Broadway hit and four-time Tony Award winner Hedwig and the Angry Inch is coming to The Court Theatre this May, with leading lady Hedwig bringing her incredible band – and collection of wigs – with her.
Coming to New Zealand for the very first time, this electrifying production, called “the best rock musical ever,” by Rolling Stone, follows ‘international ignored song stylist’ Hedwig as she tells her personal history of sacrifice and struggle – and her botched sex-change operation - against a glam-rock soundtrack reminiscent of David Bowie and Iggy Pop.
“Hedwig is taking over The Court Theatre with her punk/glam-rock cabaret,” says director Michael Lee Porter.
Porter and musical director Luke Di Somma are creating a dynamic, exciting and irreverent musical that offers Canterbury audiences one hell of a night out.
Di Somma, who was one of the co-creators of national musical hit, That Bloody Woman says, “If you liked That Bloody Woman, you’ll be in for a great time with Hedwig!”
New York based Australian actor Adam Rennie is taking on the challenge of portraying Hedwig, known as being one of the toughest musical theatre roles in existence and an opportunity that he calls a dream come true. Rennie is best known for his role in the 2018 Australian production of The Rocky Horror Show, when he saved the day by taking on the role of Frank N Furter after just one day’s notice.
“Adam is going to blow Christchurch away,” says Di Somma.
Rennie has been preparing for months with accent and dialect coaching, make-up trials and, of course, getting ready to stomp around stage in Hedwig’s iconic high heels!
“What I find most striking about Hedwig is how relatable she is,” says Rennie. “The show is a high octane, rock concert, led by a punk rock goddess who has had a botched sex change operation, but you also get to spend a very raw evening with a human who is craving connection. Through all the humour and bravado, you fall in love with her. You want to see her win. The explosion of empathy for a character so unlike the audience is what I love the most.”
Joining Rennie on-stage is co-star Phoebe Hurst (That Bloody Woman), playing Hedwig’s husband, Croatian immigrant and ex-drag queen, Yitzhak.
A group of four musicians will be joining the duo to complete the Angry Inch band and bring this renowned story to life.
Audiences can expect a show-stopping production, complete with awe-inspiring costumes and thrilling effects – but Hedwig’s story is what gives the production so much heart.
“It’s not every day a musical comes along that resonates with so many different people on so many different levels,” says Porter. “It’s an honour to be representing the LGBTQIA community with this beautifully tragic, strong willed and talented genderqueer character telling us her story.”
Rennie, in bringing this beloved character to life, feels a real responsibility in his portrayal of Hedwig. “For me, if people leave the theatre thinking about how different & strange a character Hedwig is - even if they love her - I haven’t done my job. I want the audience to see how much they have in common with her and see themselves underneath the glitter and makeup.”