Fringe Festival Rocks the Northside Friday Night

Hedwig and the Angry Inch succeeds both in humor and in sound. Ryan Borgo does a terrific job of displaying the duality of Hedwig’s confused gender identity, while still maintaining her sass. Hawk tells Hedwig’s tragedy with both parts despair and egotistical whimsy. This creates a sympathetic, yet pompous air for Hedwig fit for her character to a T. Chelsea Bartel, playing Yitzhak, is livid and removed the entire performance, which works perfectly as a foil to the gaudy Hedwig. Both vocalists hit nearly every note and craft a beautiful sonic atmosphere. The band rocks as well, although the small venue combined with the big sound drowns out the lyrics occasionally. The overall tone is informal, Hawk encouraging and at times forcing audience participation. Two high notes are “Sugar Daddy” and (obviously) “Wicked Little Town.” The Angry Inch rocks hard.

Harrison Stengle’s original piece Cult Classic tells of a woman stuck inside an isolated cult who struggles to find justice in an inhumane world. Using Neo Symbolism, Stengle works meaning into every facet of the production. Color symbolism, biblical imagery, and political cartooning are used throughout the entire play. The piece begins to falter, however, when it starts driving its point in. The play bears all, without leaving anything to the imagination on a literary level. Cult Classic is an interesting play lacking in subtlety.

More to come on my Fringe experience soon!

*A previous edition of this review stated that Kyle Hawk played Hedwig and Cheryl Randal played Yitzhak, we apologize for any confusion*