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!


Book Review: Summer and the City

Image via HarperTeen

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Hello readers! I’m officially writing my first book review post-LASIK! For those who care, my surgery went well and although my vision’s slightly blurry, that should pass. I have to wear eye shields at night and take a ton of drops during the day for a while, but I’m healing fast and loving life without glasses! It will take some getting used to, but I’m looking forward to starting 2012 with a brand new perspective (literally)!

Ok, for those who don’t care, on to the book review! I just finished Candace Bushnell’s Summer and the City, the sequel to her prequel The Carrie Diaries, which I received as a birthday present last year. This novel follows Carrie Bradshaw (protagonist of the oh-so-popular TV show “Sex and the City”) as she spends the summer in New York before her freshman year at Brown.

As Carrie attends a writing workshop, she lives in Samantha Jones’ apartment, since Samantha is too preoccupied with her fiance Charlie at his place (any SATC viewer knows this engagement won’t last a second). Soon she meets Miranda Hobbes, the romantically disillusioned pro-life activist/feminist. Carrie gets carried away (pun intended) by all that NYC has to offer: shopping, parties, men, and the promise of a brighter future.

Unfortunately, as much as I loved Carrie in the TV show, she’s a pretty obnoxious 17-year-old in this book. She was pretty immature and naive in The Carrie Diaries, but it’s obvious she hasn’t grown a bit. In fact, with a newly stroked ego when it comes to her writing abilities, she’s downright pompous.

She foolishly gets involved with a recently-divorced 30-something playwright named Bernard Singer. Bernard just wants a little sex pet, but Carrie believes he’s “The One” and proceeds to lie about her age, call him every 30 minutes, and make a complete joke out of herself.

There are blatant inconsistencies between the books and the show, mainly about Carrie’s de-virginization story. But when the climax of a novel coincides with a character’s first climax, you know there’s not much substance. Technically, this book’s considered young-adult, but I worry that teenage girls are going to get the wrong ideas about love and life.

Carrie and her friends were horrible role models when they were young (and many would argue, even in their 30’s), so read this story for entertainment, not instructional, purposes. Don’t believe everything people say, don’t have sex out of peer pressure, and DON’T drop out of school for a life in a big city thinking you can rely on sheer willpower. Trust me, get an education and a job–the big city will still be there when you’ve gained some experience.

So unless you’re a hardcore “Sex and the City” fan, pass this book up. Carrie’s just a self-centered, misguided twit, and there’s too many novels out there with more worthy female leads. I’m about to start Crossed, the sequel to Ally Condie’s Matched, so I hope main character Cassia proves stronger and smarter than miss Carrie Bradshaw.