Now and then Yitzhak opens a side door and we are supposedly hearing audience applause and onstage banter coming from the Dunk. Playing there is Tommy Gnossis, and Hedwig gradually explains their history together. She helped him write his first album, which became a big hit and which he's relied on for his reputation, not doing so well creatively without Hedwig.

It's fascinating to know that as the show evolved, Hedwig was just one of several supporting characters. Tommy Gnossis was the center of attention, his background the same as his creator, Mitchell, who was also the troubled gay son of an army general stationed in Germany. But since the show was being developed performance by performance at New York City's punk-influenced drag clubs, Hedwig gradually stepped to the fore.

Punk rock and heavy metal may have had its heyday in the 1970s, but being justifiably pissed off hasn't. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a healthy reminder.

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