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Wig in an idiot box: follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig.

* Premieres June 26 * Sundance Channel

The well-intentioned Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig misses the mark as a great documentary. As we follow the production of the Hedwig and the Angry Inch tribute album Wig in a Box, it takes too long for us to learn too little.

That's all the more disappointing, considering the noble intentions behind Wig in a Box; all proceeds from the album are donated to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of New York's Harvey Milk High School for GLTBQ (and queer-friendly) students. But the film spends more time on four students from the school than on the artists contributing to the album. And while the stories of these students--one transgender girl, two lesbians, and a gay teen--are heartrending and inspiring, the endless shots of them on the subway walking down the street, etc., could all be cut, and we'd still be left with fascinating stories of four very brave young people.

And then there are the musicians. We get occasional comments from Hedwig creators Stephen Trask and John Cameron Mitchell and their fellow album producer Chris Slusarenko, plus a patience-testing testimonial from the "Bens" (Ben Lee, Ben Folds, and Ben Kweller), but for the most part, the artists just stand at the microphone in the studio and sing, if they appear at all. Conspicuously absent are any artist interviews of substance. We're left wondering why they participated--do they believe in the charity or just in good publicity?

Buy Wig in a Box for the good cause and for the great music. But spare yourself Follow My Voice.
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Title Annotation:Wig in a Box
Author:Abley, Sean
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Sound recording review
Date:Jul 4, 2006
Words:263
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