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February 28, 2018 Comments Off on ArtsWest Dumps “Kiss” for “Hedwig/Lady Day” Double Header Views: 1689 *Seattle Theaterland, Arts & Entertainment, Arts News, News, Queer Theater, Stage

ArtsWest Dumps “Kiss” for “Hedwig/Lady Day” Double Header


ArtsWest Playhouse made a big surprise announcement last week…they’ve decided to pull their announced season ending production of the Kander/Ebb musical KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (they don’t say why but I’m guessing maybe resources? It’s a big show and potentially a budget buster but that’s my own guess there…) scheduled for June of this year.

INSTEAD they are doing TWO smaller shows in repertory, both of them essentially solo showcases for their stars…get ready for ArtsWest’s season ending duo production of: HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH and LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL!

I know there are “Hedwig” fans squealing right now. The cult musical about a transgender East German rock and roller is VERY popular with LGBTQ audiences and has had several big productions in Seattle over the years including its original productions at Re-bar with Nick Garrison and then a big showy revival at The Moore Theatre a couple years back with local drag superstar Jinkx Monsoon.

Here’s the poo we got from ArtsWest about these two new shows…we’re a bit sad about the loss of Kiss of the Spider Woman (another show with queer themes) but excited to see what ArtsWest can do with both these powerful works.

Hedwig and Billie Holiday Come to West Seattle
as ArtsWest Stages Two Beloved Musicals to Wrap 2017-18 Season
SEATTLE, WA (February 23, 2018) -ArtsWest is excited to announce an addition to the 2017-18 I Am Season – Hedwig and the Angry Inch (by John Cameron Mitchell) and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (by Lanie Robertson), presented together in rotating repertory under the title Practical Questions of Wholeness from June 7 through July 8, 2018. This paired production will replace the previously announced Kiss of the Spider Woman as the final work in ArtsWest’s 2017-18 I AmSeason.

Beyond the thrill of their outstanding musical scores, both Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill are powerful, penetrating portraits of performers as they grapple with their identity through music. The title of the repertory pairing – Practical Questions of Wholeness, a line from Hedwig  – speaks to the search both artists undertake to trace the fault lines, and find the missing pieces, to their fractured senses of self.
The off-Broadway smash-hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the electrifying story of Hedwig, a German emigrant who suffered a botched sex-change operation, as she travels the country in hopeless romantic pursuit of her former lover. First a hit on stage and again on screen, John Cameron Mitchell’s hard-rock tale of transformation has earned critical acclaim and a legion of fans across the world.
Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill paints a stirring portrait of jazz legend Billie Holiday as she performs one of her last solo concerts, four months before her death. Packed with the music that made her both a legend – “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”, “God Bless the Child” – and a cultural flashpoint – “Strange Fruit” – Lady Day tells an intimate story of a complex woman through reminisces, confessions, and unforgettable music.
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill will be directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton, director of Wedding Band (Intiman, 2016) and Founding Artistic Director of the Hansberry Project. ArtsWest Artistic Director Mathew Wright (director of The Nance, 2017) will direct Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
“I often feel like we are all singing the same sad song – across geographic, ideological and temporal barriers, and that, if we could just sing it together, maybe it wouldn’t feel so sad,” said Mathew Wright. “Putting these two plays together in the same theater and the same space, but on different nights, begs the question: what if Lady Day and Hedwig could talk to each other? It makes me wonder if perhaps they could be each other’s salvation in some way.”
Practical Questions of Wholeness will present Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Fridays and Sundays, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill on Thursdays and Saturdays. On Saturday 6/16 and Saturday 6/23, the productions will be performed as a double-header with Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill at 3pm and Hedwig and the Angry Inch at 7:30pm.
About the Production
Practical Questions of Wholeness: Hedwig and the Angry Inch(by John Cameron Mitchell) and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (by Lanie Robertson)plays June 7 through July 8, 2018 at ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery (4711 California Ave SW, Seattle WA 98116). Tickets (ranging from $19 – $40) may be purchased online at, by phone at 206.938.0339, or at the Box Office Thurs. – Sat. 2 -7:30pm.
About ArtsWest
ArtsWest is a vibrant center for both performing and visual arts located in the West Seattle Junction. This 149-seat theatre provides a unique setting for audiences and artists as stories of human emotion unfold in an intimate space. Winner of the American Theatre Wing’s 2012 National Theatre Company Award, ArtsWest has produced such diverse work as GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT, CHINGLISH, last fall’s critically acclaimed production of Henrik Ibsen’s GHOSTS and the smash hit PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. ArtsWest produces artistic events that provoke conversation, incite the imagination and use live theater as a powerful agent of change.
Who:    ArtsWest
Where: ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery
What:   Practical Questions of Wholeness: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (by John Cameron Mitchell) and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (by Lanie Robertson)
When:   Hedwig and the Angry Inch by John Cameron Mitchell: Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:30pm
  Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill by Lanie Robertson: Fridays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3:00pm
  Double-headers on Saturday 6/16 and Saturday 6/23:
            Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar at 3pm
Hedwig and the Angry Inch at 7:30pm
Tickets: General Admission: $40.00 | Seniors (65+): $35 | Students: $19 | TeenTix (door only): $5


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