There was a time when rock 'n' roll was closely linked with concepts of identity, sexuality and gender. Remember Bowie's skinny androgyny? Lou Reed's seedy underbelly of drag queens and blow jobs? Iggy Pop's eyeliner? It's difficult to picture rock embracing such touchy and complex issues in today's pallid music world of carefully orchestrated same-sex (female only!) kisses and pale imitations of genuine glamshit, even the Killers have gotten all butch on us.
But one person has come along to remind us of what rock once was and what it could be. John Cameron Mitchell wrote the off-Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch almost 10 years ago, but its resonance and subsequent popularity have continued to this day. Something about Mitchell's tale, of an aging semi-transsexual (his sex change operation is terribly botched), Hedwig, fuses together several dialectics, centering around the ideas of gender and love. Oh yeah, and rock. Mitchell and his musical cohort Stephen Trask wrote shockingly amazing songs, pulling inspiration from Bowie, Reed, Pop and others. Hedwig is best witnessed in live form, but the film version of the play, showing at midnight Friday and Saturday at the Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane, is still a delight; you'll leave believing once again in the transformative power of rock 'n' roll. Admission is $8. Call 214-764-9106 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
Fri., Jan. 5; Sat., Jan. 6