'… love creates something that was not there before.'
John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch opened on Valentine’s Day,1998, in New York City, and ever since it and its genderqueer heroine have captivated audiences around the world. As the first musical to feature a genderqueer protagonist as its lead, the show has had an extraordinary life on film, Broadway and in the music field. A glam rock musical with a complex relationship to issues related to art, eroticism and matters of identity formation, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a darkly exuberant fairy tale about a child that discovers she is one of a kind, but also potentially among her own kind, if she dares travel past borders that confine and try to stabilise her being and identity.
Caridad Svich examines this exhilarating work through the lenses of visual and vocal rock ’n’ roll performance, the history of the American musical, and its positioning within LGBTIQ+ theatre.
Introduction 1. Queer downtown 2. Rock ‘n’ roll, whiteness and all that drag 3. A fable of a musical 4. Her/story 5. Reality’s show Bibliography Index
Routledge’s Fourth Wall books are short, accessible accounts of some of modern theatre’s best loved works. They take a subjective but easily digestible approach to their topics, allowing their authors the opportunity to explore their chosen subject in a way that is absorbing enough to be of use both to lovers of theatre and those who are being asked to study a play more deeply.
Each book in the series looks at a specific play, variously exploring its themes, contexts and characteristics while prioritising original, insightful writing over complexity or scholarly weight. While other cultural products such as albums and films are well served by this kind of writing, the Fourth Wall series aims to find room between rigorous analysis and the short format of reviews or articles. They are extended accounts that get to the heart of their chosen works without being bound by the density that academic treatments can often require.