Last Chance To See: Dingbats Do Hedwig

Todays News

Pictured: Luke Manual McFatrich as Hedwig in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch.' Photo by Goddess Imagery Studios/Jamie Lee Butrum.

With a stage dominating one side of the room and the walls plastered with fashion adverts, glam rock icons and countless Playboy centerfolds, the Dingbat Theatre Project has transformed what will soon be a family-friendly dining space in the Bazaar on Apricot & Lime into the setting for its latest off-the-wall production, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. And though the production now nears the end of a successful sold-out run, with the final two performances taking place tonight and tomorrow night, there were moments of trepidation and doubt on the road to opening night, says Dingbat Theatre Project Founder Luke Manual McFatrich.

And not just about the Playboys.

An R-rated rock musical about everything from sex and soulmates to rock bands, romantic ruin, the Cold War and botched gender reassignment surgery, Hedwig brings the audience front-and-center for one hilarious and unhinged night in the life of the titular genderqueer rocker as she tours in the shadow of an ex-lover. And for McFatrich, who also plays Hedwig, it surprisingly set the stage for his own journey of self-acceptance as well.

In many ways, the role of Hedwig presents something of an actor’s dream, with opportunity to flex one’s acting muscles as Hedwig adopts different personas and accents throughout the show, bringing characters from her past to life for the audience. “It’s really scary,” McFatrich says. “But I enjoy it. It quickly became a fun puzzle to figure out.” And working with director Brian F. Finnerty, McFatrich had no doubts that the puzzle could be solved.

But there was one lingering doubt.

At the show’s conclusion, Hedwig typically bares a little skin, going shirtless, at least. And for this reason, McFatrich says, the actor portraying Hedwig is typically of the well-muscled variety. McFatrich, however, is not. “So there were some insecurities,” he says, “about having to end the show in a vulnerable situation like that.” He and Finnerty went back and forth on the issue, eventually deciding that the ending was too important to change. In the end, the audience agreed, and McFatrich found people approaching him after the show to tell him how powerful they found the finale—especially with that added bit of body positivity. “I’m really proud of that,” he says.

Because under all the Playboy and punk rock, the showmanship and the shock factor, there’s an earnest heart to Hedwig, and McFatrich wants to lay that bare for all the audience to see as well.

“I hope they leave with a desire to understand other people on their journeys,” he says. “I hope they see Hedwig’s journey of self-acceptance and can translate it to their own lives.”

Then, after a pause.

“And I hope they leave with a smile on their face.”

The Dingbat Theatre Company’s production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch concludes its run this weekend, with the final shows tonight and tomorrow night. Visit the website below for tickets.

Pictured: Luke Manual McFatrich as Hedwig in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch.' Photo by Goddess Imagery Studios/Jamie Lee Butrum.

Dingbat Theatre Project

« View The Friday Sep 10, 2021 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Circus Arts Conservatory Leaders Participate in World Acrobatics Society Event in Vegas

Circus Arts Conservatory Leaders Participate in World Acrobatics Society Event in Vegas

Sep 23, 2021

Orchestra Turns Attention Beyond City Limits

Sarasota Orchestra Turns Attention Beyond City Limits

Jacob Ogles | Sep 13, 2021

Shout Glory! A Gospel Revival Kicks Off Key Chorale's Season

Shout Glory! A Gospel Revival Kicks Off Key Chorale's Season

Sep 10, 2021

WSLR to Present Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers

WSLR to Present Southern Circuit Tour

Sep 3, 2021