Hedwig and The Angry Inch Review by Jared Fessler

Three people appear on a stage cast in blue light. All three stand before microphones as if at a rock concert.

We're back with our second live musical production, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." The unapologetically queer cast and crew are giving the show a bold new interpretation as three different performers bring the iconic character of Hedwig to life. The production is an immersive, 90-minute rock concert where Hedwig reflects on their journey from East Berlin to the stages of Northeast Minneapolis, attempting to reconcile the lost pieces of their self along the way.

With unforgettable songs by Stephen Trask and a hilariously heartfelt script by John Cameron Mitchell, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is a celebration of queer love and identities, and this one-of-a-kind production is one you will not want to miss.

I saw "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" the movie a long time ago. I was introduced to it by someone who said it was their favorite musical movie. It was a pivotal time in my life back in a small town in Iowa, and at that moment, I don't think I fully grasped the entire story and characters. I had not seen or thought of this musical ever since, so it was good for me to revisit this story years later live on stage at Lush Lounge and Theater.

Lush Lounge and Theater held this production in their entertainment space. The stage had a five-member band, and the only set piece was a pink couch bench that sat in the middle of the stage. The actors used handheld microphones, and at moments throughout the show, the side door to outside was used while Hedwig was listening and yelling at Tommy's concert next door. There were lighting and sound effects throughout the production that made you feel as though you were at an intimate concert.

When I opened the program, I was glad to see pronouns listed by the actors' names, as this production is told authentically by queer-identifying actors in a queer space, telling a queer story utilizing queer language and identities. The movie I remember was from the 1990s, so some of the script is probably dated, but this production had modified it to be more present with certain dialogue and references while paying homage to the original. This was an excellent choice by Maxwell Freudenthal, the director.

Another artistic choice for this production was that the role of Hedwig was split into fragments played by three different actors: Luna Muse/Cam Pederson (Hedwig Blue), Malcolm Lee (Hedwig Pink), and Splash (Hedwig Gold). This approach gave audience members a good sense of Hedwig's character at different stages in their life through the music and script. It also allowed for more diverse queer-identifying actors to be involved in telling this story. They all did great as they portrayed their Hedwig and had improvised and interactive moments with the audience while singing the hit songs from the show that people know and love.

This is a show that is relevant today. The recent bans and legislation that have been happening in certain states and targeting individuals who want to live and express their authentic selves make this show relevant. This production will impact many, whether you have seen or knew Hedwig or not. This production will impact the queer community as they get to see an LGBTQIA+ story and themselves represented on stage. It will have eye-opening and educational moments for those who do not identify as LGBTQIA+. Anyone can take something away from this story and production, and we are fortunate that this production is here in Minneapolis during this time. I would highly recommend seeing "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" at the Lush Lounge and Theater.


Photo by Lou R. R. Zum

Headshot of Jared Fessler
Jared Fessler

Jared [He/Him] is originally from Iowa and resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up doing theatre and studied music, dance, and theatre with additional training in BFA musical theatre.

Favorite theatrical productions he has been a part of are State Fair, Oliver, Guys and Dolls, Working, Damn Yankees, A Chorus Line, and The Crucible the opera.

He works in workforce development and IT and is a photographer. He continues to attend theatrical productions, workshops, and performs.