"We Are What We Are": Nine Need-to-Know LGBT Characters from Broadway

By Ben Rimalower
21 Jun 2014



Neil Patrick Harris
Photo by Joan Marcus

1. Hedwig – Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Music and lyrics by Stephen Trask
Book by John Cameron Mitchell

Finally on Broadway, the best new musical of the last 20 years is reaching larger and wider audiences than ever before. It may seem odd that this show is so universal. After all, Hedwig's story is extremely unique and specific — an East German ex-pat post-botched-operative transgender glam rock/cabaret singer on a shoddy tour in the shadow of her ex-boyfriend's major mainstream success with her material. Hedwig is characterized as unflaggingly herself and tells her tale with unflinching authenticity, though exquisite, thrilling music, and we are drawn in — no matter who we are. Hedwig is mutilated, and she is beautiful. That's the kind of activist hero we need nowadays.

(Ben Rimalower is the author and original star of the critically acclaimed Patti Issues, currently on a worldwide tour. Read more about the solo show here. Visit him at benrimalower.com and follow @benrimalower on Twitter.)