home
arts
literature
social sciences
special features
discussion
about glbtq
   search

 
   Encyclopedia
   Discussion
 
 
 
 
Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Copyright
 
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
 
 
 
 
subscribe
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
 
 
 
  unsubscribe
 
 
Popular Topics in The Arts
Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
 
Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
 
Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
 
New Queer Cinema
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
 
White, Minor
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
 
Halston (Roy Halston Frowick)
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
 
Surrealism Surrealism
An artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after World War I, Surrealism embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.
 
Winfield, Paul
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
 
Congratulations
 
Congratulations to Neil Patrick Harris and Creators of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 06/09/14
Last updated on: 06/09/14
 
Bookmark and Share


Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig.

Congratulations to Neil Patrick Harris and the creators of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which were among the big winners at the Tony Awards, which were presented on June 8, 2014. The Tony Awards this year were spread around, with no production dominating any category, but the triumph of Hedwig and the recognition of Neil Patrick Harris for his extraordinary performance in the title role were highlights of the evening.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch won the Tony for best revival of a musical and Harris won the Tony for best actor in a musical. In addition, Lena Hall won for best featured actress in a musical and Kevin Adams for best lighting design of a musical.

Hedwig is the creation of actor and performance artist John Cameron Mitchell and composer Stephen Trask. After meeting Trask on a plane in 1997, Mitchell invited him to write songs for the character of Hedwig. Mitchell first appeared as this character at a drag punk club in New York City. Combining Trask's songs with his stand-up monologues, Mitchell began to develop the character and create a narrative.

Hedwig originally premiered off-Broadway in 1998 in a production starring Mitchell. The 1998 production was a surprise hit that quickly became known as one of the best rock musicals of all time. It ran for three years at the Jane Street Theater and inspired Mitchell's 2001 film of the same name, which won several awards, including the Sundance Audience Favorite Award.

In the musical, Hedwig is an "internationally ignored song stylist" who has an "angry inch" of vestigial male anatomy as the result of a botched sex change operation. The musical showcases rock tunes written in a range of styles, from pop ballads to punk anthems.

As Greg Varner observes in the glbtq.com entry on Mitchell, "Hedwig is a creature divided. As a boy in East Germany, she was named Hansel. After falling in love with an American soldier, Hansel is persuaded to undergo a sex change operation so that he will be able to marry and leave the country. The operation is botched; as Hedwig later sings, 'My guardian angel fell asleep on the watch. Now all I've got is a Barbie doll crotch--I've got an angry inch.' She tells her story with a liberal sprinkling of humor: 'When I woke up from the operation, I was bleeding down there--from a gash between my legs. It's my first day as a woman, [and] already it's that time of the month.'"

Through music, comedy, and the pathos of her unusual but compelling story, Hedwig challenges prevailing gay norms, which are sometimes codified into rigid orthodoxies, and makes the deeply moral point that even society's outsiders are deserving of love. Stephen Trask's supercharged music and incendiary lyrics for "Freaks" deliver the show's musical manifesto: "We are freaks! We fuck who we please and do what we choose. We're not bad. We're not diseased or confused."

The current revival is a personal triumph for Harris, who brings to the role not only his fame as a television star, beloved for his performances in Doogie Howser, M.D. and How I Met Your Mother, but also his long experience as a musical theater performer in productions such as Rent, Cabaret, and Assassins. His execution of the demanding role of Hedwig has been acclaimed for its fierceness and anger as well as its command of the stage itself.

Below is a trailer for the Broadway revival.

In the following video, made in April 2014 before the play opened, Harris speaks of the challenges he faced in playing Hedwig.

In the video below, Harris performs "Sugar Daddy" at the Tony Awards. During the performance, Harris interacts with the audience and concludes planting a passionate kiss on his husband, David Burtka, who was seated in the first row of Radio City Music Hall.

 
Related Encyclopedia Entries
 
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
 
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
 
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2014, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.