“Wait a minute: Madonna came? Bowie came? all manner of folks came. The big musical debut at SqueezeBox!, circa 1997, had been a smash hit. Crowds went ape for the music and were going ape for it. And why wouldn’t they? It had a glam drag-queen transsexual, and a story that touched every generation from the Boomers on. By putting a band on stage with Greek myths, offering a new angle to the Berlin Wall, and floating the whole boy-becomes-girl meets boy-loses-boy who then becomes a redeemed rock god taking the entire audience on a glittering catharsis, Hedwig raised the bar. Who needed Vagina Monologues when Mitchell & Company tore the roof off with his Angry Inch? Over a decade later I entered the Jane Street Theatre from the front.
Mike Potter met me in the lobby at the top of the stairs, and whisked me in the glass doors and to our seats. I didn’t recognize anybody in the packed theatre except for Potter and Jack Steeb, who was mulling around the sound booth. I was happy to see a room full of people I didn’t know. For the first time in a long time I saw a tangible connection between reality and what I considered real. John took the stage as Hedwig and for me, summed up most of what I’d ever wanted SqueezeBox! to be, say, stand for. A place to exist while searching for ourselves. He sang of ‘other halves,’ ‘lost parts.’ As I watched John onstage, something welled up inside me. Something woke up. Something moved for the first time in many, many late moons. -Hedwig and the Angry Inch excerpt from: ‘Pretty Broken Punks: lipstick, leather jeans, a death of New York’.”
To my friends and extended family of choice, who continue to show New York City how to stand up to the bullies: Well done. Giuliani did everything he could to stamp us out. In the words of Angelou “We Rise!”.