Taye Diggs begins performances as Hedwig tonight


Taye Diggs makes his return to Broadway tonight as he begins performances as the leading lady of Broadway's rock musical comedy Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He plays a 12-week limited engagement at the Belasco Theatre.

Rebecca Naomi Jones continues in the role of Yitzhak.

Taye Diggs made his Broadway debut in the 1994 Tony Award-winning revival of 'Carousel,' and went on to find fame after being cast as Benny in 'RENT,' (who he also portrayed in the 2005 film adaptation). Other New York Stage credits include 'A Soldier's Play,' 'Chicago,' 'Wicked,' and 'The Wild Party.' He is also widely known for his TV role as Dr. Sam Bennett in six seasons of 'Private Practice.'

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 11 October 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

Taye Diggs as Hedwig