Ally Sheedy will face the critics on Oct. 13, when she makes her official debut as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The film actress has been playing the role since Sept 20.
Sheedy starred in such mid-80s teen comedies as "The Breakfast Club" and "St. Elmo's Fire." Her career was long on the down side, however, when the 1998 art film "High Art" brought her back into the public eye. In that movie, Sheedy played lesbian, drug-addled, has-been photographer.
Sheedy is the first female to play the part of the tortured German transsexual rocker. To date, only male actors have filled the role: the show's creator John Cameron Mitchell, Michael Cerveris and Kevin Cahoon.
During Sheedy's run, rocker and sometime actor (and full-time son of pop star Donovan) Donovan Leitch will play the role on Wednesdays. Leitch is the lead singer of the group Nancy Boy. Leitch's father, the single-named Donovan, made his mark in the 60s with such pyschedelia- tinged hit songs as "Sunshine Superman" and "Mellow Yellow." As an actor, Leitch has appeared in the films "Gas, Food, Lodging" and "I Shot Andy Warhol."
In other Hedwig news, the show began a national tour, starring Kevin Cahoon, in Boston on Sept. 28. An L.A.-based show will commence on Oct. 22. Hedwig was written by its star, Mitchell (book), and Trask (music and lyrics). Leitch and Sheedy play the title singer, an obscure and tortured transsexual rock singer, who tells her darkly comic story while ostensibly performing a concert. The Angry Inch, her back-up band, is Trask's rock combo Cheater, a staple at such downtown New York clubs as CBGB's and Mercury Lounge. The musical has been playing at the Jane Street Theatre since Feb. 14, 1998. For tickets call (212) 239-6200.
-- By Robert Simonson