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Suzalulu Week 2015 - Day 6 ‘Service and Sacrifice’

“They sent me back to the academy you know. I couldn’t do much to get out of that. But no-one mentions anything when I leave in the middle of class, and when they see Zero, they never say my name. It’s existing without existing. 
I know you said that my sacrifice would be that I could never die, that living would be penance. But this can’t really be called living, can it?

Are you listening, Lelouch?”

The mask lay silent on the bed. It never did have answers for him. With a sigh, he picked it up. 

“Never mind. Let’s go. We still have time to serve.”

Hedwig/San Francisco

I feel a little conflicted about laying out what happens before some people get to see the show, but there have been a lot of questions about the differences.

I’m on mobile so I can’t add a cut so skip this if you don’t want to know!

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Changes from Broadway, based on two Darren and one Lena performance(s):

Hedwig comes out from behind the car in sort of a glam hoodie and spangly sunnies that she throws into the audience, rather than being lowered from the ceiling. And the gold wig helmet is gone (but that busted near the end of the show run last summer, if I remember correctly.) Love the glam hoodie! I want one.

There are some script changes
- Obviously all of the references are changed from New York to SF ones.
- the line about masturbating with acrylic hair is out
- after the Sugar Daddy kiss Hedwig doesn’t ask the person for their name, instead says ‘oh don’t tell me, I prefer anonymous sex’. I suspect this is an accommodation to how far away the first row is from the stage and needing to keep the show moving.
- Hedwig says the Lion Queen line after Wig in a Box, but before she spits on the audience, instead of after she dons the Sarah Jessica Parka. (And to help illustrate the difference between this venue and Broadway, in SF it takes some work on Hedwig’s part to spit as far as the first row. In NY she easily hit the third and fourth row.)
- The 'Lea Michele did it better’ line seems to be a keeper for Darren’s show. Lena of course referenced herself in her first show, as someone else has pointed out.
- The 'if I wanted to see a mess on the Broadway stage’ that comes after Hedwig steps on the Hurt Locker sheet music is shortened (and doesn’t say Broadway), and Hedwig doesn’t go on to diss a bunch of shows. It just ends after one comment.

I think that’s it for the script changes? Maybe @yanks02 remembers some more.

Other differences:

During Sugar Daddy, because the audience is further away, Hedwig has to come offstage back into the audience in order to kiss the front row guy. Darren just jumped off, and there is a big box/speaker/something that she uses to get back onstage in time for the Helmut Kohl line, but it’s a rush. Darren did it both nights I saw, but Lena skipped the kiss entirely and instead did the the most painful looking fucking splits while shouting something I couldn’t make out. I need to listen to the recording.

I have no idea of Lena is just not doing the kiss or if it was a judgement call in the moment (she didn’t climb the speakers either, and I suspect that’s because it takes a lot of arm/upper body strength to pull yourself up that she may just not have yet). I’d love to hear how that progresses from anyone who sees it down the tour.

The car is different, and looks smaller. Hedwig climbs into the roof for the WiaB costume change instead of under the hood. Not a huge difference.

During WLTR Hedwig the riser is a platform/plank rather than a pillar that comes out from the floor. Maybe it just me, but for some reason it makes me more nervous to watch than the pillar on Broadway did, even though it doesn’t go up as high. During the show this is under the car, but it doesn’t recess into the stage after WLTR, and Hedwig has to move around it during Midnight Radio. I do fear for the future stubbed toes.

A couple of other observations:

The room is not nearly as intimate in feeling as the Belasco *and this really has an impact on the show*. The first two rows are far away and Hedwig has to work extra hard to keep the audience engaged rather than just observing the performance. I imagine the energy in the room is going to vary pretty widely depending on the audience. I saw it Friday night and it was great, but the Saturday matinee (still great) was a lot of older theater going women, and it was pretty non-reactive (and I say this as someone with 50 in her rear view mirror). My sister came with me to see the matinee, and then to see Lena, and she enjoyed Lena a lot more because of that, I think. Lena’s audience came ready Sunday night. It’ll be interesting to see if her mid-week audiences have the same energy.

I was also struck, as I have been before, by how much work the actor playing Hedwig (and Yitzak) has to do aside from just performing. Built into the choreography is the tearing down of the stage, so you’re performing all but one character, telling the story, singing the songs, all the choreography and tear down. It’s a lot.

I’m typing this up as I wait at the airport to head back, so I’m sure I’ve left some things off. I’d love for anyone to add to or counter with any of their observations. I still plan to write up my impressions of the different Yitzak’s with Darren’s Hedwig, I just haven’t had time yet (but again, I think the audience plays a huge role in this dynamic).