Andrew Rannells to replace Neil Patrick Harris in Broadway's 'Hedwig'
There’s some news in Hedwig land, fresh off the very, very high heels of Sunday’s Tony Awards ceremony in which the first Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch took home four trophies (including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actor in a Musical for Neil Patrick Harris).
Tony nominee Andrew Rannells (Girls, The Book of Mormon) will slip on the fishnets of transgender rocker Hedwig as the first replacement for Harris, who departs the show on Aug. 17, the date the production was originally slated to end its limited run. Following Sunday’s Tony victories, the show will stay open after Harris vacates the intense role — which he’s been performing seven times a week since March — with Rannells now at the helm for a limited eight-week engagement beginning Aug. 20.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a musical-cum-rock concert led by Hedwig, a transgender singer from East Berlin who intersperses tales of her childhood with songs backed by her fictional rock band, all the while distracted by her ex-lover’s rival concert being performed the very same night, right across the street.
Rannells’ star has been noticeably on the rise since his breakout performance as Elder Price in the original Broadway cast of The Book of Mormon, a role that earned him a Tony nomination (in the same category that Harris won this year). Following Mormon, Rannells earned attention on television as the lead in Ryan Murphy’s gay surrogacy sitcom The New Normal and as Hannah’s ex-boyfriend Elijah on HBO’s Girls.
Rannells has a history with Hedwig: He previously played the role in a 2001 production in Austin (completely unrelated to this Broadway staging, of course) and he impressed New York with his “The Origin of Love” at a 2011 holiday concert at Joe’s Pub.
Additional reporting by Jake Perlman