People’s Branch ‘inches’ into new season

People’s Branch Theatre (PBT), Nashville’s professional, progressive theatre, plans on bringing the Obie Award-winning glam rock musical smash Hedwig and the Angry Inch to the Belcourt Theatre in Hillsboro Village Sept. 13-22, with a special midnight performance on Friday, Sept. 14, and a special "Pay-What-You-Can" performance on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

O&AN wants to send you and a guest to the show for free...cause we're nice like that. All you have to do to enter is send us an email to contest@outandaboutnewspaper.com with “Hedwig” in the subject line. Be sure to include a phone number in your entry so we can call you if you are a winner (well, you are all winners to us...but you get the idea). Good luck and enjoy the show!

More about PBT and Hedwig...

From the land where you still hear the cries, she changed her name, assumed a disguise and now she’s coming for you!

Directed by PBT Artistic Director Ross Brooks with musical direction by Tim Fudge, this award-winning musical tour de force will kick off PBT’s 2007-2008 season in glorious style.

“I’ve wanted to do this show for a very long time,” Brooks told O&AN. “I was dying for someone to do the show, but no one ever did. So, when I became Artistic Director for PBT I decided I was going to make that show happen one way or another.”
 
Audience members will rock out with internationally ignored song stylist Hedwig and her Eastern bloc backup band the Angry Inch as she pursues the man who stole her songs, her dreams and her heart—the elusive and abusive Tommy Gnosis. Part stand-up comedy, part rock musical, this play makes its professional Nashville premiere.

Join uber-star Hedwig in all her glory as she journeys from inside the Berlin Wall to the Midwest and beyond in her search for love. This raw, raucous rock ‘n’ roll show will have you holding your lighters high as Hedwig shows what it costs to be free and what you must sacrifice to be whole.

“This show became an incredible Off-Broadway sensation when it was originally produced in 1998,” says Brooks. “There is no other show like it anywhere in theatre. It manages to combine classical Greek philosophy with punk rock music and a genuinely moving story to create a truly unique theatrical experience.”

The talented ensemble cast includes Nashville theatre veterans Eric Tichenor in the title role of Hedwig and Brooke Bryant as Yitzhak, Hedwig’s backup singer and “Man Friday… through Thursday”. The Angry Inch will be played by R. Alex Murray on bass, Adam Moody on guitar and keyboards, and Chase Fielding on drums. A show like no other, Hedwig is an unforgettable experience as well as a powerful comment on the nature of love and how far one man is willing to go to find it.

Like most people, Tichenor discovered Hedwig through the 2001 movie of the same name starring co-writers John Cameron Mitchell and Steven Trask. He borrowed the DVD from a friend on a recommendation and from there the professional local actor knew his fate was sealed.

“This is the role of a lifetime for me,” Tichenor confided.  “I fell in love with the Hedwig the moment I laid eyes on her. Right then and there I knew I would play this role and here I am!” 

As soon as he got the news that he had been chosen for the role, Tichenor called his former co-worker to share the good news and thank her for introducing him to Hedwig in the first place.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch runs Sept. 19 - 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Belcourt Theatre in Hillsboro Village, with an extra midnight performance on Sept. 14, following the 7:30 show. Tickets are $18 or $12 for seniors and students with ID and can be purchased through the Belcourt box office by calling 615-846-3150 or online at www.belcourt.org. This show contains mature themes and language and is not intended for young children. Attendees should also be aware that there is loud music throughout the show.

Following Hedwig and the Angry Inch, People’s Branch Theatre will round out the rest of its season with the following productions:

The Mystery of Irma Vep by Charles Ludlam
Vampires. Werewolves. Mummies. Santa Claus. The perfect way to spend the holidays! This definitive spoof of Gothic horror murder mystery melodramas, recently revived Off-Broadway to raves, is a quick-change marathon where two actors play eight roles as fast as they can. There’s enough horror and black humor here to keep you rolling in your grave for days afterward.
December 6-15, 7:30 pm
Pay-What-You-Can performance December 12, 7:30 pm
Midnight performance December 7
Performance at the Belcourt Theatre

Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman
This white-knuckle political thriller is a riveting intellectual and emotional tug-of-war. Set in an unnamed country emerging from a totalitarian dictatorship, the play explores the aftereffects of repression on hearts and souls. Believing that the Good Samaritan who has just given her husband a ride home is the same man who tortured her, a woman ties the suspect to a chair and conducts her own interrogation, gun in hand. Her husband doesn’t know whether to believe his distraught wife or his persuasive new friend. This powerful play examines the need for justice as well as the cost of the relentless pursuit of vengeance, showing that some wounds may never heal.
Note: Adult situations and language.
February 7-16, 7:30 pm
Pay-What-You-Can performance February 13, 7:30 pm
Performance at the Belcourt Theatre

The Antigone Cycle adapted by Ross Brooks
Music and lyrics by Lisa Kimmey and Juan Winans
The ancient Greek Oedipus cycle gets a bold, urban face lift in this radical re-imagination, as hip-hop music and dance and freestyle poetry blend with classical Greek drama to tell the tragic story of Antigone and her family. Set against the backdrop of the war of Thebes, the modern parallel of how urban violence destroys families brings fresh relevance and a shocking new conclusion to this classic tale.
Note: Adult situations and language.
April 10-19, 7:30 pm
Pay-What-You-Can performance April 16, 7:30 pm
Performance at the Belcourt Theatre

People’s Branch Theatre was voted Best Local Theatrical Group in 2005 and 2006 by readers of the Nashville Scene. Established in 2000, PBT consistently brings together the best local artists to create bold, innovative and socially progressive professional theatre in Nashville.

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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