'Hedwig' is hot theatre at Perishable
by Don Fowler
"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is so hot that the folks at Perishable will sell you a Narragansett Beer for two bucks and give you a free pair of earplugs. You'll need both.
Elemental Theatre has turned the small Perishable Theatre space into a night club, complete with bar, bandstand, couches, tables and chairs, making an intimate home for Hedwig and his/her band to perform.
A warning: This is an R-rated show, with some language and sexual references that may offend some. Beneath the loud, sexy, tough exterior is a poignant story of a young man searching for love, meaning and understanding in his mixed-up life.
You may remember the popular movie. Hedwig falls in love with an American G.I. and has an unsuccessful sex change operation, planning to marry him and leave Germany for America. The relationship doesn't last very long, as the soldier leaves Hedwig, and the transsexual takes up with Tommy Gnosis, a singer who leaves "her" when he becomes a big star.
We catch up with Hedwig as the transvestite "does a gig" at Perishable, while her ex-lover is playing at the Dunkin Donuts Center. In a running gag, Hedwig opens the Empire Street door, only to hear Tommy's voice and the adoring crowd.
What we get is Hedwig telling the story of unrequited love in between a number of songs, running from ballads to country to hard rock, backed by a great four-piece band and "goffer,” Yitzhak (Liz Gotauco).
Alexander Platt is hot, sexy and very funny as the trans-gendered Hedwig. She is in complete sync with the band, led by David Tessier. Wait until you see the wig and outlandish costume.
Platt is on stage for the entire hour and a half, intermission-less performance, and never lets up. It is one of the best single performances you will see in these parts this year.
Be advised, however, that the material is tough and gritty, with dozens of sexually-oriented lines and double entendres. And, even with the earplugs, it is loud.
"Hedwig" will be at Perishable Theatre through May 9, with all shows starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and $20, and may be purchased at www.arttixri.com or by calling 621-6123. Shows are selling out, so call today.