Hedwig and the Angry Inch may have celebrated 20 years since its Off-Broadway's Jane Street Theatre run in 2018, but it still has lots to celebrate this year. For starters, the Criterion Collection released the 2001 film adaptation on Blu-Ray for the first time on June 25, in a new 4K digital restoration with additional special features. And during Pride Weekend June 27–29, Tony-winning co-creators of Hedwig and the Angry Inch John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask present The Songs and Stories of Hedwig at Town Hall to celebrate 50 years of Pride in New York City. Audiences can expect a few special guests, as well.
As New York City looks back at the history of Pride, it seems only right to honor Hedwig's legacy within that, as it has become an integral piece in queer theatre history—as well as leaving its mark on the larger, mainstream theatre industry. Hedwig's initial development took place in queer spaces downtown, like the punk drag club SqueezeBox!, and the thought of the musical ever playing Broadway was not one anyone involved took seriously. Miriam Shor, Hedwig's original Yitzhak, says, "We used to make jokes, when we were Off-Broadway, like 'Hedwig is on Broadway and 147th street.' It would have never been on Broadway. It was a different era."
After a successful run at Jane Street Theatre and its 2001 film adaptation, Hedwig eventually stomped its way up to Broadway's Belasco Theatre, where Tony winners Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall originated the roles when it opened in April 2014. It would go on to win the Best Revival of Musical at the 2014 Tony Awards. Shor says, "Seeing it [on Broadway] felt like watching my kids graduate from high school—so moving. Seeing it reach so many other people and seeing a certain aspect of it be embraced by a much more mainstream audience was wonderful."
In between filming for Younger's sixth season on TVLand, Shor stopped by the Playbill studios to reflect on the legacy of Hedwig.