Though he's no longer playing Hedwig Off-Broadway (that role has gone to Michael Cerveris), John Cameron Mitchell is still strongly connected to the role. He's inked a deal with New Line Pictures to write and possibly direct the film version, and Atlantic Records released the show's long-awaited cast CD, Feb. 9.
Those hoping to get the CD -- and a look at Mitchell -- can see him tonight, Mar. 2, at the Barnes & Noble book store at 675 Sixth Ave (22nd St.) in Manhattan. There he'll be signing CDs with composer Stephen Trask, and both will discuss the origins of the show.
A Village Voice ad for the Barnes & Noble signing notes that Hedwig is soon to "go global with openings in London and Los Angeles." A production spokesperson at the James LL Morrison told Playbill On-Line (Mar. 2) that although producers in L.A. and London are interested, there are no definite plans at this time for stagings there.
The Hedwig 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, and a spokesperson at the James LL Morrison press office said (Jan. 15) the screenplay had not yet been written.
Cerveris first stepped into John Cameron Mitchell's platform shoes July 8 to Aug. 4, 1998. Prior to that, his most recent New York performance was as ship architect Thomas Andrews in Titanic. He's also been touring with singer-songwriter-guitarist Bob Mould. Cerveris, who starred as the adult title character in The Who's Tommy on Broadway, also recently arranged a concert version of Tommy in Offenbach, Germany, to raise money to establish a therapy center there for disabled children. *
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, 1998.
For tickets and information on Hedwig and the Angry Inch call (212) 239-6200.
-- By Robert Simonson and David Lefkowitz