Darren Criss, who played a 12-week stint in the Broadway debut of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, will launch the national tour of the Tony-winning musical, which kicks off at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco (October 4-30), followed by an engagement at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles (November 1-27).
Following San Francisco and Los Angeles, the national tour will continue across North America. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
Tony winner Michael Mayer, who directed the Broadway production, will also direct the tour.
The members of Hedwig’s band “The Angry Inch” — a.k.a. “Tits of Clay” — will be music director Justin Craig (guitar and keyboards), Matt Duncan (bass), Tim Mislock (guitar) and Peter Yanowitz (drums), all of whom originated their roles on Broadway.
A native of the Bay Area, Criss said in a statement, “When I found out that the tour would be kicking off in my hometown of San Francisco—the city where I was introduced to Hedwig & The Angry Inch —I could think of no better excuse to get back into the heels of a character I loved and missed so very much. And since Los Angeles has become a second home for me, I relished the idea of seeing what kind of fun Hedwig would bring to the heart of Hollywood. Getting to share this fantastic Broadway production with the two great Californian cities of my own life story will hopefully be as much of a joy for me as it will be for audiences who will experience Hedwig’s life story on the West Coast!”
About the casting of Criss, composer and lyricist Stephen Trask stated, “People as talented as Darren don't come along all that often, so that alone is cause for excitement about his ‘Hedwig.’ What’s really cool to me is that because Darren played her on Broadway, we can launch the tour with continuity and authenticity, but at the same time we can make the show his and take advantage of how truly amazing he is.”
Book writer John Cameron Mitchell added, “I’m delighted that my brilliant Hedwig sister wife Darren Criss will be in the vanguard of the Hedwig invasion. West Coast be warned, Darren takes no prisoners!”
Hedwig features a book by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask. The Broadway premiere of the cult rock musical began previews March 29, 2014, at the Belasco, prior to an official opening April 22 with Neil Patrick Harris in the title role. During the show's 507-performance run, the title role was played by Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, John Cameron Mitchell, Criss and Taye Diggs. The production closed September 13, 2015.
Mitchell starred in the original Off-Broadway production of Hedwig as the "internationally ignored" East German singer fronting a fictional rock-n-roll band at the Jane Street Theatre, earning an Obie Award and an Outer Critics Circle nomination. He also starred as Hedwig in a 2001 film version he directed.
Harris and co-star Lena Hall won Tony Awards for Best Lead Actor in a Musical and Best Featured Actress in a Musical, respectively. Kevin Adams also won the Tony for Best Lighting Design. The production won Best Revival of a Musical. The dramatic musical comedy began Off Off-Broadway at Westbeth and then ran over two years at the Jane Street Theatre beginning in February 1998. Hedwig and the Angry Inch won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical, and both Mitchell and Trask won Obies.
Directed by Tony Award winner Mayer (Spring Awakening) and winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, Hedwig and the Angry was produced on Broadway by David Binder with Jayne Baron Sherman, Barbara Whitman, Latitude Link, Patrick Catullo, Raise The Roof, Paula Marie Black, Colin Callender, Ruth Hendel, Sharon Karmazin, Martian Entertainment, Stacey Mindich, Eric Schnall, and The Shubert Organization. 101 Productions, Ltd were the executive producers.
The creative team for Hedwig and the Angry Inch features Emmy Award nominee Spencer Liff (musical staging), Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner Julian Crouch (scenic design), Tony Award and two-time Oscar nominee Arianne Phillips (costume design), four-time Tony Award winner Kevin Adams (lighting design), Mike Potter (hair and makeup design), Tony Award nominee and platinum-selling record producer Tim O’Heir (sound design), Benjamin Pearcy for 59 Productions (projection design), John Bair/Phosphene (animation), James Calleri (casting), Tony and Grammy Award nominee Ethan Popp (music supervisor & music coordinator), Justin Craig (music director), Stephen Gabis (dialect coach) and Johanna McKeon (associate director).
For more information visit HedwigTour.com.