Although Hedwig and the Angry Inch has yet to name its next lead performer when Ally Sheedy finishes her stint at the end of January, the off-Broadway hit will definitely continue, said a production spokesperson. Concurrently, the L.A. production, featuring Tommy's Michael Cerveris, continues its open run, and plans for a London mounting are still being drafted.
Ally Sheedy made her official debut as Hedwig Oct. 13, after starting previews 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 a lesbian, drug-addled, has-been photographer.
Sheedy, who received mixed notices, 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 is playing 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 L.A.-based show, which has David Bowie on board as associate producer, commenced 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 and David Lefkowitz