Taye Diggs is stepping into some big shoes very soon….or should I say, he’s stepping into some big platform heels, as he’s taking over the part of Hedwig Schmidt in Broadway’s current revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch for a twelve week run this summer.
The current Broadway run of the show was originated by Neil Patrick Harris, who won a Tony for his portrayal, and was then followed up by Andrew Rannells, Dexter’s Michael C. Hall, then the show’s co-writer and creator John Cameron Mitchell, who hadn’t played the part in some fifteen years. Diggs will be replacing former Glee star Darren Criss in the role.
This is Taye Diggs’ first on-stage role since his turn in Wicked on Broadway back in 2004. Before that, he was in such shows as The Wild Party, and was one of the original cast of Rent. In an interview with People Magazine, Diggs said, “Hedwig is the role of a lifetime. I’m looking forward to being challenged performance-wise on many levels, as well as being humbled by the musical’s social implications. I also like wearing nail polish.”
Hedwig and the Angry Inch first originated on the off-Broadway stage back in 1998, based on a character created by John Cameron Mitchell, who based her around a woman he knew while growing up as an army brat in West Berlin before the Wall fell. Hedwig was born a boy named Hansel, who idolized rockers like David Bowie and Iggy Pop, and when his chance comes to escape East Berlin, he marries an American Army Colonel.
But to do that, he had to first become a woman. His surgery is botched, leaving him with, as a song says in the show, “a Barbie doll crotch” — just a one-inch mound of flesh. Feeling like neither woman or man, he gets to the states and starts his own rock band and names them “the Angry Inch.” The play was made into an amazing film in 2001 starring Mitchell in the role he originated, but it was its Broadway revival this past year that took the show to new heights.
Taye Diggs begins his run as Hedwig on July 22nd at the Belasco Theater in New York City.
HT: People Magazine