Theater Review: “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

An amazing performance!

An amazing performance!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Oh my goodness, where should I start?! As I mentioned last week, I just visited New York City for the first time ever, and I’m happy to say that I had a blast! I didn’t have nearly enough time to go exploring, but I did manage to visit Times Square, the Empire State Building, the NY Public Library, among other sightseeing spots.

I also had the opportunity to see “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on Broadway! I’m so glad that it was my first show, because it married the quintessential rock musical experience with a powerful story about love, loss, sacrifice, and being true to yourself.

Michael C. Hall did a fantastic job as Hedwig, the “slip of a girlyboy from communist East Berlin” who suffered a botched sex reassignment surgery and two heartbreaking relationships. Hall interacted with Hedwig’s bandmates with the right touch of tongue-in-cheek humor and vanity.

I must admit, however, that Lena Hall (unrelated to her costar), who played Hedwig’s gender-bending husband Yitzhak, stole the show. After witnessing her chill-inducing rendition of “I Will Always Love You,” there was no doubt in my mind whether she deserved the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical this year.

My only criticism that I could make about this show was that it might be difficult to understand for an outsider to the story. Because Hall portrayed both Hedwig and Tommy Gnosis, as well as did the voice of Luther Robinson, it could be confusing to decipher how those three characters were related.

Other than that, “Hedwig” benefitted from having a small cast on a small set. The Belasco Theatre is an intimate venue, and if you’re lucky, you could experience some up-close-and-personal fan-service from the actors!

If you’re in NYC and want some amazing entertainment, check out “Hedwig and the Angry Inch!” You won’t be sorry!

Concert Review: LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring

All photos taken by me

Rating: 5 out of 5

So last night a dream of mine came true: I got to attend “The Lord of the Rings in Concert,” a special event celebrating the 10-year anniversary of “The Fellowship of the Ring.”

For those unfamiliar with this tour, it started on the West Coast Oct. 12. The movie is projected on a 60 ft. high-definition screen, with the orchestra seated below recreating Howard Shore’s musical composition.

The Fresno Bee reported, “About 220 traveling musicians are featured in the show, including members of the Munich Symphony, two choirs – the Pacific Chorale and the Phoenix Boys Choir – along with soloist Kaitlyn Lusk and a contingent of folk musicians and soloists. Ludwig Wicki conducts.”

What’s unique about this concert is that although you can hear the dialogue and sound effects, the film is also subtitled because oftentimes the music’s louder than the other audio.

Another awesome part of the show was a collection of movie props belonging to private collector Troika Brodsky. My photos aren’t the best quality due to the masses parading around the displays.

Props include Gimli's and Sauron's helmets

Various helmets and hobbit feet

Full Ringwraith costume, complete with sword!

Lurtz, the Uruk-Hai who killed Boromir

The musical performance itself was exquisite. It wasn’t a complete copy of Shore’s work, but it paid tribute to it with appreciation and respect. The Irish flutes were uplifting, the battle marches were powerful, and the choral singing was moving.

I especially enjoyed Kaitlyn Lusk as the soloist who sang Enya’s songs “Aniron” and “May It Be.” She looked stunning in her purple gown, and her singing was just beautiful. Easily my favorite performances of the night!

We had excellent seats on the floor, right in the center. It lasted from 7:30-11 pm, with about a 30 minute intermission after the Council of Elrond. I loved every minute of it, and I highly recommend the show to any LOTR fanatic like myself. I cannot wait to see “The Two Towers” next year and “The Return of the King” in 2013!