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New theatre company presents Hedwig and the Angry Inch

By Rachel Woodward, Oct 11 2016 —

Laughing Monkey is a new Calgary theatre company and will present the cult classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch as their premiere production.

The performance, runs for 10 shows from Oct. 13–29, and will take place at Twisted Element nightclub.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a rock musical film about Hedwig, a genderqueer musician who had a botched sex change operation. The story documents Hedwig as she follows Tommy Gnosis on his rock tour while performing shows herself. Written by John Cameron Mitchell, the show has gained popularity since its creation, including a Broadway revival starring Neil Patrick Harris.

Randie Parliament founded Laughing Monkey and will direct the performance. He says that this show is a great opportunity to demonstrate what the company will produce for future projects.

“The way I’ve always operated with theatre is not to have any limitations. My only mandate is to create high levels of entertainment that are socially responsible and that really are socially acceptable with gender and identity issues,” he says. “It comes together and plays to that sense of unity and acceptance especially when transgender visibility is so prominent and I think it plays even better to audiences now.”

Zach Peterson will play Hedwig. Peterson is an actor who trained in theatre at Edmonton’s MacEwan University and has starred in other musicals including Grease and Les Misérables. Mandee Marcil will play Hedwig’s band mate and companion Yitzhak while the rest of the band — the Angry Inch — will be portrayed by local band Run Deer Run. Parliament says a nightclub like Twisted Element is a perfect venue for a show of this nature.

“The thing about Hedwig and the Angry Inch is that it is supposed to be in the nittiest and grittiest bowels of society because Hedwig is following Tommy Gnosis around who is playing the big venues around and she’s getting the leftovers,” he says. “It just creates a better atmosphere because not only are people drinking and having fun, they’re ready to just accept and rock out to it. They’re not confined to their little theatre seat. That’s what I love about it — they can get up and dance.”

Parliament believes that the story can reach any audience, especially younger individuals who can relate to Hedwig’s story of identity.

“I never graduated high school, I was one of those kids that was bullied relentlessly in high school, so this story of Hedwig and the Angry Inch reads so true to me and my journey in life of breaking free from your demons.”

Tickets are available online. The show runs for 10 nights until Oct. 29.

For more information, visit laughing-monkey.com

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