The story is told by Hedwig directly to the audience in the form of an extended monologue. The conceit of the stage production is that the audience are watching the character Hedwig's musical act she follows rockstar Tommy Gnosis's (much more successful) tour around the country. Occasionally Hedwig references Gnosis's concert which is playing in an adjoining venue.
Hedwig's band (including the character of Yitzhak) appears on stage for practically the entire duration of the musical, as does Hedwig herself.
Hedwig tells of Hansel, an East German "slip of a girlyboy" who loves philosophy and rock music, is stuck in East Berlin until he meets Luther Robinson, a U.S. soldier. Luther falls in love with Hansel and the two decide to marry. This plan will allow Hansel to leave communist East Germany for the capitalist West. However, in order to be married, the couple must consist of a man and a woman. Hansel's mother, Hedwig, gives her child her name and passport and finds a doctor to perform a sex change. The operation is botched, however, and her surgically constructed vagina heals closed, leaving Hansel ? now Hedwig ? with a dysfunctional one-inch mound of flesh between her legs, "with a scar running down it like a sideways grimace on an eyeless face."
Hedwig goes to live in Junction City, Kansas as Luther's wife. On their first wedding anniversary, Luther leaves Hedwig for another man. That same day, it is announced that the Berlin Wall has fallen and Germany will reunite.
Hedwig recovers from the separation by forming a rock band composed of Korean-born Army wives, which she names "The Angry Inch". Hedwig befriends a shy and misunderstood Christian teenager Tommy Speck, with whom she writes some songs. Hedwig gives him the stage name "Tommy Gnosis", but he later leaves her and goes on to become a wildly-successful rock star with the songs Hedwig wrote alone and with him. "Internationally ignored" Hedwig and her Angry Inch are forced to support themselves by playing coffee bars and strip mall dives.
The song "The Origin of Love", based on Aristophanes' speech in Plato's Symposium, explains that human beings were once round, two-headed, four-armed, and four-legged beings. Angry gods split these early humans in two, leaving the separated people with a lifelong yearning for their other half. Hedwig believes that Tommy is her soul mate and that she cannot be whole without him. She feels driven to either reunite with him or destroy him.
The book and/or lyrics is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement intended.
By clicking the download button, you agree to use the downloaded file for personal use only.