Riverdale ‘celebrates identities, genders, expressions of all kinds’ with queer-tinged Hedwig and the Angry Inch musical episode

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Riverdale

Riverdale celebrated “identities, genders, expressions of all kinds” in a Hedwig and the Angry Inch-themed musical episode that aired last night as part of season four.

The CW’s teen drama series took on the much-loved queer musical in episode 17 of its fourth season. In the installment, titled “Wicked Little Town”, Kevin Keller decides he wants his school to host a variety show.

He praises Hedwig and the Angry Inch as a show that “celebrates identities, genders, expressions of all kinds,” and says it speaks to his “entire generation”.

But when he reveals his plans to perform a number from the musical at the variety show, he meets opposition from principal Mr Honey. He insists that the song is “inappropriate” and forbids him from singing it.

The students rise up in response and decide that they will all perform a different number from the iconic musical in protest of their school’s archaic views.

Riverdale star Cole Sprouse is a ‘huge fan’ of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Last week, the hit series released a promotional video in which the cast spoke of their excitement at taking on the queer classic.

“‘Origin of Love’ used to be one of my karaoke songs,” Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead, said. “I’m a huge Hedwig fan.”

Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper, said she was “confused” at first when she heard they were taking on the musical.

Riverdale's Kevin in his Hedwig wig

Kevin Keller donned a wig and full drag to play Hedwig in the Riverdale musical. (The CW)

“I didn’t know how it was going to work, I didn’t know if it was just going to be one person playing multiple Hedwigs. I wasn’t quite sure, but I also wasn’t quite familiar with the musical itself.”

She quickly educated herself on what they were about to undertake by watching the 2001 film adaptation.

“It was so fantastic and so cool and trippy,” she said. “I was like, ‘I see why we’re doing this.'”

She said the rock-infused songs were out of the cast’s comfort zone but added that they were excited to try something different.

Some fans weren’t impressed by season 4 musical episode.

The show has been praised by some fans for its homage to Hedwig, but many others have also criticised it for failing to respect the queerness of the source material.