"Glee" Star Darren Criss Is Broadway's Newest Hedwig, Beginning Tonight

News   "Glee" Star Darren Criss Is Broadway's Newest Hedwig, Beginning Tonight
 
Darren Criss, the young actor who rose to stardom on the Fox musical series "Glee," steps into the role of East German transgender rocker Hedwig in the Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch April 29.

Criss is playing a 12-week limited engagement at the Belasco Theatre, succeeding Hedwig co-creator and original Off-Broadway star John Cameron Mitchell, who joined the production Jan. 21 and continued an extended run through April 26.

Hedwig marks Criss' return to Broadway after making his debut in the 2011 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Fans flocked to see Criss during his sold-out, three-week run, which brought in over $4 million at the box office and proved to be the most lucrative period in the revival's run.

Known for playing gay teen heartthrob Blaine Anderson on "Glee," Criss is a member of the Chicago-based theatre group StarKid Productions, which created A Very Potter Musical. The group has released several Billboard charting cast albums and toured nationally. On screen, Criss has also been seen in "Girl Most Likely," "The Wind Rises" with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "Web Therapy," ABC's "Backstage with Disney on Broadway" and more.

Read Playbill.com's 8 Burning Questions With Darren Criss here!

 
 
Criss is joined by Rebecca Naomi Jones, who began performances as Yitzhak April 14. Jones' previous Broadway credits include Passing Strange and American Idiot. Her stage work also includes Big Love, The Fortress of Solitude, Murder Ballad, Love's Labour's Lost, Wig Out! and This Beautiful City.
 
Jones succeeded Lena Hall, who previously starred as Nicola in Broadway's Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots and is also the lead singer of rock band The Deafening.

"The first time I saw Darren I knew he was a game changer," Hedwig composer-lyricist Stephen Trask said in a previous statement. "He's that good. Then, when we hung out it was like we were old friends. I'm excited to spend the next few months making the show and getting to know each other better. I'm happy that Hedwig can be Darren’s next stop on his way to world domination." Book writer Mitchell added in a statement, "I've got a grin plastered on my face that Darren is joining the brotherhood of Hedwigs. I LOVED him in How to Succeed. His stage presence is electrifying, his rock and roll credentials and comic timing impeccable and I'm thrilled to be working with him to create a brand-new Hedwig!"

Read Playbill.com's interview, with Criss about "Glee" and Hedwig, here.

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. Tony nominee Andrew Rannells succeeded Harris, and Michael C. Hall ("Dexter," Cabaret) succeeded Rannells.

Hedwig features a book by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask.

Both Harris and Hall won the 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. 

Hedwig is directed by Tony Award winner Mayer (Spring Awakening, American Idiot) with musical staging by Emmy Award nominee Spencer Liff (The Wedding Singer, Cry-Baby). Justin Craig is musical director. 

The Hedwig creative team includes scenic designer Julian Crouch, costume designer Arianne Phillips, lighting designer Kevin Adams, hair and makeup designer Mike Potter, sound designer Timothy O'Heir, musical supervisor Ethan Popp, projection designer Benjamin Pearcy and vocal supervisor Liz Caplan. Casting is by James Calleri. 

Adams and Potter were both part of the original 1998 Off-Broadway creative team of Hedwig. Sound designer O'Heir worked on the 2001 film adaptation.

Members of the Angry Inch include musical director Craig (guitar and keyboards), Matt Duncan (bass), Tim Mislock (guitar) and Peter Yanowitz (drums).

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 John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask won Obies. Hedwig and the Angry Inch won a 1998 New York Magazine Award and Entertainment Weekly's "Soundtrack of the Year" Award.

Binder, who first produced Hedwig in 1997, is producing the musical on Broadway with Jayne Baron Sherman, Barbara Whitman, Latitude Link, Patrick Catullo, Raise The Roof, Paula Marie Black, Colin Callender, Ruth Hendel, Sharon Karmazin, Martian Entertainment, Eric Schnall and The Shubert Organization. 101 Productions, Ltd are the executive producers.

The Belasco Theatre Box Office is located at 111 West 44th Street. Tickets are also available by calling (212) 239-6200 or visiting Telecharge.com.

For more information, visit HedwigBroadway.com.

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