Monday, October 26, 2009

Debbie Does Hedwig

This past weekend I went to check out the double bill of Debbie Does Dallas & Hedwig and the Angry Inch, at The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street (Toronto). This may not seem like anything exciting to those who have seen either of these classic films, but catching them as live theatre productions puts a completely different perspective on them. This is the inaugural production from Ghost Light Projects, founded by theatre veterans Randie Parliament and T.J. Tasker.

For those that aren't aware or these works, DDD is an infamous 1970's soft-core porn film that starred Bambi Woods, about a small town girl with big time ass-pirations to be a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys. The plot focuses on the sexual shenanigans of a group of good teenaged girlfriends who find that the easiest way to make money is to make their bodies available to horny men. I was sort of surprised to see so many men in the audience that appeared to be there solo or with a few buddies, but not really. The sexual innuendos and simulated copulation kept them gawking for the full 90 minutes.

If you stay for the double bill, you have to leave the theatre and cum back for Hedwig about 20 minutes later. This is a perfect opportunity to grab a drink at the bar, or some snacks at the cafe out front. As well, if you check out one of the performances before November 1st, you'll have an opportunity to view the photographic works of Hamish Kippen on display in the lobby area. It's an excellent post perspective on an aspiring individual.

Back for Hedwig, a slightly different crowd was in attendance that I wasn't quite able to categorize. There were the Hedwig fans, the theatre crowd, and the inquisitive. This is basically a one person performance, acted meticulously by Seth Drabinsky. His performance of transsexual vixen Hedwig is an exhausting role to play, but he seemed to carry it off in perfect stride. The backing 'cast' included L.A. Lopes as the sidekick of Hedwig, along with Angry Inch - the backing band of Hedwig - represented by local music outfit the Vicious Guns ( The John Cameron Mitchell (Shortbus) story quickly became a cult classic, telling the tale of a boy from Berlin that led a tortured existence of entrapment. He was finally able to come out to the world in a big way, and this is her story.

Congrats to Ghost Light Projects on a great entrance. Both shows are done back to back Tuesday to Saturday nights until November 7th, Debbie at 7pm and Hedwig at 9pm. Tickets can be purchased individually or as a double bill. Go to for more information. Keep your eyes and ears open for more fun stuff happening at The Great Hall, which seems to have finally opened its doors to an eclectic array of programming. It's an amazing multi-level venue perfect for showcasing the artistic side of Toronto.

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