Hedwig and the Angry Inch, John Cameron Mitchell’s story about a transgendered aspiring rock star from East Germany, made a big splash on Broadway when it opened in March 2014. The production, which currently stars Neil Patrick Harris in the title role, took home four Tony Awards from eight nominations in June, including Best Revival of a Musical and awards for Harris and co-star Lena Hall. However, as reportedly planned all along, Harris’ time with the show will soon come to an end, making way for fellow Broadway darling Andrew Rannells to take over in the lead character’s heels.
Harris originally agreed to play the role of the outlandish rock singer Hedwig for a limited engagement, and his tenure on stage at New York’s Belasco Theatre will be over on Aug. 17. Luckily, the producers have confirmed an eight-week extension for the award-winning musical, and the able replacement for Harris will be Tony nominee Rannells. The former star of the wildly successful musical The Book of Mormon will step in on Aug. 20 and remain with Hedwig and the Angry Inch through the currently scheduled end date of Oct. 12.
Harris’ starring role has been one of the most highly anticipated Broadway events of the season, and the “How I Met Your Mother” star has delivered on high expectations with an amazing amount of energy and charisma at every show. Still, Rannells may be the best option to replace Harris, as the rising musical theater star has already established his talent in previous roles, most notably as The Book of Mormon’s original Elder Price, but also in Hairspray in 2005 and Jersey Boys in 2009. Rannells also previously played Hedwig in a local Austin production from 2001, and a video recently resurfaced of him performing the musical’s “The Origin of Love” at a benefit concert in 2011.
As of July 14, there are just over 30 remaining shows in Harris’ schedule for Hedwig and the Angry Inch through Aug. 17, while Rannells’ eight-week limited engagement will pick up the following week. There’s been no word on whether or not the producers plan to seek a replacement for Rannells once this initial extension is over on Oct. 12, so fans of this quirky musical are encouraged to secure seats for one of the upcoming dates before it’s too late.