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Hedwig and the Angry Inch

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  850 ratings  ·  35 reviews
On Valentine’s Day 1998, Hedwig and the Angry Inch opened off-Broadway to rave reviews, revitalizing the rock musical while engendering a die-hard cult following, and the phenomenon of Hedwig was born. In 2001, the mesmerizing film adaptation was released to equally glowing reviews.
Brilliantly innovative and oddly endearing, Hedwig and the Angry Inch—inspired by Plato’s S
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published June 26th 2000 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 1998)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved, favourites
"The Origin of Love" lyrics:
'When the earth was still flat,
And the clouds made of fire,
And mountains stretched up to the sky,
Sometimes higher,
Folks roamed the earth
Like big rolling kegs.
They had two sets of arms.
They had two sets of legs.
They had two faces peering
Out of one giant head
So they could watch all around them
As they talked; while they read.
And they never knew nothing of love.
It was before the origin of love.

The origin of love

And there were three sexes then,
One that looked like two men
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those rare theatrical gems that comes across on the page with almost as much fire and heart as the production did. John Cameron Mitchell was best known for playing the boy hero in musicals like "Big River" and "The Secret Garden" when along with writing partner Stephen Trask he penned the story of a young man named Hansel searching for love and identity after he goes through a botched sex change to escape communist East Berlin as the wife of an American solider. Left with only an ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-a-copy, 2015
When I first saw the film Hedwig & the Angry Inch, I jokingly wrote to a friend that I wish I had thought of all this hilarity, and then I left it at that. Some time later I spent a month away from home and somehow ended up playing the cast recording with NPH on a loop wherever I was going and mentally giving the finger to everything I was unhappy with in my very own wicked little town. But aren’t we all, honey? So I have spent basically the entirety of this year so far with Ms Hedwig, channelli ...more
Having just seen this live onstage this weekend (a genuine cabaret-style experience at the Alley Theater in Louisville) several years after seeing the film version -- which to me is the best movie musical to have been made in the past decade -- I was anxious to read the text and lyrics. What's remarkable to me about it, apart from how funny it is, is how effectively Mitchell and Trask capture the essence of a life in so few words.

I'm no expert in the vagaries of queer and transgender studies, so
May 06, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2020
Plato's Symposium strikes me again ...more
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-ever
THE BEST MUSICAL EVER !!!! Rent the movie, to see the word for word performance by the w. (I had the honor of playing the part myself. What an amazing experince !) riter, and genius, John Cameron Mitchell ! The music here furthers the story, but no corny duets, or tal singing. Live rock band on stage (great soundtrack to add to your colection, true rock aa Rolling Stones/Patti Smith /White Album era Beatles)an" Good audition material her. It is a one "man " show. The full 990 minute piece is al ...more
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I came to this a completely blank slate, so I had no real expectations for what I'd find. I assumed it would be crass, but rather it turned out to be a very moving exploration about gender duality, artistic integrity and American culture. I like reading lyrics without the music because it lets me ruminate a bit more over that, but I'm sure I'll enjoy the numbers when I see the play/ watch the film. ...more
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! It ha great songs and a great story line. I also like the references the writer made to other works. Great quick read!!
Anis Ariff
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Never imagined reading the text would break my heart more. Beautiful.
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I think there is more to this what what I am able to take away, but I don't care enough to try diving deep. I really only picked it up for a challenge prompt. ...more
Sean Meriwether
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to my ex-boyfriend, who worked at the Jane Street Theatre box-office, I became an early "wighead" and saw the show multiple times with different actors, including John Cameron Mitchell. The world is small and strange and I had no idea that the handsome and aloof man who lived downstairs from me in the West Village was not just Hedwig, but the boy I had crushed on in Larry Kramer's The Destiny of Me . The pieces would not fall into place until I bumped into him at a wedding and the ligh ...more
Michelle Arostegui
May 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq, play
This was Crazy. Hedwig is a German transgender male-to-female punk rocker, who tours with her band in the USA. I read the script of the Musical. Hedwig fell in love with an American serviceman and had gender reassignment surgery so that she could marry him and go back to the US with him. She follows the route through the US of rock star, Tommy Gnosis, who loved Hedwig at one time, and then stole all her songs and left her.
2020 Read Harder Challenge: A Play by an author of color and/or queer aut
Seeing John Cameron Mitchell live in concert was one of the last pre-COVID events I partook in. The songs remain stellar over twenty years since their premiere. The film seems to gel better than the stage production, as scene transitions as scripted can feel abrupt. No matter what, this show is a comfort.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i think this is the first time i just sat down and read all the way through it and whoa! my brain hurt. obviously a favourite, obviously can’t get john cameron mitchell’s voice out of my head while i read it but that is a very good problem to have.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it would’ve been a 3 or 3.5 if it didn’t have such good quotes. Origin of love had NICE lyrics. But also I don’t yet know what any of the songs are supposed to sound like sung with music so take this rating w a grain of salt, it’s purely based off the text.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not entirely my cup of tea but I can appreciate the brilliance behind it. Trask and Mitchell have created an innovative and altogether original gem, and they deserve all the praise they get and more. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is raw and captivating and it deserves a chance at your attention. Recommended to anyone looking for something fresh in this sometimes stale genre.
My review of John Cameron Mitchell's Hedwig and the Angry Inch:

I have to be honest; I don't like this play much. It's just a little bit too weird. Homosexual/transsexual from East Berlin meets rock musical. It's not bad, but musicals aren't my thing. The play however, does deserve recognition.
After a discussion with a guy I know whose sister drove the tour bus while Hedwig and the Angry Inch was touring from Winnipeg to Montréal, I've earned some serious respect for Mitchell and Trask. It takes
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THIS PLAY IS INCREDIBLE! Seriously, completely mind blowing. I saw a great production of it, and got completely obsessed. It’s the story of Hansel, who got a botched sex change operation (her “angry inch”) and became Hedwig so she could move to the USA out of East Berlin when the wall divided the city. She goes to marry her boyfriend Luther, but he leaves her almost immediately to fend for herself. It tells of her troubles and triumphs, and weaves a gripping, inspiring, slightly tragic, and hila ...more
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Like almost every play/musical, this is a show that is meant to be experienced instead of read. And what a fucking outstanding show it is. You can read the book, and even open Spotify and try to mouth along to the lyrics (isn't this a great time to be alive?) but nothing beats seeing this in the flesh. I had the pleasure of experiencing it on Broadway right after — with the outstanding Andrew Rannels (who has charisma to last him a lifetime) as Hedwig, and Tony Winner Lena Hall as Yitzhak (which ...more
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
" To be free, one must give up a part of oneself."

An amazing, hilarious, heartfelt rock musical dealing with philosophy, identity, gender, and sexuality.

Hedwig is an internationally ignored song stylist from East Berlin. Her ex-boyfriend, Tommy Gnosis, has found international stardom as a result of stealing Hedwig's music. Not one to take this injustice lying down, Hedwig is on the road. She shadows Tommy's tour at cheaper venues close by, telling her story and performing her songs.

"I h
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sidekick: [From Wikipedia]

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (film)
Directed by John Cameron Mitchell
Based on Hedwig and the Angry Inch
by Stephen Trask John Cameron Mitchell
July 20, 2001
Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a 2001 American musical comedy-drama film written for the screen and directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Based on Mitchell's and Stephen Trask's stage musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, it accompanies Hedwig Robinson, a genderqueer[4] East German singer of a fictional rock band.[5][6] Hedwig su
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, lgbtq, read-2015
I couldn't resist buying the script for the stage version of Hedwig while I was in New York to see how it was different from the Broadway show. It's mostly the same, although it wasn't written for Broadway at the Belasco, so the set is a restaurant (like in the movie or the off-Broadway versions), and there's a cute letter that starts it off advising location changes for when you're performing your own version.

A few other noticeable changes:

- Hedwig's manager, Phyllis Stein, as seen in the movi
Nabila Cyrilla Imani
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, plays
Watching the movie as a teenager truly made a life-changing experience for me. We tend to feel very lonely, especially as a teenager. Not complete. And to be completed is to find someone that can complete us with love, or the other half.

But the truth is, we feel complete when we accept ourselves as we truly are. The thought can come to anyone, not only to teenagers. It's a universal story about love and acceptance.

After watching the movie for bazillion times, I watch the off-Broadway musical vi
May 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theater
This is still one of my favorite things ever, and reading the libretto gave me even more fodder for love. When I first saw the film, it was of the mind that "this thing looks crazy" and I never expected to be blown away. Reading the script gives me an idea what a stage performance might be like -- and I like.

It's rare that someone can take Plato and German philosophy and clothe it in the trashiest of costumes and instead of making it a joke, creating something powerful instead. Hedwig is perhaps
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I just saw the stage production with Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig I had a pretty clear idea of how some of the songs worked. Also seeing how improvising with the space it plays in (which NPH does a lot of and it is funny as hell) as a crucial part of the piece rather than just something to overlook. Or it can certainly add a lot to the production. I am officially a fan.
Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I first came into contact with Hedwig in movie form. From there, I became entranced. I've still yet to see or read the actual play, but I am dying to. The story is compelling, and the emotions are those that everyone can connect to. A movie/musical worth chacking out. ...more
Aug 12, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
I adored the film Hedwig and the Angry Inch as a young teen. Now, most of its power for me comes in reminiscence, the fact I know every single word. The play does not have the power of the film. It's rough and raw and not quite as absorbing, but I can still mouth every line. ...more
Sep 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Helpful in learning all of the lyrics to the songs.
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: playscripts, onstage
Wrote an MA thesis.
Got the tattoo.
Dec 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Reading the play makes me want to see it performed. A very interesting view on love that's heavily influenced by Plato. ...more
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John Cameron Mitchell is a Golden Globe-nominated American writer, actor, and director. He is best known for his motion pictures Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus. He is currently in production for Rabbit Hole starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest and Sandra Oh adapted from David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. ...more

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“I put on some make-up, turn on the 8-track, and I'm pulling the wig down from the shelf - suddenly I'm Miss Punk Rock Star of Stage and Screen and I ain't ever turning back!” 16 likes
“It is clear that I must find my other half. But is it a he or a she? What does this person look like? Identical to me? Or somehow complementary? Does my other half have what I don't? Did he get the looks? The luck? The love? Were we really separated forceably or did he just run off with the good stuff? Or did I? Will this person embarrass me? What about sex? Is that how we put ourselves back together again? Or can two people actually become one again?” 15 likes
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