It’s becoming a running theme: Someone I wrote about 15, 20, 25 years ago finally gets their day in the sun, and I get to reconnect. Call it Early Adopter Syndrome, or, as poet Mike Tyler says, the Turtle Generation finally crossing the finish line. In today’s edition, it’s a his and a her: that old queer punk Hedwig. Eighteen years ago I interviewed John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, the creators of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, for The Village Voice. I was such a tireless Hedwig advocate back then that Carrie Brownstein — yeah, I was onto her a long time ago too — used to tease me about my obsession. Cue forward to 2014, and the old “slip of a girlie” is finally on Broadway, and, er, snatching Tonys. I caught up with John and Stephen recently for the LA Weekly. They are both rabid music fans, and it’s always great fun to talk about punk and politics with them. The revival of Hedwig launches at the Pantages tonight, with Darren Criss in the title role and Tony-winner Lena Hall as Yitzhak and, on Sunday nights, Hedwig — more gender warping from this vanguard show.
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I was so obsessed with Hedwig and the Angry Inch when it first came out (so to speak), I remember Carrie Brownstein or Kathleen Hanna, or maybe both of them, making fun of me. Mitchell and Trask were such a brilliant (and cantankerous) theater team. I wrote about the musical for The Village Voice. I’m amazed it’s finally making it to Broadway — and glad they’re working on it together again. “Rock ‘n’ roll is about identification across lines,” Stephen told me back then. In these days of factionalization, that’s a refreshing sentiment.