Capital Critics' Circle
Le cercle des critiques de la capitale

Reviewing Theatre in Canada's Capital Region
La critique théâtrale de la région Ottawa-Gatineau

Hedwig and the Angry Inch. An unrecognizable Tim Oberholzer with star quality is stunning. An exciting and expertly mounted musical show that is not to be missed!!!

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region.   , ,

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Photo. Andrew Alexander . Tim Oberholzer as Hedwig and Rebecca Noelle in the background as Yitzak .

The Vanity project’s version of this glizty transvestite gender bender musical inspired much by David BowIe’s feminine Ziggy Stardust personality and her (his) tranformation to the male Bowie, shows us  Hedwig , accompanied by  her East German colleagues,  frantically searching  for the other half of her being. The epitome of Post-Wall divided culture, she  takes us through her beginnings in post war torn East Germany in the aftermath of the destruction..bringing together all the music of the period including that of the biggest German and international stars of the time. With her ragingly campy non stop  poetic banter , Mr. Hansel Schmidt  (alias Hedwig)  tells us the story of her personal evolution, her need to leave  East Germany and  her mother, and find freedom. Her escape, thanks to a  throaty voiced male American, her tortuous gender shifting,  closely linked to the  symbolic of a split postwar Germany  emasculated  and  divided by the wall. Identified to other splits such as its destructive German Jewish past. She speaks of   ethnic cleansing,  of post-wall European and American  politics. Her alter ego Tommy Gnossis  taunts her and shines across the way and  brings us into the world of the "Who” bathed in parodies of the later Beatles, Nina Hagen and all the music of the period. Rebecca Noelle (a Johnny Depp look alike) but the lead singer of the local  PepTides group and a magnificent voice that rivals Whitney Houston’s  ( I will always love youuuuuu! ) is Hedwig’s sidekick. There are four back-up musicians  including Stewart Matthews playing lead guitar!! Who would have believed that!! It’s one big surprise after the other.

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