Lena Hall, who won a Tony Award for her work as Yitzhak in the Broadway debut of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, is reprising that role opposite Darren Criss in the musical's national tour, which kicked off October 2 at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco. At 7 PM October 9, Hall makes history when she steps into the title role as Hedwig (Shannon Conley plays Yitzhak). Although the title role has previously been played by women, this marks the first time that the same actor has played both Hedwig and Yitzhak in the same production.
Performances continue in San Francisco through October 30 before heading to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, November 1-27. (Criss also played the transgender singer fronting a fictional rock-n-roll band in the recent Broadway production.)
In an earlier statement book writer John Cameron Mitchell said, “Oh my Goddess, Lena Hall is the only talent I know who could play a brilliant Yitzhak and Hedwig in the same production. Talk about finding your other half. It’s Hedwig history in the making.”
Hall added, "I’m thrilled to be returning to Hedwig and the Angry Inch performing not one, but two iconic roles in Los Angeles and my hometown of San Francisco. I have never been one to shy away from a challenge and playing Hedwig has always been a dream of mine. To be able to play both Yitzhak and Hedwig in the same day presents one of the biggest challenges I have seen to date and I’m so excited! Not only will I get to share the stage with my fellow San Francisco native and friend Darren Criss; but I will also get a chance to begin my own journey as the glam rock heroine Hedwig. To tell her story in my hometown and in Los Angeles is the greatest homecoming I can think of, and I am looking forward to sharing this journey with my friends, family and Hedheads."
Composer and lyricist Stephen Trask said, “I love Lena so much. I’ve traveled and performed with her a lot in the last couple years. She’s a kindred spirit and a brilliant, one-of-a-kind, came-out-of-the-sky kind of performer. Everyone who has the chance to see her as Yitzhak should consider themselves really, really lucky.”
Hall appears as Hedwig in the following performances: San Francisco— October 9 at 7 PM, October 12 at 8 PM, October 19 at 8 PM and October 26 at 8 PM; Los Angeles — November 6 at 6:30 PM, November 13 at 6:30 PM, November 20 at 6:30 PM and November 25 at 8 PM.
Tony winner Michael Mayer, who directed the Broadway production, also directs the tour.
The members of Hedwig’s band “The Angry Inch” — a.k.a. “Tits of Clay” — are 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. Standbys are Shannon Conley and Mason Alexander Park.
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), 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).
David Binder, who first produced Hedwig and the Angry Inch in 1997, and the Tony Award-winning Broadway production, is producing the national tour with Barbara Whitman, Paula Marie Black, Latitude Link, Raise the Roof, Ah, Broadway, Ruth Hendel, Just for Laughs Theatricals, Sharon Karmazin, Heni Koenigsberg, Stacey Mindich, Eric Schnall, Jayne Baron Sherman, Cassandra Doved Simon, Starry Night Entertainment and The Shubert Organization. 101 Productions, Ltd are the executive producers.
For more information visit HedwigTour.com.
(Updated October 9, 2016)