Hedwig and the Angry Inch is not your average musical as far as the major record labels are concerned. Whereas many stage shows are recorded by smaller companies which specialize in theatre music, the Off-Broadway hit is being courted by Dreamworks, Atlantic, MCA, Capital and others. Hedwig was written by its star, John Cameron Mitchell (book), and Stephen 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 actually Trask's rock combo Cheater, a staple at such downtown New York clubs as CBGB's and Mercury Lounge. The musical has been playing to enthusiastic crowds at the Jane Street Theatre since Feb. 14.
Though no contract has been concluded, the original cast album will be released in fall, at the very earliest, said Hedwig spokesman Tom D'Ambrosio. Mitchell, who, along with Trask, won an OBIE for his work, will stay with the show through next February, possibly taking a few vacations during the summer.
-- By Robert Simonson