I just had the great pleasure of seeing Abilene Live Theatre put on Hedwig and the Angry Inch at The Neon Parrot here in Abilene. While Abilene Live Theatre is still a young production company, they have accomplished something truly marvelous.
To understand what ALT has achieved, allow me to nerd out for a moment. Theatre is as old as civilization. Storytelling and drama have existed in every civilized people ever recorded, but the play differs from the story in such a unique and wonderful way.
You see, a play and a story can both be entertaining. They can delight you and help you spend your hours with laughter and tears. They can send you to far off places and tell of great heroes and feats of strength. They can inspire and delight. Hedwig is most certainly an entertaining way to spend an evening.
Now plays and stories are also alike in that they portray the culture out of which they arise. Plays and stories help us to define who we are as a people and help to create our identity as a culture. Hedwig in this respect not only represents the culture from which it originated, but creates a space for people in our society who are often overlooked.
Now here is where plays and stories differ. A play provides an unique opportunity that cannot be achieved by mere words on a page. A play creates the space to bring forth truths that no one dare speak, and fewer wish to write. A play in the midst of all its entertaining, reaches into each audience member and slowly, gently guides them to a new knowledge.
And this is where Hedwig shines. Hedwig does not merely entertain you for an hour. It does not simply show the struggles of a transgender woman during the 80’s and 90’s as she dreams of a career in music. No, Hedwig reaches into your soul to show you the truth that all people just want to be loved, exactly as they are.
Hedwig is a great rock opera and was expertly put on by the small cast from Abilene Live Theatre. The venue is perfect, the music sublime; but the truth of this play, the knowledge it seeks to impart, that cannot be missed.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch will continue tomorrow and next weekend. You can find details on this Facebook event page. I strongly encourage everyone to see this show. You will be a better person for it.