Big hair, dirty jokes and high notes took the Trail stage on Friday night in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”
Hosted by the Trail and District Arts Council, theatregoers were treated to a one man/woman show detailing the struggles of a Berlin-born transgender rock and roll singer named Hedwig and her life in the shadow of successful rock singer Tommy Gnosis, a former boyfriend.
The show was led by Bessie Wapp, playing the title role, and told the story of Hedwig’s journey from sexually confused school boy, to a lonely woman drinking alone in her trailer, to nightclub performer, all while cycling through a set of big, blond wigs. Wapp’s transformation from the beginning of the show, as a self-centred and high-maintenance woman to a melancholy, self-accepting, yet content human being is seamless and takes the audience on the same ride, laughing at the start and empathizing by the end.
The musical numbers were the highlight of the show, especially the big voice coming from Yitzhak, Hedwig’s Jewish drag queen back-up singer and husband, played by Sydney Black. The Angry Inch, the German transgender singer’s back-up band, rocked the evening performance across many different genres of music, keeping the momentum going and lifting spirits.
The show was put together by Black Productions and Selkirk College Contemporary Music and Technology program. and after its sold-out show in Nelson and last Friday’s performance in Trail, the cast is on their way to Cranbrook to share the songs and stylings of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” with audiences across the Kootenays.