Being Hedwig

"She tends to take over. She becomes the person in charge," actor Euan Morton says of the title character he plays in the national tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, coming to the Forrest Theatre April 18-23. "People coming to the show say she's changed their lives.

And what's it like playing that East German transgender protagonist, who calls herself "a little slip of a girly-boy"?

Morton is a Scottish powerhouse, also famed for his stint as Boy George in Tattoo, so it's startling to hear him say, "Physically demanding. I told a crew member that I never knew how hard this was going to be. An hour and 40 minutes, eight shows a week, acting, dancing, rock singing. I'm on voice rest just about every day."

Morton says his relationship with the needy, brassy Hedwig has changed as he's gone along - as in changed him. "I mean, I hope I was a nonjudgmental person before I played her, but now she's made me even more so.

"You're out there seeing an audience of 90-year-old men and you think, 'Oh, tonight's really not going to go well,' " he says. "But then you see them getting up at the end and dancing, and, once again, Hedwig's taught you you're totally wrong!"

(News flash: Hedwig kissed a 92-year-old audience member in San Diego. The lucky guy reportedly loved it.)

Putting the community in theater

The annual Shakespeare in Clark Park program brings together folks from the community with professional actors to put on plays on summer nights in the park. And they're now whipping 50 community folks into shape for the 2017 production, Coriolanus, playing July 26-30. On Saturday, the program held a 45-minute boot camp. On Tuesday morning, splendid actor/director Kittson O'Neill will lead them in a movement and character workshop. On April 18 and 25, award-winning actor/writer/director James Ijames will work with them on the script.

Can't wait to see

Dr. Capulet Speaks, April 21-30 at the Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Ave. Philly writer Mort Levy based the play on his research at the Philadelphia College of Physicians.



Email me. Put "Theater Beat" in the subject field. Jeanne Murray Walker of Merion Station calls the Lantern Theater production of Coriolanus (that play again!) "truly one of the most astonishing theatre experiences of my life."