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Chance Theater is excited to kick off their 2024 Season with… “Hedwig and The Angry Inch”

Photo by Casey Long

Taken from the press release:

ANAHEIM, CA: Chance Theater, Anaheim’s official resident theater company, is thrilled to kick off its 2024 Season with the groundbreaking Tony Award-winning musical, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, with book by John Cameron Mitchell and music & lyrics by Stephen Trask. With direction by Matthew McCray (“Rent”) and music direction by Lex Leigh (“Rent”), “Hedwig and The Angry Inch” will begin previews January 26, 2024. This electrifying production will officially open on February 3 and captivate audiences until February 25, 2024 at the Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center on the Cripe Stage.

“The best rock musical ever” – Rolling Stone

“Furiously entertaining with a heartwarming message” – New York Magazine

“Dynamite! This frisky, raunchy fable of love, loss, fury and freedom thrives” – Daily News

“Hedwig and The Angry Inch” will kick off Chance Theater’s 26th Anniversary Season! This groundbreaking Tony and Obie Award-winning smash that took Broadway by storm tells the story of “internationally ignored song stylist” Hedwig Schmidt, a fourth-wall smashing East German rock ‘n’ roll goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched sex-change operation, which has left her with just “an angry inch.” This outrageous and unexpectedly hilarious story is dazzlingly performed by Hedwig (née Hansel) in the form of a rock gig/stand-up comedy routine backed by the hard-rocking band “The Angry Inch.” Using songs and monologues, Hedwig tells her story and her life’s search for “The Origin of Love.” It’s a rocking ride, funny, touching, and ultimately inspiring to anyone who has felt life gave them an inch when they deserved a mile.

For the iconic character Hedwig, John Cameron Mitchell drew inspiration from a German divorced U.S. Army wife he encountered in a Kansas City drag club during the 1990s. Infused with details from the woman’s life, Hedwig’s origins trace back to Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s early performances of the show in punk clubs. Its narrative – a poignant exploration of identity, love, and self-discovery – resonated with audiences and critics immediately, gaining a cult following after debuting Off-Broadway in 1998. The success and passionate support of this daring musical paved the way for the 2001 cinematic adaptation of “Hedwig and The Angry Inch,” which was directed and starred Mitchell. The film would receive over 30 awards (including the GLAAD Media Award for “Outstanding Film – Limited Release”) and be nominated for at least another 30 (including the Golden Globe for Mitchell’s mesmerizing performance).

The 2014 Broadway “revival” of “Hedwig and The Angry Inch” (which had never actually appeared on Broadway before) was nominated for 8 Tony Awards and won 4, including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Leading Actor for star Neil Patrick Harris. The journey of “Hedwig” from a personal encounter to an award-winning film and Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation stands as a testament to the enduring impact of Mitchell and Trask’s creative vision.

Joining McCray and Leigh on the design team are scenic designer Bradley Kaye (“Ride the Cyclone”), costume designer Bradley Allen Lock (“Ride the Cyclone”), lighting designer Zach Moore (“Rent”), sound designer James Markoski (Chance Debut), projection designer Nick Santiago (“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”), stage manager Nicole Schlitt (“Edges”), dialect coach Glenda Morgan Brown (“The Secret Garden, The Musical”), and dramaturg Bruce Goodrich (“Rent”).

The cast of “Hedwig and The Angry Inch” features Tom Avery (Chance Debut) as Hedwig, Laura Herskov (Chance Debut) as Yitzhak, Lex Leigh (“Striking 12”) as Skszp, James Michael McHale (“The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” Chance Resident Artist) as Jacek, Mazie Voss (Chance Debut) as Krzyzhtof, and Julia Smushkova (Chance Debut) as Schlatko.

Susan Bowman & Freddie Greenfield are the Executive Producers for this production. Bette & Wylie Aitken are producers for the entire 2024 Season. Rachelle Menaker & Eddie Schuller are the associate producers and  The Family of Mary Kay Fyda-Mar are this season’s associate producers.

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