Darren Criss Fan Community

This is a fan forum to discuss Darren Criss's career and his public activities, including his theater, film, and TV projects, his music and musical performances, charitable work, interaction with fans, and interviews.

You are not connected. Please login or register

Reviews and Comments from the Media (and from members of the media) about Darren in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway

View previous topic View next topic Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
-
Reviews and comments from the media (and from members of the media) about Darren in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway (April 29-July 19, 2015).




Please feel free to post comments from the media about Darren in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway.   To post in this thread ("Topic"), please select "Post Reply" and then type your post.


If you would like me to start a new Topic (thread) that is within the Category of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway," please let me know. 

-



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:22 pm; edited 5 times in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator

DCN
April 29, 2015

Note:  Erin is a deputy entertainment editor at @mashable,and formerly was at @billboard, @EW.



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
-


May 6, 2015
DCN
Source:  @KatH_NY

Note:  Kathy Henderson was the Senior Editor of Broadway.com for seven years, is a freelance writer and a contributor to Broadway.com and BroadwayDirect.com, and was the Editor-in-Chief of InTheater Magazine.





A nice review from The Backlot:
The Backlot (now known as NewNowNext) wrote:
Review: Darren Criss Takes on "Hedwig"

I can only ever approach Hedwig with a combination of awe and trepidation.

The first time I met her, back in her off-Broadway original incarnation, my worries were all about, “What’s this crazy sounding musical we’re going to? And who is this John Cameron Mitchell carrying the show?” Worries that were of course unfounded, as I quickly became enamored of the show, of Mitchell, and of Hedwig herself.

Flash forward 16 years … I’m going to see Neil Patrick Harris, newly opened in Hedwig: Broadway!, and my worries had less to do with him as a performer (I knew he’d be fantastic in the part, and he was, even better than I’d hoped), and more about how the show would translate to the big, bad Broadway stage. And like so much in her life, Hedwig rose to the challenge and shined.

And then … then I heard that Darren Criss was cast as Hedwig. And all I could think was, “Uh oh.”

Let me get this out there right now. I am a huge Darren Criss fan. I’ve seen every episode of Glee. I’ve watched him serenade Chris Colfer to “Teenage Dream” about a thousand times and swooned every time. Heck, I’ve watched — multiple times — A Very Potter Musical, which I think is pure satiric musical genius. But Hedwig? No way. He’s too young, I thought. He has no edge, I thought. A disaster in the making.

Well once again, Hedwig surprised the hell out of me. From the moment he descends from the rafters in full Hedwig drag, it’s clear Criss has got this, fully in command of the role and already interplaying with the audience in a confrontational way that’s crucial to the show’s success. Right away, you get the feeling that Criss — and Hedwig by extension — are fully living in this specific performance, with you as his her specific audience.

That clear sense of Criss’ comfort with the role was only reinforced the night I saw the show, when miking problems plagued the initial few moments. Criss not only worked around them effortlessly but turned them into a spontaneous opportunity for hilarious ad-libbing, quipping, “I thought this was supposed to be a Broadway show … not Doctor Zhivago.”

The first big surprise, though, for me came in the opening musical number. True Hedwig confession time: Hedwig’s opening number, “Tear Me Down,” has never been a favorite of mine. But Criss’ off-the-charts vocal chops and energy made the song new to me and a highlight of the show. The same was true of the other hard rock/punk numbers. If Criss was a bit more subdued (although still very good) on the ballads, he truly excelled on the more hard hitting songs in a way that made them as emotional as they are energizing. This was true of “Angry Inch,” but most especially of the finale number, “Midnight Radio,” where Criss fully becomes Hedwig’s male alter-ego, Tommy Gnosis.

While that song, and Criss’ performance there, are the strongest of the night, that’s not to detract from his performance in full Hedwig regalia. There was never a moment here where, as I feared, I’d see only see Darren Criss on stage in a wig and a dress, or Blaine for that matter, in some Vocal Adrenaline competition stunt, creeping into the performance. Instead, Criss was fully committed to — and indistinguishable from — Hedwig from beginning to end. And yet, also a different Hedwig than I’d seen before.

There’s perhaps no getting away from the age difference. Criss is younger than the actors who’ve portrayed the character before, and references in the show to the fall of the Berlin Wall and albums only reinforce the disconnect. But Criss makes his youthful energy work for the character. This Hedwig might lack NPH’s salacious leer, or JCM’s worldly weariness. But she’s a Hedwig in her own right, seizing her opportunity to be front and center before a live audience and clearly basking in their adoration. She’s the sweetest of the Hedwigs, and the audience eats her up like gummy bears.

[. . .]

When Criss and Jones joined the stage in their climactic duet — he looking jaw-droppingly hot in short shorts, she a confidently wigged Hedwig stand-in — the audience bursts into exuberant cheers. This is a Hedwig that can only fill one with glee.

-NewNowNext.com
May 7, 2015






richieridge: Preston and I with the dazzling @darrencriss who takes @hedwigonbway to new heights!! @bbbway #darrencriss #richieridge #hedwigonbway
May 7, 2015
DCN

Note:  Richard Ridge is the host of the TV program Broadway Beat and Backstage with Richard Ridge at BroadwayWorld.com



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:23 pm; edited 3 times in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
-


tirpse
Source
May 10, 2015

Note:  Michael Weinfeld was an Entertainment Editor with the Associated Press.






A short review of Darren in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway.

Bass Performance Hall wrote:
One of the many perks of attending The Broadway League’s annual Spring Road Conference is, of course, getting to see all the new Broadway shows before they hit the road.

Over the course of the four-day conference, we’ve seen nearly a dozen shows. Here are some of our faves (and some we’re hoping to bring to Bass Hall in the future):

Hedwig and the Angry Inch: We saw this rock and roll musical when Neil Patrick Harris was in the lead role of Hedwig, but we are just as impressed with Darren Criss, who took over the role after Harris. Criss stars in the title role as a punk/metal band lead singer, whose career has been eclipsed by a past lover who has gone onto to massive success. Hedwig delivers his life story to us during a concert, in which Criss and his backup band give impassioned, believable performances, making you feel like you really are at a concert (which, technically, you are, since the musicians play real instruments and Criss belts out a number of catchy songs). It’s a fantastic show but not for everyone; there’s quite a bit of language and adult themes. We’d love to see it on our stage.

-bass performance hall
May 14, 2015



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
-


JosephMarzullo1: @DarrenCriss A performance of a lifetime in Hedwig, so incredibly moving and multi-layered. Congrats!
May 14, 2015
DCN

Note:  Joseph Marzullo is a theatrical photographer based on Broadway.




May 15, 2015
DCN


Note:  Jim Halterman is an entertainment journalist (The Backlot, Variety, OUT, Mashable).

-



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
-

Deborah Jones wrote:
Berlin, Paris, Verona, Worcester County

Criss is an impish, rather sweet Hedwig despite the torrents of trash talk and inventive vulgarities. At 28 Criss is far too tender for world-weariness; what he has instead is youthful excess, electrifying physicality and exuberance to burn. He’s an unstoppable whirlwind in lavish wigs, glittery outfits and make-up enough for all of Broadway’s chorines

[. . . ]

But everyone was absolutely delighted to be in Darren Criss’s orbit, as they should have been. He is wonderful.

-Deborah Jones: FollowSpot
May 27, 2015
Note:  Deborah Jones is a writer and editor, specializing in dance, musical theatre, theatre, and opera.  She reviews dance and musical theatre for The Australian and is a member of the Sydney Theatre Awards panel. 




A review by Emertainment Monthly, the entertainment site for Emerson College:
Emertainment Monthly wrote:
'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Shines with Darren Criss at the Helm

Darren Criss is currently inhabiting this incredibly demanding and iconic role, and he has witnessed first hand the evolution of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. As he has indicated in multiple interviews done before officially becoming the fifth actor to step into the role, Criss was a huge fan of the show long before he stepped into Hedwig’s heels. The passion that Criss has for Mitchell and Trask’s musical is extraordinarily evident in his performance. On all fronts, he drives himself to show off Hedwig to her fullest potential.


Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a show that sinks or swims according to how committed and talented the actor playing the lead role is. Fortunately for the show, there has yet to be an actor who has not inhabited the role beautifully. This likely keeps adding on pressure to the next man who commits to donning the wig because they have to deliver a performance that meets incredibly high expectations and bring their own personality and uniqueness to the table. Criss was certainly facing these concerns, but his enthusiasm and excitement to finally be in his dream role made him ready for anything. Criss is on full display in this show, and every inch of him is on fire. His sings every song beautifully, even the harder rock songs like the opening song “Tear Me Down.” He transforms into Hedwig up on that stage so completely that it is easy to forget he is acting at all. Many fans may enter the Belasco theatre knowing Criss as Blaine on Glee or as Harry Potter in ‘A Very Potter Musical’ from the theater group he founded in college “Team Starkid,” and it is interesting to see the way an audience might regard Hedwig differently based on the previous roles of the actor playing the part. Criss brought out the sassy and even sweeter sides of Hedwig just because fans have that kind of association with him. Criss recently commented on The Today Show that the audience is like a third character in the case of Hedwig, and it is something special to be able to introduce a whole different group of people to this musical each time an actor steps into the part.

-Emertainment Monthly
May 27, 2015

-

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
-

Rae Votta is a journalist (Rolling Stone, Billboard, Vulture, moviefone.com, The Daily Dot).

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
-

Wonderful review by Jon Sobel, an Executive Editor of Blogcritics, as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section.  He reviews NYC theater.
Blogcritics wrote:Theater Review [NYC Broadway]: Darren Criss in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'

Stepping into the spotlight of the gargantuan Broadway cabaret show known as Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a magnetic Darren Criss leaves far behind the milquetoasty character that made him famous on TV’s horrendously Auto-Tuned Glee.

[. . . ]

All I can say is, Criss’s towering performance is a revelation. And plenty of Gleeks turned out to see him the night I attended, jumping and whooping without knowing the lyrics to the songs (which is how I deduced they came via Glee and not Hedwig). This wallop of a show has the power to convert TV fans to theaterhounds if anything does.

Criss gets strong support . . . But all would be for nought without an intensely charismatic Hedwig, and Criss fits the bill and more as the self-obsessed, spiteful, and gleefully punning antihero who proves herself heroic after all in soldiering on through disappointment after disappointment.

[. . . ]

. . . The show had worked its musical and emotional magic. When, near the end, a rising column lifts Hedwig high above the stage to sing a reprise of “Wicked Little Town,” at last bereft of costumes and wigs and no longer looking like a woman at all, her domination is as complete as the undoing of her image.

[. . . ]

Given fresh life by a performer who has the voice, the moves, the charisma, and the laser-like focus the role demands, the tragedy and triumph of this now iconic character add up to a magnificent treat for Hedwigians, Gleeks, and glam-rock lovers alike, as well as theatergoers of any stripe as long as they’re tolerant of high volume and some sexual content.

-Jon Sobel: blogcritics.org
May 28, 2015




An article:

GayNYCDad wrote:
First of all, I am completely biased as I am a huge fan of Darren Criss’s since first seeing him in Glee. And this evening he did not disappoint. He was in great form, his voice and his singing were fantastic. It was a pleasure to be in the 5th row watching and listening intently to this great young man belting out these terrific songs. It was a wonderful experience that I cannot recommend enough. Plus it was a wild show that reminded me of what the East Village was like in the 70’s!

And funny. The show is also very humorous, and Darren did an awesome job with great comic timing and up to date jokes, even including his Glee love interest in one of them. It was again a pleasure to laugh throughout, when we weren’t concentrating on listening to his great voice.

-GayNYCDad
May 28, 2015



A rather light and fun article:
NYCSingleMom wrote:5 Reasons Why Darren Criss Talent Shines Through in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway!

1.  His voice - It's one thing to be able to sing on a television show but carry a song on Broadway.  Nailed it!!

2.  Charisma - Criss captured my heart from his first appearance on Glee singing Katy Perry's Teenage Dream. Being only a few rows back, I felt like [a] teenager.  He truly commands the stage.  He had the audience and me eating out of his hand (literally) from the minute he hit the stage.

3.  Passionate Performance - You want to be entertained by a performer who puts his heart and soul into every song and Chriss does just that.  His performance from beginning to end was flawless.

4.  He is Funny - Who knew?

5.  Looks good in a dress and short shorts - Not many men can carry off looking fabulous in a mini-skirt and then be half naked at the end in a pair of leather shorts.  Let's be honest, he's hot and eye candy for both men and women.

-by NYC Single Mom
May 29, 2015



Last edited by Poppy on Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:44 am; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
-

Fantastic review! 
JK's TheatreScene wrote:REVIEW: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (with Darren Criss)

Review of the Saturday matinee performance on May 30, 2015 at the Belasco Theatre in New York City.  Starring Darren Criss, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Tits of Clay as The Angry Inch.  Musical Staging by Spencer Liff.  Directed by Michael Mayer. 100 minutes with no intermission.  Darren Criss plays Hedwig through July 19.

It probably sounds odd to hear me say that Hedwig and the Angry Inch is not one of my favorite shows, especially when you consider that I just saw it again for the fourth time.  Each time I see it, I have no regrets, and it speaks volumes for the show itself that every time I see it, I get more out of it and appreciate it more, which is why I keep going back.  What is so great (and potentially not so great) about the character is that it is a gold mine of opportunity for good actors.  It can be played loud, proud and narcissistic (NPH version), or it can be played as deeply wounded with multiple layers of angst, anger, sadness and broken ego (MCH version).  And it seems, that an equally valid performance can be made of intense, reactionary anger coated with a thin veneer of self-loathing inspired self-deprecation and biting sarcasm, as currently performed by a (not nearly as odd as it sounds) decidedly youthful Darren Criss.

Criss attacks this role with a vengeance; his Hedwig (and apparently Criss) has something to prove to the world.  His relative youth adds an aggressive vibrancy to the physicality of the role and to the ferocity of every emotion Hedwig goes through.  It occurs to me that this time around, with a younger Hedwig there is a sense that she could still turn things around, whereas with more "mature" actors, we saw a Hedwig settled in for the long haul, an alternate future no longer a real possibility.  For me it works, though the intensity was at first off-putting.  Criss' voice is incredible - the ballads are gorgeous, and the rock numbers are edgy with a rich, full-throttle styling.  Anyone worried (or worse, anyone who just assumes) that you'll get a Glee boy in heels and nothing more will be both surprised and delighted.  There is zero trace of Blaine here.  And as terrific as he is as Hedwig, he really brings it as Tommy Gnosis; it is a simply stunning transformation.

[. . . ]

Also new to the mix is Rebecca Naomi Jones as Yitzhak, who fits with this Hedwig like a hand in a glove. . . Jones and Criss have created a volatile and wholly satisfying relationship that makes you see it from all sides.  Best of all, the payoff at the end is inspiring.  "Midnight Radio" is rock and roll bliss.

[. . . ]

I know that without NPH, this production wouldn't exist, but both Hall and Criss were/are better in the role if for no other reason than from the moment both take the stage, all you see is Hedwig. Wounded, broken and all her bewigged glory.  It is a shame that crowds aren't turning out in droves for Mr. Criss - at the performance I attended, the entire appreciative and enthusiastic audience could have easily fit in the orchestra section.  Not to worry, though, I never once felt he was giving less because there weren't more of us there.  He dispels any preconceived notions before his heels even hit the hood of the car.

Grade: A-

Jeff
-JK's TheatreScene
June 1, 2015

I have read that Michael C. Hall was wonderful in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, in terms of how his dramatic acting was multi-layered and touched the audience.  It is gratifying to see this reviewer speak so highly of Darren's performance, just as this reviewer speaks so highly of Michael C. Hall's performance.

-



Last edited by Poppy on Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:45 am; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
-

Very nice review:
4 Your Excitement wrote:Just Try to Tear Her Down! Darren Criss Shines in Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Currently starring in a limited 12-week run as Hedwig, Darren Criss (Glee, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) makes his triumphant return to Broadway, rocking the Belasco Theatre and silencing his critics. As the youngest Hedwig to date, in the lead up to his run many feared that Criss’ performance may have had something missing that was found in the previous Hedwigs. However, this could not have been further from the truth.

The mixed format of the show is the perfect vehicle for Criss with the character playing to his many strengths, providing the audience with a no holds barred concert experience while at the same time taking us on this tragic journey of self destruction/discovery that Hedwig undergoes. It is Criss’ very youthful energy and sense of wonder, especially early on in the piece that captivates the audience and, in a way, makes her tale even more heartbreaking as we see its loss. As Hedwig tells her sorry tale over the course of 90 minutes, Criss constantly smashes through the fourth wall showing his intelligence, sass, and ability to take an audience along with him wherever he chooses to go. Criss’ Hedwig commands the stage from the minute she descends to the floor and she is simply mesmerising to watch.

. . . Having settled into the role over the past month, Criss’ Hedwig is getting feistier, more daring, and more interactive producing an exciting, edgy performance that is both powerful to watch, yet all the more tragic.

. . . From the first moment I saw Rebecca Naomi Jones’ Yitzhak on stage I knew I was going to love her.

. . . The chemistry between Criss and Jones is a joy to watch. Both love to goad and play with the other, recruiting the audience onto their side with whatever means at their disposal. Vocally, they sound amazing together, making me wish that we could get a cast album starring the pair, however much I love Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall in the roles.

. . . Extravagant, lush, and vibrant, dolled out in her finest, Criss is non-existent on stage for the majority of the piece, it is just Hedwig.

-4 Your Excitement
June 2, 2015

(via bandwagonjumping)

-

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
Playbill wrote:The biggest goose bumps on Broadway can be had at the Belasco Theatre where Darren Criss is currently stopping the show eight times a week with Stephen Trask’s flaming anthem, “The Origin of Love” in Trask and John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig And The Angry Inch. Is there anything better than a ballad by a hard rock band? Somehow the roughness of the sound makes the sweet songs so much more tender. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that “The Origin of Love” is a summation of the central theme of Hedwig, we are all broken souls searching for our other half. This “ancient truth” is conveyed painfully and unforgettably.

— “The Origin of Love” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch is #1 on Playbill.com’s “The Essential LGBTQ Love Songs” list (Source)
June 13, 2015

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
A couple of nice reviews:

Daily Actor wrote:Review: 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' at The Belasco Theatre, Broadway

Former Glee star Darren Criss is virtually unrecognisable in fishnets, high heels and a blonde wig, and Rebecca Naomi Jones plays Hedwig’s husband, Yitzhak.

[. . . ]

The audience are on board too, whether there for Criss (the majority were), as fans of the show or just for an evening out at the theatre, when Hedwig commanded us to lift up our hands, everyone did and it’s really quite a sight to see.

[. . . ]

Much has been made of Criss taking on the main role, making him the youngest Hedwig to date. It’s no surprise that he slays each and every one of his vocals. He frequently sang live on Glee and having also watched him perform live in concert, I can attest he is a truly gifted singer.

However, Criss delivers so much more than just a good vocal performance. He transforms completely, and for nearly 90 minutes, we don’t see a single element of the actor at all. We watch Hedwig. He embodies her so completely that at the end, when Hedwig is stripped bare, there is a moment of total and utter silence as the audience tries to rectify the man standing before them with the outrageous, funny, bitter and vicious, Hedwig that we’ve been watching.

He is a true master at bringing all Hedwig’s pain and anger to the surface, and it manifests itself in each and every song, whether loud and intense or soft, slow and heartfelt.

He is quick to deliver off the cuff banter as well as rehearsed come backs which one would only realise were planned if seeing the show more than once, as I did. He keeps the pace up throughout and delivers long monologues that keep the audience laughing, and all in a flawless German accent. The audience does need to listen carefully though, to catch all that is being said.

Criss seems most at home out in the audience, making out with unsuspecting guys who then sit proudly smeared in lipstick for the rest of the evening. He makes sure to thank them all at the end, but to be honest, they all seemed pretty thrilled.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
is not your average Broadway show. It is decadent, funny, and outrageous. It is also deeply emotional and we are left feeling sad for Hedwig and the turns her life have taken. She has suffered the cruellest of fates, and Criss really makes that come across. The cast give the show their all, and are rewarded by a very appreciative audience who happily give a well deserved standing ovation.

-Daily Actor
June 16, 2015





Exeunt Magazine wrote:Hedwig and the Angry Inch

For any actor brave enough to take on the role, being Hedwig is demanding. It requires him to be on stage for all but a few of the show’s 100-minute run time, and to command an audience’s attention almost single-handedly. It requires the assumption of multiple identities and voices — Hedwig’s former lovers, for instance, Luther Robinson and Tommy Gnosis — as well as the extreme, multifarious aspects of Hedwig’s own larger-than-life personality. It requires quick costume changes and acrobatics and descending from the sky (via harness) like a bedazzled angel.

For Darren Criss, the latest to don the many wigs of the genderqueer glam rocker, taking on Hedwig comes with unique pressures. On top of the intrinsic challenges of the role, he’s got to fill the very big high-heeled, golden, sparkling shoes of Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, and most recently Hedwig co-creator John Cameron Mitchell.

Indeed, it may not be easy being Hedwig, but you wouldn’t know it watching the Glee alum, who makes all of it looks effortless, with boundless energy and ample acting and singing chops. He’s the youngest actor to play the role so far, and as a longtime fan of the show, his enjoyment of the part is obvious, particularly its comic elements. He brings a certain grace to the part, too, even when he’s spitting, kicking and grinding on audience members.

. . . Hedwig, meanwhile, is one of those characters, who, even in her specificity, gives ample room for an actor to explore and make her his own. Criss has done just that, . . .

-Exeunt Magazine
June 16, 2015

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
This article in The Daily Beast is part review, part interview.  I only included the part that had to do with Darren's performance in Hedwig, but the entire article is interesting.

The Daily Beast wrote:
How Darren Criss Graduated 'Glee,' Mastered 'Hedwig,' and Became the 'It Boy' Again

What little glitter hasn’t been sweat off has been sufficiently showered away and Darren Criss, minutes after soaking in his curtain call applause for his exhausting, indisputably brilliant turn as Hedwig in Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, is still high on her energy, flitting around his dressing room in a short kimono. 

[. . . ] 

When we meet the next afternoon at Manhattan’s Soho House, Hedwig’s black nail polish is still noticeable as Criss peruses the menu. “It’s always on,” he says. “It’s just chipping off now because it’s Friday.”

A cavalcade of friends are in town, both to see him in his raved-about Broadway run as one of Neil Patrick Harris’s replacements in Hedwig and to just visit New York on a perfect spring day, and a few can’t resist stopping by the table to say hi.

[. . . ]

He’s also midway through a 12-week run in Hedwig, fulfilling a dream he’s had of playing the role ever since sneaking viewings of his DVD of the movie version in his parents’ San Francisco basement as a teenager. Winning ecstatic reviews for his revelatory performance and now safely shed of the ghost of Glee, . . . Criss is at an exhilarating crossroads in his career.

And the 28-year-old, biding his time at the junction while singing and dancing his ass off eight times a week in the most demanding and rewarding male role on Broadway, is impressively self-aware about the whole thing. But then again, as he ponders future stage, screen, and more music opportunities, that’s probably why he’s more poised than most former It Boys—a status he earned with that a capella “Teenage Dream”—to retain hold of that pop culture crown.

When it was announced that Criss would be “the next Hedwig,” a superlative of star power and faith-in-talent given to those who have played the role on Broadway since Harris’s departure (including Girls star Andrew Rannells and Dexter’s Michael C. Hall), many people assumed it was a high-heeled attempt to add edge to an image made tween-friendly, as happens when a person stars on a teenage soap opera musical for years.

Those people, clearly, were unaware of the extent of Criss’s obsession with John Cameron Mitchell’s progressive musical, about a genderqueer East German rock singer coming to terms with her past and future; after college, he even tried to stage a one-man version of the show. Those people, most likely, were also unaware of how severely Criss finds the presumption that he was in any hurry to break out of a so-called mold to be ridiculous.

“That’s lazy journalism,” he says. “That’s what people will say about anything. Like, if all you knew Jennifer Lawrence from was Hunger Games and she does something else, which is what we call an actor, it’s like ‘breaking out the cage!’ We are actors. We are acting like other things. That’s how it works.”

Lazy as it might be, it’s certainly what’s happened. To that regard, it’s done Criss many favors in changing people’s minds of what he’s capable of—and if you’ve had the chance to see him perform Hedwig, he’s capable of what even your highest expectations of his talents might suggest—that the last round of headlines he made in his time at Glee were for writing an original song. Nothing says “legit” like being a songwriter.

[ . . . ]

It’s a version of what’s happening to him right now with Hedwig. Sure, people knew he could act, sing, and dance. He was arguably the brightest spot of Glee for years because of how well he could do those very things. But those people were still unprepared for the mature, ribald, all-dressed-up and yet emotionally naked performance he’s giving in The Angry Inch.

[. . . ]

When it started to become clear that Hedwig and the Angry Inch would live on past Neil Patrick Harris’s departure, that Criss would be a replacement became somewhat inevitable. One of the first connections he made after Glee made him into a name was with the show’s producer David Binder, who he passionately told he wanted to be in a revival of the show one day—even before the Harris-led Broadway sojourn was in the cards.

“John Cameron Mitchell has given us a Hamlet,” he says, of what has quickly become a Holy Grail role for musical theatre actors. “He’s given us a Mama Rose.”

On the one hand, some might find it odd that a straight 16-year-old boy would spend more than a decade with such a passionate desire to play a transgender German rock star, a character that has become an icon for the queer community.

“You do kind of raise an eyebrow,” he says. But he recalls those days watching the movie in the basement terrified that his mom would walk in on him. “It was inappropriate and subversive and different, everything you like as a teenager. Fucking punk rock, you know?”

“I was the kid who wore weird-colored pants because I liked people questioning what was cool,” he continues. “I wore nail polish and weird glasses because I thought it was funny, but I still would show up at the football games like a bro. And she’s really fucking funny.”

The sacred keeper of Hedwig, her creator and original star John Cameron Mitchell, certainly has given Criss his approval.

[. . . ]

It’s at this juncture that we discuss what’s next for Criss when his 12-week Broadway run ends in mid- July.   He’d like to do more songwriting, he says, and there are talks of more projects with Star-Kid Productions, the team he created “A Very Potter Musical” with.    As for acting, “just give me a fucking interesting character,” he says, “that’s all I need”—while admitting that, after a demanding Broadway run, a film that shoots on a beach would be nice.

“I didn’t dream about Glee because I didn’t grow up with Glee,” he says. “It happened and turned out to be a dream. But I’m truly in the midst of a fantasy. I dread this being over.”

The rest of us, however, should be very excited.

-The Daily Beast
June 18, 2015

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator


Editor at BuzzFeed News | June 23, 2015

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
-


Source:  @debrabirnbaum
darrencriss-news:
Editor at Variety.com | June 28, 2015
(via gleekto)









David Corn, editor of Mother Jones
June 29, 2015
DCN
Source:  @DavidCornDC

Note:  David Corn is the chief of the Washington bureau for Mother Jones, an author, and a political journalist who has appeared on MSNBC and National Public Radio.



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
-
Amazing comment from Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times:


HedwigOnBway tweeted:







HedwigOnBway: "Darren Criss is mesmerizing in the smash hit ‘Hedwig’“ - Anthony Tommasini, New York Times  @DarrenCriss
(via DCN)






Anthony Tommasini (The New York Times) wrote:
Broadway Skills in Opera: They're a Puzzlement

I only recently caught up with Mr. Mayer’s smash hit “Hedwig,” currently starring the mesmerizing Darren Criss.

-The New York Times
July 8, 2015


-



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator


Laura Osnes replied to Paul’s photo with Darren from backstage at Hedwig.
tirpse

Note:  Paul Wontorek is the Creative Director and Editor-in-chief of the leading theater website, Broadway.com.  He also hosts the popular weekly talk show, Show People with Paul Wontorek.

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator


Denny Directo works at Entertainment Tonight | July 11, 2015 - 7pm show

(Note:   We recently saw Denny interview Darren at the Rooftop Cinema's showing of the film Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Montalban Theatre in Los Angeles.)



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:29 pm; edited 2 times in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
Nice review by BroadwayBox.com

BroadwayBox.com wrote:
Four Times Darren Criss Had Us LIVING at Hedwig and the Angry Inch

[Update: Darren Criss will reprise the role of Hedwig on tour at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco (Oct. 4-30, 2016) and the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles (Nov. 1-27).]

It's your final week to see Glee and How to Succeed alum Darren Criss headline the Tony Award-winning revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Criss puts his wig back in the box on July 19, and after seeing a recent performance, BroadwayBox urges you not to miss this kick-ass star turn—here are just four of the many moments we were living our entire lives watching Darren's Hedwig/Tommy.


1. The Transformation of Tommy Gnosis



The best thing about seeing all five B'way Hedwigs is watching how each one shines in different moments, bringing something new to scenes that otherwise seemed set in stone. For Darren Criss, the alter-ego character of rock star Tommy Gnosis is the revelation. He grows the character from a really awkward, insecure kid who could barely make eye contact in those first scenes to a young man on the verge of self discovery in the trailer scene and finally a fully fledged rock star (with a heart) in “Wicked Little Town Reprise”, and it's breathtaking.


2. “Midnight Radio”


Criss brings a simplicity and a passion to the final number of the show that calls to mind a cathartic confession. Don't worry though, the joy and euphoria is still there but in Criss' hands the transition from the heavy moment before to the grand finale is pretty seamless.


3. “Angry Inch”


Another big song, another Criss triumph. Watching Darren Criss during the all-out rock songs of the show (“Angry Inch” “Tear Me Down” “Sugar Daddy” “Exquisite Corpse”) you understand this character's frustration—Criss' Hedwig is a rock star who didn't break through but somehow her a-hole ex, who she taught everything to, did. Girl, I'd be pissed as hell too.


4. The Audience Interactions


The crowd is there to see him, and he's having a ball with them. The ad-libs are fresh and funny; for much of the audience, Criss is their introduction to the show so the energy in the theatre is eager and excited (even the most seasoned Hedhead will feel like a virgin again). And during the curtain call—at least at the performance I attended—Criss had this wonderful moment acknowledging each of the audience members Hedwig terrorized; it was so sweet.

-BroadwayBox
Josh Ferri
July 13, 2015






Steve Schonberg of CenterOnTheAisle.com tweeted his thoughts about the BroadwayBox.com article.  :happy face



Note:  Steve Schonberg/@CnterOnTheAisle  is a theater personality, who created CenterOnTheAisle.com,  another theater-related site.  Steve also contributes to Huffington Post.

-



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:29 pm; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
Very nice comment about Darren's kindness to fans at stage door (of Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway). 



Source:  @JohnnyOleks, July 15, 2015

July 15, 2015


Johnny Oleksinski is an entertainment writer for the New York Post.

-



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:42 pm; edited 3 times in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
i4u.com wrote:
Darren Criss Finishes Triumphant Run in Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Last night, actor, singer, dancer, and recent Emmy-nominated songwriter Darren Criss concluded what can officially be called a massive stepping stone in his career. The actor, who previously starred on Broadway for a three week visit in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, finished off his 12-week engagement in the titular role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Criss received almost unanimous praise from fans and critics alike, many of whom who were shocked and awed by the visual transformation that the actor underwent seven times a week. While many knew that the one time Glee star had talent in scores, it was great to see it for a long period of time to see how hardy his voice and body could be.

The role of Hedwig required Criss to sing, dance, and act in a pair of golden platform heels, fishnets, skirts, lingerie, and eventually body-hugging black shorts. The young star's body underwent a miraculous transformation that was seconded only by the immense star power and skill that he showed on stage. Everyone from small-time blogs, Broadway World message boards, to the New York Times and even creator Stephen Trask applauded Criss on his run.

There were some snags, with some jokes that were taken the wrong way by audience members, the now all too common cell phone problems, and a few weeks where sales struggled in an over-saturated market - but it seems like all of the pales in comparison to what is likely known as Criss's greatest performance to date.

Criss's final weekend was met with sold out performances, celebrity guests like Alan Cumming and the Hedwig creators John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, and a plethora of fans from all around the world, according to Broadway World. Throughout his run, Criss gained the respect and admiration of the Broadway community at large, something that can be quite difficult to do in a world where talent supersedes celebrity or good looks (both of which Criss has).

Even better, Criss's fans raised over $12,000 for the The Hetrick-Martin Institute, which helps with LGBTQ youth service programming with life-saving initiatives in New York. Criss has long had a well-known legion of loyal fans who follow his every move. Criss has been ever gracious at talking to them, and sometimes stayed for hours after performing just to sign Playbills and talk to his fans. He couldn't sign after his final show, because of the sheer number of bodies, but he did go out in style, on top of his car:

i4u.com
July 20, 2015

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
-


An article from NYU Student Newspaper (I am only including an excerpt about Darren; to read about the other Broadway actors who played Hedwig, click on the link):

NYUNews wrote:
Many Hedwigs and the Angry Inch
September 8, 2015

Darren Criss was the youngest Hedwig at 28, and it was unclear whether or not he could handle the chops of this show. Though a little callous with some of the subtler jokes, he had a convincing and moving grasp of the variety of deep feelings. He also brought back a much needed energy and physicality to the pulsing core of the show.

[. . . ]

Diggs and Hall captured the personal characterization of Hedwig best, but Criss had the best physicality, sharing the unofficial title of best vocals with Harris.

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” finishes its run on Sept. 13 at the Belasco Theatre, starring Taye Diggs.



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

avatar
Administrator
Administrator
Very nice gif set with some quotes from the various media reviews:














janel-moloney:
 
Criss delivers so much more than just a good vocal performance. He transforms completely, and for nearly 90 minutes, we don’t see a single element of the actor at all. We watch Hedwig. He embodies her so completely that at the end, when Hedwig is stripped bare, there is a moment of total and utter silence as the audience tries to rectify the man standing before them with the outrageous, funny, bitter and vicious, Hedwig that we’ve been watching. He is a true master at bringing all Hedwig’s pain and anger to the surface, and it manifests itself in each and every song, whether loud and intense or soft, slow and heartfelt. He is quick to deliver off the cuff banter as well as rehearsed come backs which one would only realize were planned if seeing the show more than once.

via adorkabledarrencriss

View previous topic View next topic Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum