Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig | Chicago Reader

Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig

Created by former Chicago actor John Cameron Mitchell and songwriter Stephen Trask, Hedwig and the Angry Inch was a “neo-glam post-punk rock musical” about an East German “girly-boy” whose botched sex-change surgery leaves him with an “angry inch” of genital flesh. Mitchell starred in the off-Broadway version, a 1998 hit, and his subsequent film adaptation won awards at Sundance and other festivals. This 2001 documentary by Laura Nix is featured on the movie's DVD; a video diary of the show's genesis, it mixes puffy talking-head interviews, sometimes indecipherable clips of Mitchell's first rock-club appearances as Hedwig, footage behind the scenes of the film shoot, and so on. There's even an appearance by Mitchell's dad, former commander of U.S. forces in divided Berlin during the cold war, who helps explain Hedwig's roots in Mitchell's army-brat upbringing and who wonders aloud when his boyish-looking son will go back to Broadway musicals like The Secret Garden. 85 min.


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