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5 Reasons Why Everyone (Meaning You) Should Go See ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ This Week

Get ready, because the moment that every single theater kid, kween, guy and gal in Philly has been waiting for has finally arrived….the Forrest Theatre (1114 Walnut St.) is now open for lots and lots of local entertainment business during its 2017/2018 season. 

And sashaying things off in a most fierce way will be the traveling production of the critically acclaimed and Tony Award snatching (isn’t that right, Mr. NPH?) rock musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which struts its stuff in Philly starting today through this Sunday, April 23rd. 

Just to spill a little tea on Ms. Hedwig, the show was written by John Cameron Mitchell (who also played the starring role in the critically acclaimed 2001 film adaptation),and is a certified rock musical about a fictional rock and roll band fronted by a transgender East German singer, Hedwig Robinson.

The story is based on Mitchell’s life as the son of a U.S. Army Major General who once commanded the U.S. sector of occupied West Berlin and the character of Hedwig was inspired by a German divorced U.S. Army wife who was a Mitchell family babysitter and moonlighted as a prostitute at her trailer park home in Kansas.

But besides its gripping and highly relevant storyline, Hedwig truly rocks thanks to the genius of musical artist Stephen Trask, who used the 1970s glam rock style of our dearly departed David Bowie (who actually co-produced the Los Angeles production of the show), as well as the work of John Lennon, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop to give us such loud, memorable rocked out smashes like “Wig in a Box,” “Wicked Little Town” and of course, everyone’s favorite, “Sugar Daddy.” 

The musical opened Off-Broadway in 1998 and went on to win the Obie Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. The production ran for two years, which only helped it to remount itself with various casts by the original creative team in other US cities;eventually gaining steam across the pond with a successful run in London’s West End.  

In 2014, Hedwig returned to Broadway at the Belasco Theatre and went on to win that year’s Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actress for Lena Hall (as co-lead Yitzhak), and of course, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Mr. Neil Patrick Harris, who is a big reason why the buzz for the national tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch is still going strong.

And here’s five more reasons why everyone (meaning you) should get those tickets to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Forrest Theatre this week. Rock on..now. 

1.It’s kicking off what’s shaping up to be a fabulous 2017/2018 season at the Forrest Theatre…    From Hedwig starting today through Sunday, April 23rd to Fun Home in June to The Color Purple around the holidaze all the way to Waitress just in time for Valentine’s Day, Forrest has quite a roster of critically acclaimed Broadway smashes lined up over the next bit of time in our crazy lives, so why not stop, take a seat and grab tickets…to them all. 

And the fact that it’s all kicking off with Ms. Hedwig and all of that music you just absolutely can’t wait to see life on the Forrest stage…well, that gives way to the conclusion that it’s going to be quite an incredible season over at 1114 Walnut St. 

2.Because if you get those tickets right now…you’ll save some coins! Yas.  Because you’re all just so fabulous, the kind kids over at The Kimmel Center have noticed all of your shimmering accomplishments and as a very special treat, they’re offering this special code–HWFGNA329–that’ll help you save a sexy twenty percent off those tickets for Hedwig! Although select performances do apply, don’t miss a chance to chantay right into this beloved musical before it struts out-of-town this Sunday. Seriously..don’t. Go here now. 

3.Because Rolling Stone magazine really, really, really likes ‘Hedwig:’ It is an evening of spirit, wit and crunch worthy of Madison Square Garden — that is, if there really were a Hedwig. She is actually a brilliant work of fiction, the creation of actor-writer John Cameron Mitchell and composer-lyricist Stephen Trask, and she is the centerpiece of their dynamite one-act theater piece, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Since opening last Valentine’s Day at the tiny Jane Street Theater in lower Manhattan, Hedwig — with Mitchell in kinetic drag as Hedwig; Trask and his real-life band, Cheater, as the Angry Inch; and Miriam Shor in reverse drag as the grumpy Yitzak — has been getting rave reviews and playing to ecstatic houses. An original-cast album is due shortly on Atlantic Records, and Mitchell and Trask have signed with New Line Cinema to put Hedwig on the big screen.”

And RS goes on to spill……”All this good fortune is for good reason, too. In the whole long, sorry history of rock musicals, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the first one that truly rocks.” 

Enough said. For much, much more on all things Hedwig and the Angry Inch, peep these Rolling Stone’s from May 7th, 2014 and July 20th, 2001 and prepare yourself for the whole thing. 

4.Because your respect for Doogie Howser, M.D. is the true reason the show’s here right now…  And much like our soon-to-be Philly love for Hedwig, it’s a certain kind of love and respect that will never, ever end. Grab those tickets. 

5.Because no warm weathered season in Philly is complete without taking in one or two hundred shows…    Whether you live for every single grand performance that takes place at the Forrest Theatre, Walnut St. Theatre, Kimmel Center and The Academy Music, or if you love to rock and/or groove it out at NOTO, Tabu, The Fillmore, The Foundry, Johnny Brenda’s and Rumor or any other fab venues the City of Brotherly Love has to offer, just get out there and show your love to the performance arts community. It’s really that simple. 

And you know what else is simple? Getting those tickets for Hedwig (here’s that code again…HWFGNA329) and a chance to sashay straight into not just a fabulous season at the Forrest Theatre, but of your life. Now, rock…and walk. 

Are you an entertainer, promoter or event planner who’s struttin’ along fabulously in Philadelphia? Then Philly Mixtape wants to hear from you! For questions, comments and everything else in beat-tween (everyone’s welcome here, so don’t ever be shy), become a fan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and/or email Patrick DeMarco at iluvbeatz96@gmail.com and let’s promote it ALL up proper!

Hedwig and the Angry Inch cover photo courtesy of The Kimmel Center 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Emancipate Yourself to ‘Mimi’ Right This Second

“I can’t sleep at night
When you are on my mind
Bobby Womack’s on the radio
Saying to me
“If you think you’re lonely now”…

Those are just a sample of the heart drenched lyrics laced all over “We Belong Together,” making it one of the reasons why you should get lost in The Emancipation of Mimi right this very second as Mariah Carey‘s monstrous tenth studio album (and gigantic comeback set) turns twelve years old today. 

Here’s a few more….so , let’s open off (??) the Bacardi and Mimi it up, shall we?

Yas, MC Kween, yaaaas. 

*And for much more in depth Mimi treatment, check it out in Philly Mixtape’s long-lost Mixtape Music Vault when it celebrated a decade of owning our wind blown lives*

1.”It’s Like That” will always be…like that.   “Them chickens is ash and I’m lotion.” Enough said. Well, that, Fatman Scoop and this Jermaine Dupri produced beat 4 lyfe, dah-ling.

2.”We Belong Together” will tear us apart until the end of music eternity…  Pass the Bon Bons, Kleenex, cookie dough, photo albums and the Rite Aid brand nighttime medicine because we still can’t when it comes to the powerhouse crying sessions that stem from Mimi‘s bulldozing ballad. Although “We Belong Together” spent fourteen weeks (!!) on top of the Billboard Hot 100 (plus..those vocal arrangements equal life), it’ll spend the rest of eternity ripping our love scorned worlds to shreds…and we’ll love every god damn second of it. Sigh….

3.Those other tracks and singles, though….   From the Calgon product placement/f@@k you vibes provided on “Shake It Off” to the sultry Snoop owning “Say Somethin,'” to the soaring “Circles” and “Fly Like a Bird” to the private jet ready “Get Your Number” to the Twista co-starring “One & Only”–they’re all here and so much more. But if you want an indefinite Mimi treat, spend some time with the Kanye produced “Stay the Night” and prepare to get taken away right this very second..because you will. 

….and we just can’t forget about those cuts from Mimi’s Ultra Platinum Edition including that other chart topping ballad, “Don’t Forget About Us,” “One & Only(Part 2)” (hey there again, Twista), and of course, “Makin It Last All Night,” because, well, that’s what it do. 

4.Without this record there would be no ‘Mariah’s World’…. Without drudging into MC‘s past (namely 2001-late ’04 ish and real quick…Glitter, a breakdown without Bone Thugz assistance, TRL, a popsicle cart paired with an oversized “Loverboy” t-shirt, Charmbracelet), the diva needed this album to work, and lucky for all of us who knew she could eventually pull through….Mimi werked and then some.

But just think, without this second coming of Mariah’s career (hey, twenty million worldwide can’t be wrong, right?), we wouldn’t have been blessed with a little “docu-series” on E! that we love to throw all of the shade/MC love at. Let’s face it–The Emancipation of Mimi is Mariah’s World and Mariah’s World is The Emancipation of Mimi

5.Because it makes us forget about this…  Well, maybe not since you’re about to watch it right now, but still…no matter what..Ms. Mimi is pure MC life that we’ll never be able to live without whether in good times or during the, um, not so good times. 

Even Wentworth Miller. 

Are you an entertainer, promoter or event planner who’s creatively got it like that in Philadelphia? Then Philly Mixtape wants to hear from you! For questions, comments and everything else in beat-tween (everyone’s welcome here, so don’t ever be shy), become a fan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and/or email Patrick DeMarco at iluvbeatz96@gmail.com and let’s promote it ALL up proper.

Mariah Carey cover photo courtesy of HQ Video Blogspot. 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Fly Away with MC’s ‘Butterfly’ Right This Second

In order to save some time here, let’s just state some MC facts….

Butterfly is Mariah Carey’s sixth studio album and it was released on September 16th, 1997. 

It was led by sexy single, “Honey,” which in turn became the diva’s 12th Billboard number one hit. 

Oh, and it’s also her best record. 

Since it was already noted that the above statements are all facts, there should be no questions as to the five reasons why you should grab your Jack Russell Terrier, draw a nice warm bubble bath and slip into the sensual (and Missy! Trackmasters! Q-Tip! produced) sounds of MC’s standout Butterfly album right this very second. 

1.Because “Honey” is lead single life… Just ask Agent M and then get down to the official Bad Boy remix once more…today, of course. Ready, set, Ma$e

2.Those vocal arrangements, though…  While pretty much every single Mimi album is known for that eardrum shattering trademark octave vocal range of hers (even the later ones..eek…pours tea), it was Butterfly that took all of that and brought it into the bedroom at ravishing love makin,’ heart breakin’ levels with a sexier, softer style of arrangements that put those pipes to werk. honey.

If you haven’t checked your boudoir life to the tones and coos of tracks “Baby Doll,” “Whenever You Call,” “Fourth of July” and…major Mariah pearl clutch (and 13th number one single) “My All”….plain and simple…check it now.

But if you want further evidence of a set full of a MC certified vocal style that truly hasn’t been stripped down like this since, lock the door to “Breakdown” and just…break it down. Plus, there’s never a bad time to have a reminisce sesh to the sped up spits of the one-and-only, Bone-Thugz-N-Harmony. 

That same vocal hypothesis (take a seat, E=Mc2…this isn’t about you) can also be said about “The Roof,” which is probably the most underrated song of Mariah‘s career. And again…no questions here, just music facts to fly away with. 

3.Because Mariah her damn self says its her favorite record, dab-ling…  You would think that for a diva whose had eighteen number one singles and fourteen studio albums that she wouldn’t be able to pick out her favorites, but anyone that’s followed MC’s career throughout the course of it all knows that this whole entire record is the one she’s still..obsessed with.

And for good reason because not only did it mark her true descent into her now ever so present R&B offerings (but of course “Vision of Love” for life), but it was this album that her former record label Sony (and reason number five) didn’t want her to do at all. But if you’ll recall, although there was quite a bit of Sony drama, the then twenty-seven year old diva stood her firm ground and made this glorious set for both her and all of us as it’s also proved to be a long lasting favorite. 

In a ’98 interview with Billboard about of all of that Sony mess, Carey spilled: “In the past, people were scared to let me explore different types of music that I loved and enjoyed. They [the studio heads] saw me as having this instrument, and they wanted to get the most use out of it. There were a lot of people around me who were afraid of change. I was a valuable commodity, and they didn’t want to lose that. I was encouraged to act drab, because drab sells records.”

Now, Let us praise the MC Kweens above that are indeed no drab parts of any music piece of this Butterfly. 

4.The title track, though… Because we still f@cking can’t and we most likely never will. But…we do. Sigh….

5.No more Tommy Mottola with this record… As it’s the reason why Agent M and the rest of Mariah’s current, um, world exists. The “Honey” pony tail rests.