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Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Every once in a while, I am offered complimentary tickets to a traveling show that's stopping in Salt Lake City.
Usually these are last-minute deals that involve me re-arranging my schedule and dragging my happy husband along to something we hadn't planned to see.
This time it came with a chance to see the new Eccles Theater up close, something I've wanted to do since it opened.
I knew it would be helpful somewhere in the future when "Wicked" comes to town or "Hamilton." I'd know the way to the bathrooms, for instance and be able to guess how long it would take to ride the TRAX in from Utah County.
So I agreed to come up and see "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" even though I knew the material in the show probably wouldn't be LDS-approved.
I asked Marc about going and he said, "Why not? It'd be educational."
Well, it was and it is.
I did a little advance research so I knew something about the plotline.
I knew it would be edgy and probably outrageous.
But I'm a grown-up person who has reviewed all kinds of productions over the past 40 years.
I figured I could handle this.
Hmmm. Not really.
It was a little more than I figured on. Way more.
The lead character, Hedwig, is a transgender superstar with some issues. The actor who plays him/her does a remarkable job as far as acting in concerned. The costuming and staging is dramatic and creative.
Hedwig is trying to engage the audience — much like a lounge singer — while churning about how he/she and others in similar circumstances are being treated.
It's bold and, in some cases, shocking.
Then there's the volume level and the strobe lights.
I was having to hold my hands over my eyes to keep my brain from delivering a migraine.
The CO2 smoke was disturbing me as well.
By the end of the show, I was nauseous and dizzy.
I couldn't wait for it to stop.
Now that it's over and I'm back home safe and sound, I'm haunted, and not so much by the physical stress as the emotional reaction to the story.
Why is there such anger, so much emotion? Why bring Jesus into the conversation? (There are several references to accepting Christ as a Savior and Redeemer that mock Him outright.)
And why did I think a 65-year-old uptight grandma could cope with this?