“Hedwig is one of the more recent additions to my very long list of obsessions. I’d known about her for a while, but it wasn’t until NPH took on the role on Broadway that it started for me. I went to a show soon after previews were ended and absolutely loved it. So completely different from anything I’d ever seen on Broadway, and wonderful in every way possible. As soon as his version of the soundtrack was out, I played it constantly. I went back to see Michael C Hall when he took over the role and fell even more in love with the show. Don’t ask me to compare the two though because both had such different approaches and both were amazing. I’d been meaning to watch the movie, and for a while it just hung out on my wishlists. What finally put me over the edge and made me get it was in thinking about my upcoming birthday. I thought it’d make a good movie night movie candidate. I’m still not 100% decided on that front, but it is still the frontrunner for the late timeslot (Aladdin taking the usual opening, followed by 22 Jump Street since 21 Jump Street was a big hit last year, and of course with Doctor Horrible’s in between each).
The movie was everything I’d hoped for. I got to relive some of the stage how and get some new insight into this wonderful diva. I saw moments that I recognized that were recreated on Broadway (possibly recreated from the original off broadway show), dialog, staging, etc. The structure is very different though, which is to be expected. The show is more intimate, and all takes place at once, with Hedwig retelling her life. The movie had a combination of flashback and forward time, and of course, we actually saw the flashbacks. Biggest difference was having a separate actor playing Tommy Gnosis, since we actually saw scenes with him. (Sidebar: Why didn’t anyone ever tell me Michael Pitt was Tommy Gnosis? I would have seen this sooooo much sooner!). The show is something I could (and would love to) experience over and over again, but this is an acceptable substitute.
I completely love John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig. She’s so beautiful and vulnerable, in a way that I didn’t get as much from Harris or Hall. When pics started coming out this past week of Mitchell stepping into her Broadway heels, I really could not get over how stunning he looked. So natural and at ease. I am kinda tempted to run back to NYC to see his take, but at this point I think I’m going to have to make do with just the movie.
The one thing missing is Yitzhak. I mean, he’s here, but we don’t get his story, just his sad expressions as things play out. On Broadway, Lena Hall’s Yitzhak is such an integral part of the show, but he’s more easily overlooked here. Oh we also don’t get the Hurt Locker song but that’s to be expected, for obvious reasons of timeline. Still, Hedwig has my heart forever.”