Saturday, June 23, thrugh Saturday, June 30
Circa '21 Speakeasy, 1818 Third Avenue, Rock Island IL
Lauded by Rolling Stone as “the first musical to truly rock” and the winner of four Tony Awards, the theatrical sensation Hedwig & the Angry Inch will be staged in a special three-performance run at the Circa '21 Speakeasy June 23 through 30, its electrifying glam-rock atmosphere inspiring Entertainment Weekly to call the show “groundbreaking and undoubtedly ahead of its time.”
A 1998 musical about a fictional rock-and-roll band fronted by transgender East German singer Hedwig Robinson, Hedwig & the Angry Inch boasts a book by recent Tony recipient John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, its story drawing on Mitchell's life as the son of a U.S. Army Major General who once commanded the U.S. sector of occupied West Berlin. With music steeped in the androgynous 1970s style of David Bowie (who co-produced the show's Los Angeles production), as well as the work of John Lennon and early punk performers Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, Hedwig explores the life of a German emigrant now living in a trailer in Kansas, the victim of a botched sex-change operation. Filled with fourth-wall-smashing musical centerpieces and showcasing the talents of one of the most unique characters ever to hit the stage, Hedwig's 2014 Tony wins included those for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actor Neill Patrick Harris, with Time magazine stating that the show boasted “the most exciting rock score written for the theatre since … oh … ever.”
Serving as Hedwig's director is Mike Turczynski, whose area credits include helming Quad City Music Guild productions of A Christmas Carol, Young Frankenstein, and this past spring's Catch Me If You Can. Reprising the Hedwig character he played at the Speakeasy in 2016, Anthony Natarelli again takes on the role's challenging performance duties, with the actor's local musical credits including the Black Box Theatre's Rock of Ages and the District Theatre's The Addams Family. Sara Wegener also reprises her 2016 role as Hedwig's back-up singer and husband Yitzhak, and featured in the show's live band are Kyle Jecklin on bass, Ben Kays on guitar, and Peter Letendre on drums.
Hedwig & the Angry Inch will be performed on June 23, 29, and 30 at 8 p.m., and patrons must be 18 years or older to attend. Admission to the 8 p.m. shows is $10-12, and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visiting TheCirca21Speakeasy.com.