Darren Criss Debuts as Hedwig in Musical

Courtesy of boneaubryanbrown.com
Courtesy of boneaubryanbrown.com

Actor Darren Criss is gearing up to make an appearance on Broadway playing the role of a transgender rockstar in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. In the musical, Criss will take on the lead role of Hedwig, and he has released the first photos of himself in character. In a photo released on Criss’ social media last night, the actor appears in heavy makeup, complete with dramatically penciled eyebrows, glittering blue eye shadow, and a bold red lip.

All that is missing from the look is Hedwig’s iconic blond wig, but the image does give fans a general idea of what to expect when he hops onstage for his debut on April 29th. He will be replacing John Cameron Mitchell, who is currently playing Hedwig and will have his last show on April 26th. Once he hits the stage, Criss will be playing the roll until July. Criss cheekily tweeted out the photo with the caption “I put on some makeup…”

Hedwig and the Angry Itch is a rock-inspired musical that traces the experiences of a rock and roll band fronted by a transgender lead singer. Based on the glamorous rock aesthetic of the 1970s, the show made its Off-Broadway debut in 1998. After touring the globe, the musical made its Broadway debut in April of 2014. Celebrated actor Neil Patrick Harris played the role of Hedwig, donning the wig and heavily made-up face to rave reviews. Since then, Andrew Rannells and Michael C. Hall have also joined Criss, Harris, and Mitchell in playing the roll.

Appearing in Hedwig and the Angry Inch will be the first major appearance for Criss since the conclusion of Glee, on which he had maintained a starring role for five years. Playing the role of Blaine Anderson, Criss appeared in the finale alongside his fellow actors on March 20, 2015. Over the years, Glee has received a series of accolades and has featured a collection of high profile appearances from musicians and other actors.

Darren Criss is no stranger to appearing in the theater. After attaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Performance from the University of Michigan, the actor went on to find his own musical theater company, StarKid Productions. Criss appeared in several performances with StarKid, playing the role of Harry Potter in a series of musical comedies. In 2012, Criss made his Broadway debut in a revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Criss took over the role of J. Pierrepont Finch, a role that had previously been played by Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame.

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