Edmonton Sun (August 2011)

Fringe review: Hedwig and the Angry Inch: 5/5

JUSTIN BELL, SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FIRST POSTED: 

Venue: Westbury Theatre at the Transalta Arts Barn

"There’s a lot of ways to describe Hedwig and the Angry Inch: hilarious, crude, irreverent, over the top, pure fun. They would all be accurate. Best show at the Fringe, perhaps? It’s hard to say with so many shows which is the best, but I’m going to say it anyways. Best show at the Fringe.

Right off the top, this isn’t a show to take the whole family to. The language is crude and the jokes are definitely not for your elderly grandmother — drop the kids off at the sitter and leave your Conservative Party membership at home.

But if you’re alright with crude jokes, love musical theatre, and want to laugh harder than you have since that bus full of clowns exploded, check out Hedwig.

If you’ve seen the movie, it closely follows the story line, though without the set changes and varying locales. It’s a stage show with Hedwig narrating her story from poor East Berliner to botched sex-change victim and American GI divorcé. You know, your typical rags to rags to partial riches story.

Hedwig’s also trying to get over her former boyfriend, a popular musician who dumped her after she helped him get to the top of the charts. And she’s still bitter about the whole thing, even after a vehicular incident. Maybe you heard about it?

“Yes, he was driving, he was on blow, he was being blown by yours truly. He did hit that bus full of deaf children. On survived; now he’s blind.”

As Hedwig, Antonio Bavaro is brilliant. He’s funny, charming, personable, and emotional. He hits just the right balance for a character that’s “like the Berlin wall, stuck between man and woman.”

It’s unfortunate the part of Yitzhak was so small and didn’t afford Pegg"y Hogan more of a chance to show off her chops. She’s an amazing singer and almost upstaged Bavaro on a few occasions.

Be aware, this is a show that almost demands audience participation. Don’t bring any Kraft Dinner to throw on stage, but hooting and hollering are an expected part of the show. 

Make sure to show up early. The show is selling out almost every performance and if you show up 10 minutes before the show, you’ll be seated somewhere out in Bonnie Doon. But it’s possibly the funniest show this year, so make sure to get out to see Hedwig.

Five out of five suns"

Read the original article here:

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2011/08/14/fringe-review-hedwig-and-the-angry-inch-55