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Hedwig takes the Main stage

Andre Letendre as Hedwig

The Main Club brings music and theater to Superior this month as the new owner eyes expanding its offerings.

"We're going to be constantly evolving," said Shawn Roos, president of Atypical Enterprises Inc., which owns the bar at 1217 Tower Ave.

First out of the box will be a Mardi Gras celebration with Big Wave Dave and the Ripples beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday. Next week the Main Club will welcome the musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," performed by Magic Box Productions. Performances take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 14-17 and include a dry night show for patrons 18 and older on Feb. 15.

The Main Club is a perfect venue for a story-driven, hard-rocking show like Hedwig , said director Aidan Wilcox of Superior.

"It really shines in a smaller locale with audience participation," he said. "There's so much interaction between (Hedwig) and the audience."

It follows the story of "internationally ignored song stylist" and self-proclaimed "slip of a girly-boy" Hedwig Schmidt, whose botched sex-change surgery inspires the name of the band. She reveals her past and present, including her volatile relationship with husband Yitzhak, as the show progresses.

"There's a huge misconception with the show," said Andre Letendre of Superior, who plays Hedwig. "A lot of people think it's a trans show or a gay show. Yes, it does have those elements."

He said at its core the musical revolves around Hedwig, who is not a traditional man or woman, rediscovering himself, "learning who he is as a human being and where he fits in with the world."

The show is brimming with music.

"Even though it's a rock opera, I think there's an eclectic mix," said Duluth guitarist Aaron Tank, a member of Hedwig's band.

His favorite song, "Midnight Radio," is a tribute to all the strange rock-and-rollers.

"It's a celebration of diversity, and rock 'n' roll," Tank said.

He is joined onstage by Hermantown drummer Eldo Abrahamson and bass guitarist Jim Hunter of Superior. Starr Wicklund of Superior rounds out the cast as Yitzhak.

"It's not your father's Oldsmobile, but it's fun," Hunter said of the show.

This is Magic Box Productions' first show in Superior. Letendre and Wilcox said they hope to grow Magic Box into a community-driven, inclusive theater company for all, whether you're a dentist who does costumes on the side or a store clerk who paints scenery.

"It's a learning process and a growing process," Letendre said, and he encouraged anyone interested to be part of it.

"Hedwig" and the Mardi Gras celebration are just two of the upcoming events planned at the establishment.

The region's first club for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer community, the Main Club closed its doors in September after 34 years in business.

"There was a definite void in the community when the Main closed," Roos said.

While there are many other options out there, he said, the Main Club has always offered a certain level of comfort and safety. Roos was determined to bring that back when Atypical Enterprises reopened the bar on New Year's Eve.

"We want to be able to support a diverse population and historically that's what the Main has been," Roos said, but they also want to adapt and change to meet the interests of patrons.

That's included upgrades to the stage area to facilitate more music and productions. Letendre encouraged people to stop by and check out the changes.

The cost to see Big Wave Dave and the Ripples is $5 at the door.

Tickets for Hedwig and the Angry Inch are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Preorder tickets at (612) 388-8681. Learn more about Magic Box Productions at Magicboxproductions.net. Visit The Main Club Facebook page for information on upcoming events.

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