Raucously entertaining and brilliantly innovative, Hedwig has left a lasting impact on audience members throughout the world. Amongst some of the reviews it received, it was called as “the Best Rock Musical Ever” by Rolling Stone Magazine and “the most exciting rock score written for the theatre since, oh, ever,” by Time Magazine.
The musical was inspired by Mitchell’s own life, as he drew upon his experiences as a son to a U.S Army Major General, who commanded a U.S Sector in occupied West Berlin. The title character of Hedwig was inspired by a German divorced wife of a US army official, who has the family babysitter when Mitchell was little, and was also a prostitute. The music was based on the works of early punk rock icons, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and also took inspiration from the works of John Lennon and David Bowie.
The musical premiered at Jane Street Theater, Off Broadway, on 14th February, 1998. It starred Mitchell in the title role, and opened to rave reviews. The overall consensus was that this was a fresh dose of musical comedy, which had been missing from the stage for a long time. The musical ran for eight hundred and fifty seven (857) performances and closed on April 9, 2000. It won two Obie awards and 1998 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical.
Hedwig is a German immigrant, who was born as a boy, name Hansel, in Berlin. During the Great War, he fell in love with an American G.I. and willingly underwent a sex change operation to marry the G.I. and escape to America. Unfortunately things do not work out between them and Hedwig forms a rock band to make her living. She narrates her life story via a series of concerts she does while on tour in the US. Her band’s tour dates coincide with those of rock star Tommy Gnosis, who once loved Hedwig but stole all her songs. An engrossing tale of love, success, and jealousy, this musical will keep the audience rooted to their seats throughout the course of its performance.
The creative team of the upcoming Broadway production features some well known and established industry names. Neil Patrick Harris has to be the biggest draw for audiences, as the “How I Met Your Mother” star makes his long-awaited return to Broadway. The four time Emmy Award winner last starred in the Tony Award winning revival of “Assassins” and his resume includes other Broadway hits like “Proof” and “Cabaret”. The production has been directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, who won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for the 2007 production of “Spring Awakening”. Among other successful play’s he directed, “American Idiot” and “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”, stand out.