Saanich raised actor and show producer Griffin Leonard Lea returns to the stage in style starting this week at the Metro Theatre.
That Lea is in full costume as Hedwig, the star of a Bowie-esque glam-rock band during the time of communist East Germany, fits the bill. Lea’s come to embrace a glamorous role on stage over the past half-decade for his role as Dr. Frank N. Furter (and producer) of the Rocky Horror Picture Show through his company, RKO Productions. In 2016 with Atomic Vaudeville took the Rocky Horror Picture Show to Whitehorse.
This month, it’s Atomic Vaudeville presenting Hedwig and The Angry Inch at the Metro Theatre.
Stuck in East Germany, Hedwig reluctantly agrees to a sex change operation so he can marry and move to America. But the botched sex change operation leaves Hedwig with what is known as, the Angry Inch.
“Finally [Hedwig] says forget it, take me or leave me that way I am and takes the stage. It’s a rock and roll show.”
Lea found the play, and its cult status, a few years ago.
“I first discovered it in New Zealand, some friends put on a musical review and it opened with one of the songs, Origin of Love, and I noticed how intelligently written and poetic it was,” Lea said.
Hedwig the Angry Inch debuted as a feature film in 1998, and it was the play’s return to Broadway, with Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig, that brought it back into the mainstream. It helped that it won a few Tony awards, including for Harris.
“We’ve taken a few elements from that version,” Lea said. “The joy of the show is it calls for creating your own version, even in the script, it specifies making a location local and inject improv and adlib.”
The show is a concert, with a number of monologues throughout describing Hedwig’s rather tragic life, with a lot of humour in that,
Atomic Vaudeville, initially worked with Britt Small during the Rocky Horror shows, Atomic took it over in the fall,
The cast of two includes Lea with Jana Morrison as Yitzhak, as well as a four piece band.
Tickets are $32 ($15 on June 7 preview night) and available at www.ticketrocket.co or in person at 101-804 Broughton St.
The show runs June 7 to 10 and 14 to 17 at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on June 11 and 18.