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‘Hedwig’ Officially Opens On Broadway: Here’s 10 Glowing Reviews

'Hedwig' Officially Opens On Broadway: Here's 10 Glowing Reviews

Fifteen years in the making, the Broadway debut of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” — which began Off-Broadway in 1998 and then went on to be adapted into the beloved 2001 movie — finally went down last night, and the resulting reviews have been nothing short of spectacular

Neil Patrick Harris — who replaced Mitchell in the lead role of Hedwig (which Mitchell played in both the original staging and the film) — seems all but assured his first Tony, and a whole new audience seems poised to be introduced to Mitchell and Trask’s epicly fabulous creation. The world, it appears, is indeed ready for Hedwig. Here’s 10 reviews that explains why:

Ben Brantley, The New York Times: “Playing an ‘internationally ignored song stylist’ of undefinable gender in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” Mr. Harris is in full command of who he is and, most excitingly, what he has become with this performance. That’s a bona fide Broadway star, the kind who can rule an audience with the blink of a sequined eyelid.”

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: “The big question from the start was whether Neil Patrick Harris could sing the hard-driving glam rock-meets-punk score of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. And would the former Doogie Howser be able to go as far out there as the title role of the embittered East German singer with the botched sex-reassignment surgery demands? The swift answer on both counts is that Harris is beyond fabulous, holds nothing back and plays it any way but safe in Michael Mayer’s exhilarating production.”

Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly: “Purists may balk at Harris’ punk-lite vocals on Trask’s infectiously rockin’ score — he’s less Iggy, more pop — and his threats to ”cut you, bitch” come off with more of a wink than actual menace. But in a bravura performance, the actor proves the perfect instrument for Hedwig’s transition into world-class superstardom. He’s honed his showmanship on four Tony Awards gigs, of course. But he’s looser here, and lewder, more spontaneous and quick on his pumps.”

David Finkle, The Huffington Post: “As the radically bewigged centerpiece, Harris gives the kind of spectacular turn he’s only hinted he’s capable of in appearances like his Tony-night host numbers and as Bobby in the Lincoln Center version of the Stephen Sondheim-George Furth Company.”

David Cote, Time Out New York: “Transitioning from child star to adult gay icon, sitcom prince and social-media wizard, Neil Patrick Harris always seemed to be a cultural rock star. But in his latest reinvention, it turns out that the actor is, y’know, an actual rock star. As the imperious, spurned, fright-bewigged, sweaty glitterbomb at the heart of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Harris makes Broadway rock harder than it ever has before.”

Mark Kennedy, Associated Press“It’s obvious from the first moments of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” that star Neil Patrick Harris is doing something special. And it’s not just trying on a new role…Before our eyes, Harris is opening another chapter in his exceptional show business career with this 90-minute show and he simply crushes it, holding nothing back, softening no edges, making no nice…”

Alexis Soloski, The Guardian: “If deliberately provocative and libidinous, Hedwig packs a stronger emotional wallop than most Broadway musicals. Despite the blaring sound mix, a few songs, such as The Origin of Love, based on a speech of Aristophanes, Midnight Radio and Wicked Little Town, give you chills, aided by the harmonies of Lena Hall as Hedwig’s husband, Yitzhak. What aural pleasure.”

Robert Hofler, The Wrap: “[Harris’s] voice is ideal for the three or four notes of Trask’s songs. He’s edgy, angry, bitchy and also very funny. With his German accent and Brunnhilde helmet of hair, he immediately recalls Marlene Dietrich, then, as Hedwig begins to unravel and disintegrate, he slithers into copying more anonymous blondes of this century, from Nicole Kidman to Cameron Diaz.”

Linda Winer, Newsday: “[Harris] is extraordinarily lithe and buff, irresistibly endearing and way beyond merely game as Hedwig, who takes us on his journey of self-discovery in the guise of an autobiographical concert.” 

, Variety: “The screaming starts when a bespangled Neil Patrick Harris parachutes onstage in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and doesn’t stop until he’s back in his dressing room. That’s the kind of rock-star performance he gives in this spectacular revival — helmed with fabulous flash by Michael Mayer — of the 1998 musical (and later movie) by John Cameron Mitchell (book) and Stephen Trask (music & lyrics).  Harris’ Hedwig is an imperfectly transformed transvestite who grew up in East Berlin before the wall came down, resplendent in the punk drag of a nihilistic rocker but still concealing a heap of hurt under her wig.”

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