Hedwig and the Angry Inch star and co-creator John Cameron Mitchell will leave that hit musical sometime soon after Jan. 1, 1999, said press rep Tom D'Ambrosio. D'Ambrosio said the exact date of Mitchell's departure had not been set and depended on the demands made on the actor by recent deals to bring Hedwig to movie houses and record stores.
Atlantic Records publicist Bobbie Gale told Playbill On-Line that Mitchell, composer Stephen Trask and his band Cheater planned to go into an unnamed New York studio in November with producer Brad Wood. Wood is known for his work on the albums of alt rock artist Liz Phair.
The record will be accompanied by a single release, along with a video to support it. Atlantic has not decided which single will be promoted, but Gale said the creative team is leaning towards "Midnight Radio." The album will be in stores Jan. 5, 1999.
The show's team has also signed with New Line Pictures to turn the stage show into a movie. Mitchell will write the screenplay and direct the movie. The film was reported in Variety as being budgeted at $3.5 million. It is unclear whether the film will match the stage version of the story, which is told within the context of a concert by singer Hedwig, or whether the flick with flesh out the title transsexual's far-flung tale, which takes her from Eastern Germany to the United States. No shooting schedule has been set.
Gale said that there might eventually be two Hedwig albums, the first one documenting the stage version, and a second recording of the movie soundtrack. Hedwig was written by its star, Mitchell (book), and Trask (music and lyrics). Mitchell plays the title singer, an obscure and tortured German-American 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.
-- By Robert Simonson