Smart Bets: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

BET Hedwig Cast

Co-founded by Jonathan Lewis and Anna Lyles, new theater company The Synthesis Experiment is determined to deliver a jolt to the Asheville community. Whether pre-existing or freshly created, each project will — according to the company’s IndieGogo campaign page — “overflow with thrilling imagery, dynamic staging and the undeniable pulse of life that is so often missing in the commercial theater.” Kicking off that vision is none other than John Cameron Mitchell’s and Stephen Trask’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch. As part of The Synthesis Experiment’s commitment to presenting shows in unusual and unexpected locations, its debut production plays at Toy Boat Community Art Space from Tuesday, Oct. 17, to Saturday, Oct. 21, at 8 nightly, with a bonus Oct. 21 performance at midnight. $20 general admission/$15 for attendees younger than 30. toyboatcommunityartspace.com. Photo by Cody Lovell

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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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15 thoughts on “Smart Bets: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

  1. Theatre Lover

    “. . . The Synthesis Experiment is determined to deliver a jolt to the Asheville community. . . . overflow[s] with thrilling imagery, dynamic staging and the undeniable pulse of life that is so often missing in the commercial theater.”
    This is wonderful. Asheville will get a chance to get another jolt by “Hedwig,” in case the jolt from the 2002 production at NC Stage has worn off. And what was the name of that theatre group that was overflowing with thrilling imagery, dynamic staging and the undeniable pulse of life who did some kind of mythic spectacle . . somewhere.. . . was it at Montford Park? Diana Wortham? Does anyone remember the name?

      • Theatre Lover

        But seriously, Big Al, can you, or anyone, tell us what that group was that did the big mythic spectacle pieces?

        • Able Allen

          I believe you are referring to this production: La Reina
          It was pretty buck-wild. Great imagery, and well performed, but a bit over my head concept wise…

          • Able Allen

            It was at Diana Wortham, produced by an independent theatre company. I don’t think they have done anything else. My understanding was it didn’t do well financially.

        • Jason W

          You might also be thinking of The Fox and Beggar. They performed shows at both Montford Park, and at either the Diana Wortham, or The Orange Peel. Their show was called Tarrocco.

          • Able Allen

            Oh yeah, could be. I didn’t see that. I remember it being at The Orange Peel, and I heard it was cool.

          • Theatre Lover

            And yes, again, that was the other. My take-away from this: new theatre folks wanting to make a splash in Asheville should find out what their forebears have done and pay their respects before making extravagant claims.

        • Big Al

          Sorry, I thought you were making a sarcastic, hidden reference to a local theater troupe that is currently undergoing some controversy and hardship.

          Any way, My first guess would have also been “Tarrocco” by Fox & Beggar. After seeing video shorts of the first show they put on a year or so earlier, I went to see the second iteration and was underwhelmed. But hey, everybody has a bad day, right?

    • Able Allen

      NC Stage did Hedwig again about 4 years ago. It was an excellent production.

  2. Big Al

    ” folks wanting to make a splash in Asheville should find out what their forebears have done and pay their respects before making extravagant claims.”

    I would not worry too much.

    Local theater (or theatre, if you will) in Asheville is a VERY tight crew with much crossover and collaboration. If you are referring to Tarrocco, you should remember that Fox and Beggar was not a local troupe, but a traveling show from outside Asheville.

    Also, Synthesis Experiment is staging its’ show at Toy Boat Community Art Space, with is BY DESIGN a “safe space” for experimental works and will provide a very soft place to fall should they stumble (which is unlikely as “Hedwig” is not a new work). Many of the actors and support crew at Toy Boat are frequent participants in several other local troupes. These are not the newborn babes that the article implies.

    • Jason W

      Fox and Beggar was actually a local troupe. Their debut performance was at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater (I designed lights for that production.) They later toured their production of Tarrocco.
      I welcome the infusion of fresh faces, ideas, and perspectives into the local theater scene, but to say things like, “give a jolt to local community” smacks of self-importance and tells me that the producers probably haven’t seen a lot of the creative talent and productions that are here in Asheville, nor does it seem like the know even the reciently history of the Asheville theater scene.
      To emerging Asheville theater artists; just do good work and let it speak for itself, and don’t worry about single-handedly breaking the molds of the stale Asheville theater scene, because, trust me, you’re not going to.

      • Theatre Lover

        Sounds like you’re a real Asheville theatre veteran, with the battle scars to prove it.

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