So now that I’ve seen all the Hedwigs... lets get down to business.
John Cameron Mitchell is the definitive Hedwig, and it’s ridiculous to even bother trying to compare him to anybody else. He fucking is Hedwig, and his performance is just so fucking amazing. Just every aspect he nails. That being said, my favorite version of his Hedwig is the Crate Show( ironically the only bootleg I don’t have). Somehow physically injured Hedwig just makes everything else pop in way that’s indescribable.
Every other Hedwig has positive and negatives.
Micheal C. Hall’s characterization of Hedwig I think is the closest to John’s. He also does my favorite Luther, and mother- by a long shot. His Tommy straight up sucks though, like just doesn’t work. It’s also very clear he is an actor, not a singer. This isn’t necessarily bad, because I don’t think Hedwig is supposed to be grammy material or anything, but it does make it less fun to listen too. His Hedwig also seemed to be missing a fondness towards Yitzak that is really important for that relationship to come through. (I did really his WLT, his Origin of Love however was bordering on Painful.
For me Neil and Andrew are kind of shoved together, because they’re both kind of bland when it comes down too it. They feel very kitschy and drag show like to me. While both of them are technically flawless, that’s not what the character is about? and it just comes off as kind of flat.
Now that I’ve seen all the Hedwig’s, I really can appreciate just how fucking amazing Darren really is- because damn. If you saw a really early show, you did not get the full experience and need to see it again, or find a newer boot. To briefly get his issues out of the way- his Luther and mother don’t feel fully fleshed out. However his Tommy is the best by miles, Like better then John’s almost. Part of it I think is an age thing. The other part is Darren has talked about how he was kind of all over the place/kind of awkward in High school and music was how he connected to people. I feel like his Tommy is at least vaguely based on his teenage self, which makes it feel more authentic. I really love his Hedwig in general, because they feel the most vulnerable to me- the most in pain. I guess I just relate to this Hedwig in terms of how they react to trauma. Darren also definitely has one of the best vocals, which isn’t surprising being hes a musician with a rock/pop background. It’s also clear that he’s used to being a performer vs an Actor. The improv is there, and he’s comfortable without a script.
and Bonus: Anthony Rapp. He has my fave Hedwig vocal of all time, seriously it’s fucking stunning. And I just really really hope he reprises the role on bway.
Next Magazine NY: You’ve done brief stints on Broadway in the last couple years in Hamilton and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Are you planning a major Broadway comeback after Girls?
Andrew Rannells: I’d love that. I was so lucky that Hedwig and Hamilton came up at a time that I could commit to that. I love doing theater. It’s my first home. I haven’t actually opened a show in New York since The Book of Mormon, so I’d really love the chance to get to do that again.
Jonathan Groff, Brian D'Arcy James and Andrew Rannells strut their stuff as “The Schuyler Sisters” with Renee Elise Goldsberry as Burr in this lip sync bonanza. Get well soon Lin-Manuel - everyone misses you!