Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Dingbat Theatre Project
William S. Oser

Also see Bill's review of An Act of God


Luke Manual McFatrich
Photo by Goddess Imagery Studios
My personal musical tastes do not typically run toward rock, but when Dingbat Theatre Project announced the glam-rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch (music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, book by John Cameron Mitchell), I was happy to take a step to the wild side. Hedwig's personal journey, presented in the form of a rock concert, proves to be moving in unexpected ways, and the songs ring emotionally true.

This new theatre company, working on a budget that would be a shoestring if only they had 20% more, is presenting indoors at The Bazaar at Apricot and Lime, a venue that is more than a bit funky and in a not so great part of town, but that proves to be an asset for this musical. That they have managed to pull off such a skilled presentation, with little useful in terms of theatrical niceties (lights, sound equipment, etc.) in place before they setup shop, is nothing short of amazing.

In a Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney "Let's put on a show" mode, some of our extremely talented community theater based actors formed Dingbat Theatre Project. I missed their initial Christmas 2020 offering but came aboard for a stripped down Shrek the Musical last spring, which I reviewed favorably. Most of the same faces are involved here, onstage or working the tech side of things. Every one of these people has potential for a professional career and any of their names on a cast list would be an incentive for me to see a production.

Luke Manual McFatrich stars as Hedwig. His is an over the top performance, which is just what this role requires. Yes, some subtlety can add emotional layers, which here the audience must supply for themselves, but I wouldn't have wanted to miss the emotional breakdown as the glamour is stripped piece by piece until Mr. McFatrich is on stage clothed only in a robe sort of garment held together with dozens of safety pins. As his body is half naked, his emotional core is even more so. As Yitzhak, Amanda Heisey maintains a high level of sexual ambiguity as she is one with the character.

Costumes by Brian Finnerty, who is also director and choreographer, are spectacular, budget glam. The wigs by Corey Woomert are even more so, fantastic at the top and one by one getting more and more threadbare as the evening winds down. Makeup by Rachel Knowles completes Hedwig's look.

Michelle Kasanofsky, now resident music director at Venice Theatre, leads the band, known in this show as The Angry Inch. She is aided by usual cohorts Mikael Mancini and Joel Broome. Lighting by Ethan Vail and sound design by Jasmine Deal are amazing.

There are only two weekends of performances left, and tickets for September 3-4 are already scarce, so hurry and don't miss out.

Dingbat Theatre Project's Hedwig and the Angry Inch runs through September 11, 2021, at The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, 821 Apricot Ave, Sarasota FL. For tickets and information visit dingbattheatre.ticketleap.com.

Cast:
Hedwig: Luke Manual McFatrich
Yitzhak: Amanda Heisey


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