• Adult Language
  • Adult Themes
  • Musical
  • Rock

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Book by John Cameron Mitchell

Music by Stephen Trask

Directed by Sydney Parks Smith

Vocal Direction by Emily Erkman

Music Direction by Matthew Rothstein

Performing in our 50th Season in 2022-2023

“Plays… don't come louder, lewder or more gorgeously original than Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” The Guardian 


Winner of four Tony Awards, Hedwig is a cabaret, a rock ‘n roll gig and a stand-up act rolled into a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience.  Hedwig Schmidt, “internationally ignored song stylist,” is a fourth wall smashing, East German rock goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched gender reassignment surgery. Proving time and again that an indomitable spirit can’t ever be tied down, she tells her furiously funny, poignant and high-voltage story in the only way she can ... in song. An adult, thought-provoking musical about the quest for individuality, Hedwig  is an inspiration for anyone who has felt life gave them an inch when they deserved a mile.

Playing in the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre

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“Foulmouthed, electrically tuneful and furiously funny…” – The New York Times

Vaccination and Mask Policy


OpenStage Theatre & Company requires that all patrons 12 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before attending indoor seated performances in the Magnolia Theatre at the Lincoln Center. To qualify as “fully vaccinated,” an individual must have completed their full course of COVID-19 shot(s) 14 days prior to an event.

Individuals must present proof of vaccination when entering the theatre. Acceptable proof of vaccination may include one of the following that matches a government issued photo I.D. or school I.D. for youth:

  1. A physical copy of a WHO (World Health Organization) or FDA-approved COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card
  2. A high-resolution photograph of the front and back of your WHO/FDA issued COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card on smart phone
  3. Proof of your vaccination card on the accepted mobile device app MyColorado – learn more and download here
  4. No facial covering, no entry applies to all

The Story

Hedwig tells the story of Hansel, a "slip of a girlyboy" who loves philosophy and rock music.  Hansel  grows up in East Berlin, shadowed by the Berlin wall. While Hansel is relaxing in the sun one afternoon, he meets Luther Robinson, a U.S. soldier. Luther falls in love with Hansel and the two decide to marry. This plan will allow Hansel to leave communist East Germany for the capitalist West. However, in order to be married, the couple must consist of a man and a woman. Hansel's mother, Hedwig, gives him her name and passport and she and Luther coerce Hansel into a gender reassignment surgery.   "The sex change operation got botched" and Hansel, now Hedwig, is left with an angry inch.

Hedwig follows Luther and his American Dream to Junction City, Kansas. Best laid plans are thrown out the trailer window after Luther leaves Hedwig on their first wedding anniversary for another man. To recover from her heartbreak and loneliness Hedwig befriends a shy and misunderstood Christian teenager Tommy Speck, with whom she writes some songs. Hedwig gives him the stage name "Tommy Gnosis", but he later leaves her and goes on to become a wildly-successful rock star with the songs Hedwig wrote alone and with him. "Internationally ignored" Hedwig and her band The Angry Inch are forced to support themselves by playing coffee bars and strip mall dives. Hedwig believes that Tommy is her soul mate and that she cannot be whole without him. She feels driven to either reunite with him or destroy him.

Rock Concert Stock Image

“Mitchell and Trask's droll take on recent pop history is one of this musical's many supplementary delights.” – Hollywood Reporter

Drum set on stage with red light beaming down onto it

The Experience

This groundbreaking, Obie-winning, Off-Broadway smash also won multiple awards for its hit film adaptation. It tells the story of "internationally ignored song stylist" Hedwig Schmidt, an East German rock 'n' roll goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched gender reassignment surgery, which has left her with just "an angry inch." 

The show daringly breaks the fourth wall, as Hedwig directly tells the audience of her past tribulations and heartbreak in the form of an extended monologue paired with rock songs. With a little help from her band and her back-up singer Yitzhak, Hedwig examines her quest for her other half, for love and ultimately for her identity.

This outrageous, hilarious, provocative and unexpectedly inspiring story is dazzlingly performed by Hedwig in the form of a rock gig/stand-up comedy routine backed by the hard-rocking band "The Angry Inch."  The conceit of the stage production is that the audience are watching Hedwig's musical act as she stalks the tour of the (now) famous rockstar Tommy Gnosis around the country. Occasionally Hedwig references Gnosis's concert which is playing in an adjoining venue.

Hedwig's band (including the character of Yitzhak) appear on stage for  the entire duration of the musical, as does Hedwig herself.


The Creators

John Cameron Mitchell (playwright) is a performer, director, and playwright in the performance and film industries. Mitchell wrote and starred in Hedwig and the Angry Inch in 1998. Three years later, he directed and starred in the feature-film version of the musical for which he won Best Director at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. His performance was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. Both the play and the film were critical hits and have spawned cult followings around the world. Mitchell reprised his performance in the role of Hedwig on Broadway for a limited run in early 2015, opposite Lena Hall as Yitzhak. He received a 2015 Special Tony Award for his return to the role.

Stephen Trask (composer) is an American musician and composer who graduated from Wesleyan University. He was the music director and house band member at the New York City club Squeezebox, where he performed with stars such as Debbie Harry, Lene Lovich and Joey Ramone. Trask's real-life band, Cheater, performed as Hedwig's band "The Angry Inch" in the film version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He received an Obie Award for the play and a Grammy Award nomination for the movie. Trask has done five films with filmmaker Paul Weitz. He composed the score for 2004's In Good Company and American Dreamz, for which he also co-wrote the numerous songs the contestants sing, as well as the 2009 film Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. He also scored the films Camp and The Station Agent, as well as Dreamgirls, In the Land of Women, The Savages, and The Back-up Plan, among other works. Some of his recent work includes the 2013 films Lovelace, directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffery Friedman and Admission, directed by Paul Weitz.

Photo of John Cameron Mitchell - a white representing male with short brown hair. He is wearing a blue and green plaid shirt and facing to the left of the photo, about half way between a forward facing stance and a profile stance.
Photo of Stephen Trask - a white representing male with short brown hair. He is wearing dark blue thick-framed glasses and is facing the camera. You can see the top of his suit which is a black shirt, black coat, and black tie.

Performance Schedule and Ticket Options


  • Fab Friday
  • Matinee Performance
  • Pay What You Can
  • Performance
  • Student/Educator Night
Please choose a date below for tickets.

Cast and Creatives