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THE SOPHOMORE – ePaper 1 – 150

After making it through cram- med tube rides and busy streets, you have finally found your seat. Bright neon pink lights interch- anging with blue hues are co- ming from ahead and blind you, but as your eyes get used to the surrounding darkness, you make out the scenery of a piti- ful-looking old-school car with what seems like broken bits and pieces levitating around it. Matching this state of destruc- tion is the panoramic image of some torn down stone const- ruction framing the stage. Five figures appear on this relatively small eleva- ted space: four starting to play instruments; one seemingly having no aim or relation to the ones around them. A heavy drum beat draws not only them together, but also the audience who keeps strolling in, stumbling really, as they find it hard to avert their heads away from the source of co- lour and sound. Exciting chatter fills the place, pair of eyes recognising each other through the dark because Oh, you’re here tonight, too? -Yes, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. The anticipation in the air is palpable. Screeching guitar chords make it harder to carry on with conversations over several rows and demand attention, even more so as the beat of the drum intensifies and the lonely figure approaches the microphone. The world outside stops, even in the city that never sleeps, and the only thing that matters to you is where you are now and will be for the next 90 minutes: the location is Belasco Theatre, 111 West 44th Street New York, NY. And this is Hedwig and the Angry Inch. When in 2013 it was announced that after play- ing the womaniser Barney Stinson in 10 seasons of the success comedy How I Met Your Mother, Neil Patrick Harris would go on to originate the role of Hedwig Robinson in Hedwig and the An- gry Inch on Broadway, the theatre and televisi- on world exploded. The latter because these two characters could not be more different from each other, and the former because a long-beloved, peripheral rock musical would finally get a chan- ce to shine on the Great White Way. And shining like the brightest star it did: the New York Times celebrated it as “Shamelessly enjoyable! Electri- cally tuneful and furiously funny. An unqualified pleasure.” and the New York Magazine praised it to be “Furiously entertaining with a heartwar- ming message. A terrifically smart production!” Rewarded was the long way from 1998’s first off-Broadway staging of the musical with a total of 5 Tony awards, Broadway’s equivalent of the Oscars. Both starring actors, Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall, who opened the show to become a commercially and critically acclaimed hit in

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