For a gender bending glam/punk rock musical born in downtown New York City, forever referencing Cold War Berlin, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" felt right at home in Park City’s Egyptian Theatre during the Friday night performance. Would it be a little jarring for longtime “HedHeads” (as the musical’s devoted fans are known) to see the titular superstar in a brunette wig instead of her trademark platinum? It really doesn’t matter, as Aaron Swenson (who starred in the prior 2003 and 2005 Plan-B Theatre Company runs, which were also directed by Producing Director Jerry Rapier) excelled in the role with his strong vocals and stage presence. He manifested both pieces of the Platonic puzzle of Hedwig and Tommy Gnosis in a powerful version of the finale. And what of the poor, put upon husband and bandmate Yitzhak? Latoya Rhodes lent good tragicomedic timing and a beautiful voice to the only other active part in the play.
Latoya Rhodes (left) and Aaron Swenson (Photo: planbtheatre.org)
There may have been missed opportunities in lighting and set designs, not to mention the backdrop slide illustrations of “The Origin of Love” which were nondescript and didn’t convey the touching power of the song. However, the costume design was particularly refreshing. Hedwig starts as a brunette, amps up the glam in an inevitable Lady Gaga look (unless you choose to believe it was Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons), and then sports a righteous punk mohawk until the end. Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson.
It’s not too late to catch the show at The Egyptian Theater, 328 Main St., Park City; Saturday, June 16 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 17 at 6 p.m. Tickets are available through The Egyptian Theatre’s website or at the theater box office.