Andrew Rannells begins performances as Hedwig tonight
Andrew Rannells begins performances tonight as Hedwig, the transgender rocker from East Berlin, in the Tony winning musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Belasco Theatre. He takes over the role from Tony Award winner Neil Patrick Harris who departed the show on 17 August. The musical has extended performances to 12 October 2014.
The production took home this 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 originally opened at the Belasco Theatre on 22 April 2014, following previews from 29 March. It is directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), with choreography by Spencer Liff ("So You Think You Can Dance").
Andrew Rannells originated the role of Elder Price in the multi-award winning hit Broadway musical 'The Book of Mormon'. Other Broadway credits include 'Jersey Boys' and 'Hairspray'. He is also known for his TV work, including roles in 'Girls' and 'The New Normal'. He is no stranger to the character of Hedwig, having already starred in a regional production of the show in 2001.
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.
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