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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

I’d Be Angry Too!

Imagine, if you will, that you fall head over heals in love with a dapper soldier. He promises to give you a new life and take you away your hideous existence in Germany, bringing you to the United States. Now the one catch to this beautiful new life is that you must endure a sex change. Oh yes, you must change your gender and become a woman. Would you do it? Most would say, “Absolutely positively no freaking way, buddy!” There is a person named Hansel who said yes to this proposal, that person would later be known as Hedwig. The one major problem Hedwig suffered was a botched gender changing surgery leaving the new “her” with a little stubby genitalia known as the Angry Inch. Thus is the hilarious story of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The production presented by Liberation! Films in collaboration with JamSpot Inc. is being staged at the Cambridge Family YMCA Theatre. My first reaction to the location was, “In a YMCA? This is going to be a waste of my time!” As I walked down congested Mass Ave. in Cambridge, I approached the YMCA. I won’t lie. I was extremely exhausted and not looking forward to seeing a show.

As I entered the theatre, I was surprised to see such a beautiful performance area. There was normal regular seating on the floor level, but there was also a balcony. UMB’s dilapidated mess of a theatre, known to most students as McCormack Theatre, is a trashcan compared to the performance space at the YMCA. I took my seat and noticed no set except for the band instruments: drums, keyboard, guitar, bass, and two microphones. I was hoping that this band could wake me up and give me my second wind. The rock band entered first: William Whitney (bass), Jared Wilayto (keys/guitar), Justin Ballard (guitar), Bryan Bales (sub-drums), and Perry James (drums). They were followed by the elaborate and intense Hedwig, played by Adam T. Rosencrance, and his in your face entrance brought a huge smile to my face. The back-up singer, Yitzhak, played by Melissa Kaplan, resonated beautiful sounds from the stage that were a perfect match for Hedwig’s tenor vocals.

The show was amazing. This was a rock-and-roll feast with dialogue in between to explain Hedwig’s life and his crazy story. The energy from Rosencrance was absolute perfection. His intensity made you feel as though he was singing to you and no one else. Hedwig interacted with the audience and added local references to his dialogue, such as Fenway, Cambridge, the South End, and the old Combat Zone on Kneeland Street. The band, known as The Angry Inch, were the best musicians I have ever seen in a production. They had audience members dancing in their seats and wanting more. Kaplan and Rosencrance had the most profound sultry voices and showcased their astounding raw talent. They mixed beautifully together and sounded better than most recording artists.

The show was extreme; Hedwig leaped off stage several times and mingled with audience members. His presence was overwhelming and mesmerized the audience, leaving us wondering what he would do next. The production was a fantastic and energetic night out. I was blown away by the performance of Rosencrance and was hoping it would last longer. Kaplan had one solo, and I really wished she had more. Her voice was flawless and she added spunk to the role of Yitzhak. The only complaint was that there should’ve been more of Kaplan’s beautiful voice. In all this was a magnificent production. The cast and band really rocked the theatre and lifted sleepy eyes. I wish there were more productions like this around Boston because I would attend them all! The production team included: producers Adam Rosaencrance and Dawn Davis, music director Perry James, artistic director Dawn Davis, and lighting designer Jeremy Kumin. They should be extremely proud of this energetic production and the amazing work of the cast, crew, and band.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch will be running from September 9 to October 3. All shows are Thursday through Sunday at 9 p.m. at the Cambridge Family YMCA Theatre, 820 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA (a five minute walk from the MBTA Redline stop, Central). Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.SMARTTIX.com or at the door an hour prior to the performance (cash only at the door). If you are looking for an alternative to boring theatre, then I highly recommend seeing Liberation! Films production of Hedwig. You will not be disappointed!