John Cameron Mitchell reprises Hedwig on B'way tonight


Co-creator and the original star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch John Cameron Mitchell dons those blonde wigs and high heels to recreate his iconic role as Hedwig at the Belasco Theatre tonight. Mitchell will play a limited eight-week engagement. Michael C. Hall played his final performance on 18 January 2015, whilst Tony winner Lena Hall continues in the role of Yitzhak.

John Cameron Mitchell previously released the following statement:

“I am in equal parts thrilled and terrified to be returning to Hedwig. 15 years ago she kicked my butt so hard that I quit acting. But like an expertlly face-lifted ex-wife, she's lured me back. The killer new work by Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells, and Michael C. Hall have left much larger pumps to fill. Here's hoping I don't need a walker by the end of the run.”

John Cameron Mitchell is the co-creator and original star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, having written the show's book alongside composer Stephen Trask. He performed the leading role in early versions of the musical at Don Hill’s and the Westbeth Theatre Center, in the off-Broadway premiere at the Jane Street Theatre in 1998, as well as his Golden Globe-nominated performance in the 2001 film adaptation, which he also wrote and directed.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch opened at the Belasco Theatre on 22 April 2014, following previews from 29 March, and is currently booking through to 14 March 2015. It is directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), with choreography by Spencer Liff ("So You Think You Can Dance").

The production took home last year's Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and has seen increased demand for tickets since the telecast, which saw Neil Patrick Harris take home his first Tony Award for his portrayal of transgender Hedwig. Lena Hall also took home the award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

The show opened to excellent reviews, with critics praising the show, party due to Patrick Harris' central performance: "Shamelessly enjoyable show. ... one of the few unqualified pleasures of this Broadway spring" (NYTimes); "Frisky, unapologetically raunchy fable of love, loss, fury and freedom" (NY Daily News).

Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the story of an "internationally ignored' rock singer, Hedwig (Harris), and her search for stardom and love. Born a boy named Hansel whose life's dream is to find his other half, Hedwig reluctantly submits to a sex change operation in order to marry an American G.I. and get over the Berlin Wall to freedom. The operation is botched, leaving her with the aforementioned 'angry inch.'"

The musical comedy began off-off-Broadway at Westbeth and then ran over two years at the Jane Street Theatre beginning in Feb 1998. The musical won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical and both John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask won Obies. Rolling Stone called it "the Best Rock Musical Ever" in 2001. It won a 1998 New York Magazine Award and Entertainment Weekly's "Soundtrack of the Year" Award. Time Magazine named Hedwig and the Angry Inch the Top Musical of 1998.

The film of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, won the Audience Award and Best Director Awards at Sundance. John Cameron Mitchell won the Best New Director from the National Board of Review, the Gotham Awards, and the LA Critics Society.

- by Tom Millward

John Cameron Mitchell in the film adaptation of
Hedwig and the Angry Inch