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Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités


Hedwig (who once was a boy named Hansel) lost part of himself to East Berlin when he came to America. Once there, he lost the rest to Tommy Gnosis. The musical is Hedwig's retelling of his life, accompanied by his band "The Angry Inch."

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Historique du musical

Génèse du musical

The character of Hedwig was originally a supporting character in the piece. She was loosely inspired by a German female babysitter/prostitute who worked for Mitchell's family when he was a teenager in Junction City, Kansas. The character of Tommy, originally conceived as the main character, was based on Mitchell himself: both were gay, the sons of an army general, deeply Roman Catholic, and fascinated with mythology. Hedwig became the story's protagonist when Trask encouraged Mitchell to showcase their earliest material in 1994 at NYC's drag-punk club Squeezebox, where Trask headed the house band and Mitchell's boyfriend, Jack Steeb, played bass.

They agreed the piece should be developed through band gigs in clubs rather than in a theater setting in order to preserve a rock energy. Mitchell was deeply influenced by Squeezebox's roster of drag performers who performed rock covers. The setlists of Hedwig's first gigs included many covers with lyrics rewritten by Mitchell to tell Hedwig's story: Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well"; Television's "See No Evil"; Wreckless Eric's "Whole Wide World"; Yoko Ono's "Death of Samantha"; Pere Ubu's "Non-Alignment Pact"; Cher's "Half Breed"; David Bowie's "Boys Keep Swinging"; Mott the Hoople's "All the Young Dudes"; and the Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale." A German glam rendition of Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" once served as the musical's finale.

Mitchell's second gig was as fill-in host at Squeezebox on a bill featuring singer Deborah Harry of Blondie. It was for this occasion that Mike Potter first designed Hedwig's trademark wig, which was initially constructed from toilet paper rolls wrapped with synthetic blond hair. Mitchell, Trask, and the band Cheater (Jack Steeb, Chris Wielding, Dave McKinley, and Scott Bilbrey) continued to workshop material at venues such as Fez Nightclub and Westbeth Theater Center for four years before premiering the completed musical Off-Broadway in 1998.

Mitchell has explained that Hedwig is not a trans woman, but a genderqueer character. "She's more than a woman or a man," he has said. "She's a gender of one and that is accidentally so beautiful."



Liste des chansons

Even though Yitzhak sings backup on almost all numbers in the show, the songs below that are labelled with Hedwig with Yitzhak are ones where he has notable solo lines. The show is performed without an intermission.
"Tear Me Down" - Hedwig with Yitzhak
"The Origin of Love" - Hedwig
"Sugar Daddy" - Hedwig with Yitzhak
"Angry Inch" - Hedwig
"Wig in a Box" - Hedwig
"Wicked Little Town" - Hedwig
"The Long Grift" - Yitzhak/Skszp ‡
"Hedwig's Lament" - Hedwig
"Exquisite Corpse" - Hedwig with Yitzhak
"Wicked Little Town (Reprise)" - Hedwig as Tommy §
"Midnight Radio" - Hedwig

‡ In the original Off-Broadway production, this song was not sung by Yitzhak, but by the musical director Skszp. However, in the 2014 Broadway Revival, Yitzhak sings the song instead.
§ This song is performed by Tommy Gnosis, who is meant to be portrayed by the same actor as Hedwig.
A song performed by Yitzhak and the band, "Random Number Generation" was included on the Off-Broadway Cast Album, but does not appear in the score. The Broadway production has the song prepared to play in case Hedwig has to leave the stage, along with "Freaks", a song from the movie.[4] Lena Hall performed the song at her final show during the sound check.
In the 2014 Broadway Revival, a small subplot was added to the script, and a small number was added to support it. Parodying The Hurt Locker Hedwig explains that a musical version of the story only ran for a single night before closing during intermission, and that she has convinced a producer to let her perform in what would otherwise be an empty stage. At one point Hedwig finds the theme for a song from the show, "When Love Explodes" and lets Yitzhak sing it, but stops him before he can sing the last note (the one exception being Lena Hall's final night). Yitzhak sings the entire song (including a missing verse) in the Revival Cast Album.

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