Lena Hall Is More Than Hedwig’s Husband — She’s Running The Show
The four-time Tony Award® winning, Hedwig and the Angry Inch hits The Fox Hedwig and Yitzhak relationship sweetly exemplifies that. D I keeping of Hedwig as being on a quest for wholeness-to find as the spiteful one (see also Hedwig's unhealthy relationship with Yitzhak). Tasha: Hedwig And The Angry Inch is mighty damned efficient: liaison and the divorce; virtually all of Hedwig's relationship with Yitzhak; even.
She is not a drag queen. She is not a man, though she was born a gay boy named Hansel. Hedwig is a woman, even if the plumbing is not be there. In fact, she only gets the operation because she feels the "absolute power" her words she holds over Luther and his desires.
But absolute power corrupts, as her mother tells her early, and this feeling of power over Luther will ruin her life in many ways. Absolute power does indeed corrupt, maybe even more so when it comes to love and lust.
The proof of her gender confusion is in a throw-away line before the song "Wicked Little Town. The gods were jealous of our happiness, so they cut us in two, and forever after, humans have searched for their other halves. Hedwig believes this search is for another person to complete her, first, in the person of Luther, then Tommy Speck. But the Genesis story plays an even bigger part in the show. He tells Hedwig that God should not have forbidden Adam and Eve to eat from the "tree of knowledge" for most Christians, a metaphor for sexual intercourse, or "original sin".
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (musical) - Wikipedia
As Tommy sees it, "Eve just wanted to know shit. She took a bite of the apple and found out what was good and what was evil.
And she gave it to Adam so he would know. Because they were in love. And that was good, they now knew…" He then asks Hedwig to give him "the apple. But what kind of knowledge is Tommy asking for? Literal knowledge or sexual knowledge?
Interview with Hannah Corneau of ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’
In a way, Hedwig is making two journeys, one a search for her spiritual "other half," but also a search for the physical maleness she lost back in East Berlin in her botched sex change operation.
What she eventually discovers is that she must find both halves within herself, that one does not need a physical penis to be a man. Maleness — as well as femaleness — comes from within. But inbefore reunification, Hedwig has to escape.
Inside HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH by Scott Miller
And her escape from this town cut in two can only happen if she cuts herself in two as well. Try and tear me down! We are all divided, the show says, both within ourselves and across the world.
Now, in the midst of the neverending War on Terror, that idea is more potent than ever. Yitzhak says, "Hedwig is like that wall, standing before you in the divide between East and West, Slavery and Freedom.
Ironically, Berlin is reunified shortly after her escape, making her sacrifice unnecessary, but also making her own splitting in two that much more tragic. She even refers to her wig representing her femaleness as her own personal hell. The emotional center of the show, the song "Wicked Little Town," is the first song Hedwig ever wrote, she tells us, and it is also the most autobiographical.
In keeping with the central metaphors of the show, it is also about pairs of opposites. You know the sun is in your eyes And hurricanes and rains And black and cloudy skies. You turn it on and off at will. The first image sees both sun and "black and cloudy skies" coexisting in the same place.
Then follows "up and down;" "on and off;" and finally "thrill" and "bring you down. This split personality is so much apart of her, it even comes out in her metaphors. The first is powerful, the second powerless.
While the rest of the show exists in the past, telling a story that has already happened, the last three songs happen in the present. The Gods Would Be Terrified. But we can also see Hedwig as a god figure herself, paralleling the gods discussed in "The Origin of Love. But those classical Gods were destroyers, and Hedwig is a creator. Frankenstein and the back alley surgeon?Lena Hall's Epic Hedwig Audition: Hedwig and the Angry Inch In Conversation
And like a God, she creates Tommy in her own image. She tells us in the show that their eyes are the same color. She puts her words and her music into his mouth and she puts her philosophy into his persona.
Hedwig takes the blank slate that is Tommy Speck and, like Pygmalion and Henry Higgins, she remakes him into the international rock star Tommy Gnosis. She creates his look, his persona, even his songs, and like her literary forebears, she falls in love with her own creation, a creature in her own image, the most dangerous kind of narcissism.
In fact, both Tommy and at the end of the show Hedwig wear a silver cross on their foreheads, the universal symbol of death and rebirth, or to take it even further, persecution, crucifixion, and divine resurrection. The climactic song is called "Exquisite Corpse" for a reason. Biblical parallels are also referenced in "Wicked Little Town" with a line about "Mrs.
The Gnostics believed that a secret knowledge gnosis of God was what would bring salvation, that the Old Testament God was evil and the New Testament God would save us, and they believed in most of the teachings of Jesus.
There are many Gnostic gospels that were widely read and studied before the current Bible was codified, excluding much of what was once considered legitimate religious texts. Some were excluded because they contradicted the teachings of those in power at the time. Some were lost; others were among the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered centuries later. They quote the following: Jesus said to them," When you make the two one, and the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and the male and the female into one and the same, so that the male be not male nor the female female; and when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, and an image in place of an image; then you will enter the kingdom.
Everything about Tommy comes from Hedwig. He is a character more than a real person as many of the famous glam rockers were. Tommy himself contributes nothing but raw materials. Of course, in the context of the show, this creates so many levels of reality: Here, Hedwig sacrifices her own career and instead expends all her energy on making Tommy a star.
The Gospel of Thomas also says: Jesus said, "If you bring forth that which is within you, what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you. Her songs are the tale of her life. Tommy started out singing back-up for Hedwig, then became the star himself and left her behind. In "The Long Gift" and in other moments throughout the show, we see that Yitzhak is actually a strong performer himself.
Might Yitzhak break out like Tommy did, or is Hedwig determined to prevent that? That leads me into my next question; where you a fan of the movie and musical prior to taking on the role of Yitzhak?
Of course I had seen the movie and appreciated the art of it always. How does it feel get on stage very night and take on the persona of this role? As an actor you always want to be stretched as much as you can. As an actor how are you able to how do you deal with that dynamic? I feel as though my character is extremely empowering to anyone who has ever been in a relationship before, because I feel like there is a co-dependency and such a passion, love and vulnerability in every relationship.
Hedwig and Yitzhak relationship sweetly exemplifies that. They want to feel. They want to resonate like I said, and feel like they can identify with the situation on stage.
Now, even though it is an extremely intense relationship between Hedwig and Yitzhak, on that is so multi-layered, that surely the audience can identify with at least one element of their relationship; their love and passion and co-dependency and vulnerability. How did you prepare to take on the role of a Jewish drag queen? While I was rehearsing Darren, Chris and Lena were performing for that month. So that, that was a huge tool to watch her do the part. That was an immense gift that I was able to experience.
For instance, what does he feel on the day-to-day?
What makes him love Hedwig? And what does he feel within his spirit day-to-day, moment-to-moment? Behind this chapter in his life where he was a drag queen, where he was Jewish and living in Croatia.