It's been performed throughout the world in hundreds of stage productions, and has slowly but steadily gathered a devoted cult following similar to that of The Rocky Horror Show. Originally directed and produced by Peter Askin, the play won a Village Voice Obie Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. The film, adapted and directed by Mitchell, won the Best Director and Audience Awards at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, the Grand Prize at the Deauville Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival's Teddy Award, Best Directorial Debut from the National Board of Review and the L.A. Film Critics, and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor for Mitchell. The story draws on Mitchell's life as the son of a U.S.
Army Major General who once commanded the U.S. sector of occupied West Berlin. The character of Hedwig was originally inspired by a German woman, a divorced U.S. Army wife who was a Mitchell family babysitter who moonlighted as a prostitute at her Junction City, Kansas trailer park home.
Hedwig continues the tradition of numerous pioneering punk rock drag queens like Jayne County (a transgender proto-queercore rocker), and Vaginal Davis (an avant-garde performance artist, underground film auteur, and punk band leader "Black Fag"). The music is steeped in the androgynous 70's glam rock era of The New York Dolls, Brian Ferry, and David Bowie (who co-produced the Los Angeles production of the show), as well as the work of John Lennon and early punk godfathers Lou Reed and Iggy Pop. The show was workshopped by Mitchell, Trask and the band Cheater (Jack Steeb, Chris Weilding, Dave McKinley and Scott Bilbrey) at New York's famed drag-rock Squeezebox Club, as well as Fez Nightclub and Westbeth Theater Center before opening Off-Broadway at the Jane Street Theater on February 14, 1998. The theater was located in the ballroom of the Hotel Riverview which once housed the surviving crew of the Titanic (a fact which figured in the original production).
The Off-Broadway production ran for 2 years and was remounted with various casts by the original creative team in Boston, Los Angeles and London. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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