Sunday, April 22, 2018

Today In 2014, 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Opens on Broadway Starring Tony-Winner Neil Patrick Harris

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a rock musical about a fictional rock and roll band fronted by a transgender East German singer, Hedwig Robinson. The book is by John Cameron Mitchell, and the music and lyrics are by Stephen Trask. The story draws on Mitchell's life as the son of a U.S. Army Major General who once commanded the U.S. sector of occupied West Berlin. The character of Hedwig was inspired by a German divorced U.S. Army wife who was a Mitchell family babysitter and moonlighted as a prostitute at her Junction City, Kansas, trailer park home. The music is steeped in the androgynous 1970s glam rock style of David Bowie (who co-produced the Los Angeles production of the show), as well as the work of John Lennon and early punk performers Lou Reed and Iggy Pop.

The musical opened Off-Broadway in 1998, and won the Obie Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. The production ran for 2 years, and was remounted with various casts by the original creative team in other US cities. In 2000, the musical had a London West End production, and it has been produced throughout the world in hundreds of stage productions.

In 2014, the show finally saw its first Broadway incarnation, officially opening today, April 22, in 2014, at the Belasco Theatre.  A national tour of the show began at San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre in October 2016 before closing at the Kennedy Center in July 2017.

Neil Patrick Harris starred in the Broadway production. Harris stayed in the production through August 17, 2014. The director was Michael Mayer with musical staging by Spencer Liff. Lena Hall played Yitzhak until April 2015. The Broadway production won three Tony awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Lead Actor in a Musical (Harris) and Best Featured Actress in a musical (Hall). It was also nominated for Best Costume Design for a Musical (Arianne Phillips), who also did the costumes for the original 2001 film.
Hedwig, Broadway, Mike Potter, Makeup, Wig, Design, Yahoo, Beauty
After Harris departed the production, Andrew Rannells (lower left in group above) took over the role of Hedwig on August 20, 2014, followed by Michael C. Hall, who played Hedwig from October 16, 2014, through January 18, 2015. The production then featured co-creator John Cameron Mitchell (lower center), who returned to the role from January 21 to April 26, 2015. Darren Criss (upper right) took over the role of Hedwig on April 29 and played until July 19, 2015. Taye Diggs assumed the role on July 22, 2015, and performed through the production's end.

The Broadway production closed on September 13, 2015, after 22 previews and 507 regular performances.

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