Song: "Wig in a Box"
Composer: Stephen Trask
Musical: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Premier: 1998, Off-Broadway
We have never seen the stage show Hedwig and the Angry Inch but we did watch the film adaptation a few years ago. The book was written by John Cameron Mitchell, drawing on his own experiences as an army brat in both Berlin and Kansas. Mitchell also directed and played the starring role on both stage and screen. In a funny connection with a previous post in this series, Mitchell made his own Broadway acting debut as Huck Finn in Big River.
The story is extraordinary: Hedwig has disastrous lovers, a botched sex change and a topsy-turvy performing career while trying to build a quasi-normal and happy life. Stephen Trask's music is wonderful, drawing inspiration from David Bowie, John Lennon, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop.
"Wig in a Box" is the showstopper. Apparently, the song occurs at different points in the stage and film versions but at an emotional low in both cases. There are many videos of stage performances, including Neil Patrick Harris in the show's Broadway revival, but I love the film version: