Dr. Haley's Sing-Along Blog...

I am blessed to have really great friends. Tremendous friends, like Lisa, who come up with amazing ideas for things to do together that I would have been unaware of. For instance, when Lisa heard about a Hedwig and the Angry Inch sing-along with a live shadow cast, she passed along the information, and plans were made immediately. Because we all know how Lisa and I feel about Hedwig. Truly, nothing was going to stop us from being on hand to belt out all of our favorite songs.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with how a shadow cast works, it consists of a group of volunteers who act out the scenes from the film on a stage below the screen, complete with accurate costumes and props. They encourage audience participation by distributing items for the audience to use at appropriate times. For instance, at the Hedwig sing-along they gave us seafood restaurant bibs to wear, since The Angry Inch performs in a string of seafood chain restaurants, Sugar Daddy suckers to eat in homage to the eponymous song, and dinner rolls to throw at one another during the food fight scene. I appreciated all of these interactive activities except the last one -- I got beaned in the eye by an errant roll. Thankfully, it didn't leave a bruise.

The shadow cast performance and the sing-along were all in good fun, but the overall experience couldn't hold up to watching last year's live production at the American Theater Company, or just simply watching the movie on its own. It was campy and fun, but I think I take the Hedwig experience too seriously for that. I am more interested in the film for its message and its beautifully crafted symbolism, and for me, all of the extra garnishes were a bit of a distraction. Still, I'm glad that I went, if only because it prompted me to watch the movie again, and seeing it always puts me in a good mood for days.

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