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And You’re Shining, Like the Brightest Star

Alright Broadway bitches – it’s been a while, but not without good reason. Ashley has been working extra hard in midwifery school, so she’s been out of town a lot. But. In one of her brief interludes actually at home, we got a chance to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch AGAIN – this time starring Andrew Rannells! We’ll skip some of the pieces we usually add at the end about best places to eat, etc. – you can get all of that from our earlier review. This is just the details on this particular Hedwig, with the full disclosure that his tenure was brief and you can no longer see him in the show.

Without further ado:

Key cast: Andrew Rannells (original cast, The Book of Mormon; Girls on TV; etc.) as Hedwig, Lena Hall (Nicola in original Kinky Boots cast) as Yitzhak. Note that Michael C Hall is now in the titular role, and we sincerely hope to catch him before he goes!
Theater: Belasco Theatre, 111 West 44th Street
Ticket price range: $65 – $200
Our rating: 4.5 wig-raising stars
Our theater rating: 3 – a smaller theater makes tickets a little pricey and harder to come by without shopping about a month in advance; side views are definitely impaired in this theater, even in seats that aren’t marked as such when you buy them, so BE AWARE!
On through: January 4, 2015 (extension TBD)
Synopsis: “Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a musical comedy that tells the story of a fictional rock ‘n’ roll band, fronted by Hedwig, a transgender woman and “internationally ignored song stylist” from East Berlin.”

The nitty gritty – our thoughts on this show: We’ll begin by saying that seeing this show a second time doesn’t in any way diminish the take away value; in fact, we think it enhances it. Sometimes you see a show too much and it sort of loses its luster, its awe-inspiring qualities. A second viewing really allows you to observe and take in some of the finer details of the show that you may have missed in all of the powerhouse, emotionally wracking parts of the plot. This definitely makes it a little tricky to grade fairly; some of the emotional poignancy feels a lot stronger the second time around, but we think that’s more to do with the overall plot than casting.

That said, we came to this big conclusion. In terms of singing, Rannells crushed this out of the park. He was better and more suited to the role than NPH – particularly in some of the sadder songs, like Wicked Little Town. But. In terms of comprehensive package, we’re going with Neil. Better physicality, better improv, better audience interaction, just better acting. Not to mention that Rannells’ German accent was just abysmal – gasp! No, we love Andrew, truly. It was incredible to see him perform live (and particularly to listen to him live). His vocals were absolutely glowing and definitely gave us chills in some moments, but the allure and chemistry of NPH is just hard to beat.

We’re looking forward to seeing this somewhat unexpected casting with Michael C Hall in the future, but the next post (outside of some awesome photos) will actually be a review of a non-musical play, the old time classic You Can’t Take it With You.

Obligatory theater selfie time!

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