Becks is an indie film based on the real life experiences of singer-songwriter Alyssa Robbins, who also wrote most of the songs for the film. It’s about a struggling singer in NYC who moves back to St Louis when her girlfriend leaves her to move to California. She moves in with her mother, a former nun, and starts singing at a local bar. She meets and becomes closer to a married woman, Elyse.
The lead character, Becks, is played by the fabulous Lena Hall, who won a Tony for her portrayal of Yitzhak in the Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and who played Hedwig herself briefly during the opening stops of the national tour. Becks’ mother, the former nun who tries to be supportive of her daughter, is played by Emmy, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning actress Christine Lahti. Elyse is played by Mena Suvari (Six Feet Under). Hayley Kiyoko, quadruple threat and all-around force of nature, plays Lucy, Becks’ soon to be ex-girlfriend.
Theatermania.com posted a new interview this week with Euan Morton, who is currently playing Hedwig Robinson in the national tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Euan talked about what makes his Hedwig different, and his experiences as Hedwig with audiences across the country.
“We had one woman in L.A.,” recalls Tony nominee Euan Morton, the show’s lead actor, about one performance shortly before he took over the part. “Darren [Criss] was doing the role, I was in the audience, and [this woman] said, ‘I thought this was a play about Harry Potter’s owl.'”
“I thought it was fantastic,” he laughs. “Like, didn’t you look at the posters? Does it look like an owl?…It’s bizarre.”
All three of the actors who have had regular gigs playing Hedwig in the national tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch have given us photos or videos of themselves in the middle of their preshow preparations. (Darren took his during his Broadway run.) Which national tour Hedwig wore the makeup-only look best?
These were my initial thoughts after seeing Euan and Hannah the first time, with some minor edits to make it a little more coherent. (I was very excited and fangirling all over the place.) My main impression was: HANNAH. My review of the evening show is below my review of the matinee.
As soon as she came out on stage I was taken with her. She looks a LOT like Lena, more than Shannon does, and she has a catlike quality that I haven’t seen in a Yitzhak before. The way she carries herself is captivating. When she made her announcement just before the show, I loved the way she spoke. She sounded a little like she was singing even then, particularly in one little part where she almost did a little trill, of sorts. Then she started SINGING. Her voice is beautiful. It’s very clear and pleasantly high-pitched but full and husky, and the way she uses it is effortlessly smooth. The little riffs and trills she does are amazing. She tends to slide down at the ends of notes (called a glissando, I’m a huge fan). Her voice reminds me of a stream, the smooth transitions she makes from note to note.
No other Hedwig can pull off a high kick like this man. I mean, WOW. Y’all probably know I’m a Darren Criss fan, and I find it hard to resist anything Andrew Rannells or John Cameron Mitchell turn up in. But Euan has the best legs. (I’ll concede to JCM fans if anyone wants to argue with me.) Hedwig also has tattoos in this incarnation, a partial sleeve on her left arm that runs up over her pec, and several smaller ones on her right arm. (Including a zia, the sun symbolof the Zia people and New Mexico, the metawitches home state.)
But, on to more important things. Euan’s Hedwig is closer to a combination of NPH and John Cameron Mitchell in manner than any of the others. Great with the physical comedy. She’s more sad than angry, and both graceful and clumsy at the same time. She’s loose and flexible, rolling around on the stage more than any other Hedwig, I think. She rolls down the car windshield and right onto the floor at the beginning of Angy Inch. Euan’s Hedwig puts on a good face and keeps soldiering on until she. just. can’t. do. it. any. more. Then, SHE’S DONE. And she breaks down completely during Long Grift/Exquisite Corpse. She’s broken, and can’t even hold her head up.
The Hedwig on Broadway Facebook page has posted a new video featuring Euan Morton, the current Hedwig on the Hedwig and the Angry Inch National Tour, singing Wicked Little Town, a song from the show. Hannah Corneau, the current Yitzhak on the tour, sings backup, and Justin Craig, music director and Skszp, plays acoustic guitar. The video was recorded in Denver at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The cast is not in costume or make up. They were likely singing as part of a press event for the tour stop, which just started on Tuesday. I’m loving Euan and Hannah’s voices on the video, but I’ll let you know more when I write my review after I see them live tomorrow! (Writing this from a hotel in Denver.) 😉
We have a new set of photos for you today from Lena Hall’s last show starring as Hedwig in LA on 11/25/16. Shannon Conley was her Yitzhak, and the usual members of Tits of Clay played Hedwig’s band, The Angry Inch. Lena makes a glamorous Hedwig, doesn’t she?
Euan Morton and Hannah Corneau take over the roles of Hedwig and Yitzhak on the Hedwig and the Angry Inch National Tour tonight in San Diego, following the exit of Darren Crissand Lena Hall Sunday night. The original Broadway members of Tits of Clay, who play Hedwig’s band The Angry Inch, will continue with the tour. They are Justin Craig (Skszp, music director, guitars, keyboard), Matt Duncan (Jacek, bass), Tim Mislock (Krzyzhtoff, guitar) and Peter Yanowitz (Schlatko, drums). Original Broadway Yitzhak understudy Shannon Conley continues in her role. Mason Alexander Park will also stay on as the standby for Hedwig.
Here are a few songs from Darren and Lena’s last performance in San Francisco, 10/30/16, in honor of their last day on tour. After the cut, our reviews of one of Darren’s Hedwig shows we saw in San Francisco, the 10/15/16 matinee.
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