PART-Pinoy TV breakout star Darren Criss is Broadway’s next Hedwig.
The 28-year-old “Glee” actor, originally from San Francisco, will return to his Broadway roots in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival, for a limited 12-week engagement starting April 29th on Broadway’s Belasco Theatre. This marks the fifth headliner to play the role since the production first opened in April last year.
Darren Criss first made his Broadway debut in 2012 as J. Pierrepont Finch in a musical revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” succeeding Daniel Radcliffe. The show made just over $4 million during Criss’ run, proving to be the most profitable three weeks of its 11-month run.
“The first time I saw Darren I knew he was a game changer,” said “Hedwig” composer and lyricist Stephen Trask. “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,” Trask laughed.
Book writer and co-creator John Cameron Mitchell said, “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!”
Prior to rising to theater world stardom, Criss pursued a BFA in acting at the University of Michigan. In 2009, he and his friends created the viral YouTube hit, “A Very Potter Musical” after graduating from school. He also helped found musical theater company StarKid Productions, whose works have spurred multiple Billboard charting cast albums and sold-out national tours. Criss also composed and wrote the lyrics for an original show, “Starship,” which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Cast Album.
Criss’s film and TV credits include “Girl Most Likely,” “The Wind Rises,” “Web Therapy,” “Backstage with Disney on Broadway,” and Michael Feinstein’s “New Year’s Eve Special” on PBS.
Directed by Michael Mayer, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (originally starring Neil Patrick Harris) has received rave reviews and is the winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival. The original Broadway cast album was also nominated for a Grammy.
“I am the new Berlin wall, baby,” Criss smiled in a short video on his Facebook page, along with the trending #DarrenIsHedwig.
John Cameron Mitchell will play his final performance as Hedwig Robinson on Sunday, April 26, and Criss will take the stage—donning the infamous platform heels, sky-high wig, and fish nets—three days later.
(With reports from BroadwayWorld, Entertainment Weekly)
(LA Weekend February 21-24, 2015 Sec. B pg.1)