Don't Mess With Hedwig! Neil Patrick Harris Gets Spitting Mad at Audience Member

By Carey Purcell
14 Jul 2014

Lena Hall and Neil Patrick Harris
Lena Hall and Neil Patrick Harris
Photo by Joan Marcus

Neil Patrick Harris, currently starring in the Tony Award-winning musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, jokingly, and in character as the transgender glam rocker, spit water on an audience member during the July 10 performance, the New York Post reports. 

While playing Hedwig, Harris often interacts with audience members. The Post reports that Harris asked a woman in the audience if she were drunk, and she waved her arms in the air. After scolding the woman for taking photos, Harris as Hedwig said, "I hate you" and told the audience she was sitting in seat 3A. 

As part of the act, Harris was supposed to spit water into the audience, but he spat directly on the woman. 

"There is always an element of audience interaction in each show, and it is all in character," press representatives for the show said in a statement. 



The Broadway premiere of the cult rock musical began previews March 29 at the Belasco Theatre, prior to an official opening April 22. Harris, who won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Hedwig, will continue with the production through Aug. 17; Tony nominee Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys) will star in the musical beginning Aug. 20. He is contracted for eight weeks.

Read Playbill.com's interview with Rannells here

Hedwig features a book by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask. The landmark 1998 musical stars Harris as the titular Hedwig, a transgender singer fronting a fictional rock-n-roll band. Lena Hall, who recently starred as Nicola in Broadway's Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots and is also the lead singer of rock band The Deafening, co-stars with Harris as Yitzhak.

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. 

Read Playbill.com's Brief Encounter with Lena Hall here.

The Broadway cast recording of the production was released digitally June 12.

Read Playbill.com's track-by-track write up of the cast recording here

Hedwig is directed by Tony Award winner Michael 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).

Harris has performed on Broadway in Assassins and in the New York Philharmonic production of Company. He has been honored with four Emmy Awards: three for his acclaimed hosting of the Tony Awards and another for his guest-starring role on "Glee." He also served as host and producer of the 61st and 65th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Read Playbill's interview with Neil Patrick Harris here

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.

Read Playbill's interview with John Cameron Mitchell here

David 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.

Watch Neil Patrick Harris perform "Sugar Daddy" at the Tony Awards below.

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.