^..................................................................

怡靜怡靜怡靜怡雯 said...

走召糸及言贊白勺口拉............................................................

瑰潼 said...

人生中最好的禮物就是屬於自己的一部份............................................................

張王雅竹欣虹 said...

好的部落格就要和好朋友分享--感謝分享............................................................

junjun said...

一個人的際遇在第一次總是最深刻的,有時候甚至會讓人的心變成永遠的絕緣。......................................................................

偉DimpleHolloway043昀 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債............................. ....................................