It was previously announced that Tony winner Lena Hall will play the role of Hedwig for one performance a week in the San Francisco and Los Angeles engagements of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. But her co-star, Darren Criss, won’t be playing Yitzhak, the role Hall will play seven times a week.
“When I did it on Broadway, all of the Hedwigs did it for seven shows a week,” says Criss in an upcoming interview with Playbill.com. “So when you take it on tour, a lot of these theatres, which are used to subscriber-based sales [and] an eight-show week, you’ve got to have someone else do that show, so Lena is going to do it, and I’m beyond excited for that. I can’t wait to see that show!
“You know what, I thought about [playing Yitzhak]. I really did! I thought that would be really cool, but then I realized I couldn’t hold a candle to who we do have as Yitzhak, who is Shannon [Conley], who is our amazing understudy for the role. I’m going to stay out of that one, man. That’s for the ladies!”
This tour will mark the first time in Hedwig history that the same actor has played both Hedwig and Yitzhak in the same production.
Hall, who won a Tony for her performance, will reprise her award-winning role as Yitzhak in performances at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco (October 2-30) and the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles (November 1-27). Criss will star in the title role.
“I’m really excited,” he says. “I can’t believe I finished it like a year ago, so time flies… I can’t even think about it until Elsie [Fest] is over. Once Elsie is over, I can start getting psyched about going back to my hometown and doing the play. We get to change it up a little bit for the different cities we’re going to, which is fun.”
Look for more from Criss about how this year’s Elise Fest, held September 5 on Coney Island, will be different from last year’s inaugural festival. Click here to read about the Elsie Fest lineup.