teenybuffalo (teenybuffalo) wrote,

Hansel needs some sugar in his bowl

I'm formatting a script for "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." This job is a lot of fun sometimes. I liked the movie but I love the theatrical version; the movie clunkily makes literal a lot of things that are supposed to be Hedwig's figures of speech and her sick sense of humor.

The main thing that strikes me this time: Hedwig and friends keep making Holocaust jokes. Stuff like "the oven/the shower," calling herself "non-Aryan," her creepy American sugar daddy giving her gummy bears that she compares to concentration camp victims. Does anybody want to explain to me what's happening there? It doesn't seem like survivor humor, in that Hedwig would have to have been born in the sixties (and isn't Jewish, unless I misunderstood something). Of course, whatever gender alignment she identifies with, she sure is in a vulnerable subgroup, so maybe she's reminding us that if she'd been around then she'd have been sent to a concentration camp as A Homosexual. But that's not how it sounds. It comes off more like identifying-with-the-oppressor humor. I haven't read this far, but I think someone else's drag name is Krystall Nacht. That sort of thing.

I mean, I can tell it's supposed to be uncomfortable, and it sure is, well done, but is there a greater point that I'm missing? This musical has a confusingly huge number of Holocaust references for a show where the villains are heteronormativity, communism and capitalism.
Tags: hedwig and the angry inch, jobs, music, shows, shows: hedwig and the angry inch, theater
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