‘Hedwig & the Angry Inch’ Among Top Boston Shows Drawing Crowds & Ticket Sales

By Emma Gaedeke

Boston might not be the first city that comes to mind when it comes to professional theater, but it hosts the national tours of top Broadway shows, its own local professional theater companies, and world premiere productions. For theater-loving Bostonians and travelers, here are some highlights of what’s hitting the city over the next few months.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

The national tour of Gentleman’s Guide will play October 18th-23rd. The tour is a great chance to catch this show if you didn’t get the chance to see its Broadway run, which closed earlier this year. “Guide” is one of the most successful and acclaimed musical comedies of the decade, winning four Tony Awards in 2014, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Director. The show concerns a man named Monty who discovers he is not only a relative of the aristocratic D’Ysquith family, but ninth in line for inheritance, and proceeds to kill off the eight relatives in his way (all of whom, men and women, are played by a single actor). Tickets for the show range from $45-$125, and can be purchased right through the box office.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

The national tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, launching this Fall, will hit Boston’s Shubert Theatre in May 2017. The tour continues the acclaimed, smash-hit Broadway production that won four Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. The title role will be resumed by Glee actor Darren Criss, who was one of the many starry headliners to assume the role from Neil Patrick Harris (who won a Tony Award for his performance) throughout the run. The tour will also feature original cast member Lena Hall, who also won a Tony Award. The show follows the titular glam rock band, headlined by genderqueer East German singer Hedwig (Criss) along with her husband/backup singer, Yiddish drag queen Yitzhak (Hall), on their tour (in this performance they’ve taken over the stage from the failed “Hurt Locker: the Musical”) where Hedwig reveals her bizarre, hilarious and tragic backstory including a botched sex change operation and failed marriage to escape East Berlin. With a great rock score influenced by the likes of David Bowie and Lou Reed, the tour is a perfect opportunity to discover Hedwig, which has been a cult favorite since it debuted in 1998 but feels more popular - and relevant - than ever. Tickets for Hedwig and the Angry Inch won’t break the bank if purchased right through the box office, as tickets for the show range from just $35-$95.

The Fiddlehead Theatre Company: Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Carnival!

Boston-based group the Fiddlehead Theatre Company will be continuing their season in partnership with the Shubert Theatre with productions of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Carnival!. Priscilla, which runs September 30th through October 9th, is based on the cult film of the same name, follows a group of drag queens as they travel across the Australian desert in their tour bus, Priscilla. An international hit, the show features a score of favorite pop and disco songs, including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive” and “Like a Prayer.” Meanwhile Carnival!, which will run May 5th - 14th 2017, is a bit of a more classical choice, a seldom-revived show from the 1960s about an orphaned girl who gets involved with a carnival, becomes the center of a love triangle and makes friends with some puppets. The show’s score includes the famous song “Love Makes the World Go ‘Round.” Tickets range from $53-$75 directly through Telecharge.

Cheers Live on Stage

All these Broadway transfers are all well and good, but maybe you’re you’re looking for something a bit more Boston-centric. Well, nothing embodies the idea of “Boston theater” quite as literally as Cheers Live on Stage, a new theatrical adaptation of the hit sitcom. It’s not a reunion - don’t get your hopes up for Ted Danson and co. to make an appearance - but a twoact comedy featuring all the classic characters from the show, and reportedly drawing from some of the most memorable moments and episodes, including the first meeting of Sam and Diane. “Cheers” will play at the Shubert Theatre September 9th-18th, making its world premiere debut (where else could it?) before going on tour. It should be a fun night out for big fans of the show, and given the huge popularity of Cheers as a Boston tourist destination might be a top pick for the out-of-towners as well. Grab tickets to see Cheers Live on Stage directly through the box office, where prices range from $30-$70.