I’m overflowing with excitement, because in just a few days, I’ll be on a plane to visit New York City for the very first time! I’ll be in the Big Apple for the week to attend Strata + Hadoop World, a key event in the Big Data industry. Since the conference goes until Friday evening, I’ll be spending the weekend taking in all the sights!
The most important item on my bucket list is to watch a Broadway musical, and I’m super stoked to say that I’ve got tickets to “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” starring Michael C. Hall from the TV show “Dexter!”
I was first introduced to “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” in one of my Ancient Greek literature courses in college. To sum up the story, it’s about Hansel, a German man who undergoes sex reassignment surgery and takes his mother Hedwig’s name to escape communist East Berlin and marry the man he loves. Unfortunately, the surgery’s botched, and Hedwig is left with an ‘angry inch’ of flesh.
To make matters worse, Hedwig’s husband leaves her after a year, on the day the Berlin Wall falls. All of her efforts have been for naught, so she decides to form a rock band called “The Angry Inch.” Hedwig then enters a relationship with Tommy Speck, a teenager whom she gives the stage name Tommy Gnosis. They write songs together, which Tommy later steals to become a big hit.
Hedwig’s story is told as she shadows Tommy’s tour, playing in nearby diners and strip malls. It’s a fascinating story, but the best part is that the creators John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask were inspired by Plato’s Symposium.
In Symposium, Socrates debates with various Greek men on the origin of love. Aristophanes, a famous comedic writer, explains that long ago there existed three sexes because people were physically joined back to back. After defying the gods, Zeus cut humans in half and scattered them.
The concept of soulmates originates from trying to reunite with your other half, and sex is our way to achieve that physical connection. Although Aristophanes intended his story to be humorous, it becomes much more romantic and profound in Hedwig’s song “The Origin of Love:”
I absolutely love this song, and cannot wait to hear it live. “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” has a long history, from opening Off-Broadway in 1998 to its film adaptation in 2001 to finally this year’s Broadway revival. And the good times keep rolling! In June, Mitchell revealed that he’s working on a sequel!
So keep an eye out for my review of the musical production next week! And please pass on any suggestions on what to do in NYC!