Hedwig in Philly | via facebook.com/kimmelcenterphilly

Next week, the best rock and roll musical of the 90s — John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch — is coming to Philadelphia’s Forrest Theater for a week-long engagement. This is exciting in and of itself; the musical follows the sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, endlessly compelling story of the titular trans rocker from Eastern Germany, who migrates to the states after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The metaphors go both ways; Hedwig’s gender dysphoria mirroring the uncertain and insecure identity of post-communism Europe, and the torn down wall standing for Hedwig’s mission to unashamedly assert her identity in middle America. And the jams; from the glam rock stratospheres of “Origin of Love” to the orchestral pop of “Wig In A Box” and the bruising punk of “Angry Inch,” the energy and emotion connects at a level that few other musicals can match. Too often, Broadway productions of the 90s devolve into schmaltz, whereas Hedwig (which was originally produced off-off-Broadway in 1999, and didn’t make it to Broadway proper until Neal Patrick Harris’ turn in the title role in 2015) goes for the gut the entire time.

So yeah, I’m already excited like nobody’s business. But then comes the announcement of this ridiculous / awesome pre-show promotional event; an army of Hedwigs, led by RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Mimi Imfurst, will be washing cars in front of The Forrest Theater tomorrow. Discounted tickets will be sold, a DJ will spin tunes and donations will be collected, with proceeds going to the Attic Youth Center, Philadelphia’s independent community and resource center for LGBTQ+ youth.

The Forrest Theater is located at 1114 Walnut Street, and the car wash runs from noon to 2 p.m. Hedwig opens on Tuesday, April 18th and runs through Sunday, April 23rd; more information can be found here.

Hedwig | via kimmelcenter.org