A Touching, Tragic Tale

Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Theo Ubique. (Austin D. Oie Photography)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Theo Ubique. (Austin D. Oie Photography)

 3 1/2 stars

First of all be warned. “Hedwig and the Angry Inch, may not appeal to every taste. Audiences who attend this four-time, 2014 Tony Award-winning musical should be comfortable with in-your-face performances, deafening rock music, blinding concert lighting and 95 minutes of adult humor and a brazenly bold backstory.

The theatergoer who considers Rodgers & Hammerstein or Lerner & Loewe the hallmarks of the American musical probably won’t love a show that’s this garish and loud. However, younger, less conservative audiences, as well as the many devotees of this cult musical, will find everything to love about Theo Ubique’s finale to their first season, now playing in Evanston through July 28.

The show began as a modest little rock musical that told the story of Hedwig Schmidt, a young, queer, glam, rock singer who underwent gender reassignment surgery.

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‘Bridges’ and ‘Requiem’ big Jeff Non Equity Award winners


Theo Ubique Cabaret theatre" 'Bridges of Madison county' won four Jeff Awards. (pPhoto by . Joe Mazza / Brave Lux)
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre” ‘Bridges of Madison county’ won four Jeff Awards. (pPhoto by . Joe Mazza / Brave Lux)

The Jeff Awards which have recognized outstanding theatre productions and artists since 1968 announced the 2019 Non-Equity recipients for the 2018-19 season on June 3, 2019. The Equity awards will be announced Oct. 21, 2019. For all nominees, awards and other news visit JeffAwards.

There were 144 Non-Equity productions eligible during the season going from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, Sixty eight of them were recommended for awards.

This year’s multiple awards by theatre were The Artistic Home – 4, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre – 4, Raven Theater -4, Sideshow Theatre Company – 3, Jackalope Theatre Company -2, Broken Nose Theatre-2 (1 in association with About Face Theatre), Haven Theatre Company – 2 and Kokandy Productions- 2.

Multiple awards by production: The Bridges of Madison County (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre) – 4, Requiem for a Heavyweight (The Artistic Home)  – 4, Grand Hotel (Kokandy Production)  – 3, Tilikum (Sideshow Theatre Company) – 3, Dutch Masters (Jackalope Theatre Company) – 2, Girl in the Red Corner  (Broken Nose Theatre) – 2 and Yen (Raven Theatre)  – 2.

Trap Door Theatre received a Special Award for “opening the door to an evocative and surreal world for 25 years.”

Broken Nose Theatre received the “Ensemble” award for “Plainclothes.”

'Requiem for a Heavyweight' was a big winner in the Non-Equity Jeff Awards. (Photo by .Joe Mazza / Brave Lux)
‘Requiem for a Heavyweight’ was a big winner in the Non-Equity Jeff Awards. (Photo by .Joe Mazza / Brave Lux)

The productions that took the most awards were Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre’s “The Bridges of Madison County” which won best Musical Production, Best Director of a Musical (Fred Anzevino), Best Performer in a Principal Role in a Musical (Kelli Harrington as Fancesca), and Best Musical Direction ( Jeremy Ramey).

The Artistic Home’s “Requiem for a Heavyweight” took Best Production- Play, Best Director-Play (John Mossman), Best Sound Design (Petter Wahback) and Performer in a Principal Role – Play (Mark Pracht as Harlan “Mountain” McCintock. There were two awards in this category. The other went to Patrick Agada (Eric) in Jackalope Theatre Company’s “Dutch Masters.”

To see all the awards and their categories please visit Jeff Awards.

Jodie Jacobs