Alexander Platt rocked Rhode Island last year with a fabulous performance as the transgendered Hedwig in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” at the intimate space at Perishable Theatre. The reviews were great, and many people were turned away due to lack of seating.
Well, Hedwig is back, this time in the bigger space of Trinity’s Pell/Chafee Center, just a few doors down from Perishable on Empire Street. You could argue that the show loses some of its intimacy in the larger space, which holds up to 200 people, seated at round tables, with a larger, higher stage.
The loud rock music still fills the space, and Hedwig (Platt) works the room well, frequently going into the audience and engaging them in his/her story.
And what a story it is. This “little slip of a girly boy” in East Berlin falls in love with an American soldier who won’t marry him until he has a sex change. The operation is unsuccessful, leaving poor Hedwig with an “angry inch.”
Hedwig sings and tells her story with passion in front of a pulsating band, featuring David Tessier, Paul “Zeus” Sousa, David Rabinow and Brandon Capaldo, who open the evening with a couple of their own songs and the usual “no cell phones” speech, adding “no sketching” to the list.
Hedwig’s contrary “husband” (terrific performance and voice by Liz Gotauco) leads the prima donna on stage, and her appearance draws applause and gasps from the audience. It is hard to believe that this is the same actor who played St. Paul recently at Gamm.
Platt is nothing short of sensational, telling Hedwig’s story, singing everything from hard rock to gentle ballads, and even throwing in a country song. When we reviewed it last year, we praised the show, but warned those easily offended to find another form of entertainment. The music is loud. (ear plugs are provided free of charge). The language is occasionally strong, mostly at the beginning. And the subject matter may not be to everyone’s taste.
For those who like rock music and an unusual story told and sung by one of the greatest actors we’ve come across in Rhode Island, “Hedwig” is a must-see.
The Pell-Chafee environment, set in a large hall with comfortable seating, with a bar for beer, wine and soft drinks, is perfect. The show plays through the month of July. For tickets priced at $25, call 621-6123 or go online at www.arttixri.com.