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Fan Reviews, Media Reviews, and comments from members of the Media, about Darren in Hedwig and the Angry Inch--SF and L.A. Tour

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Poppy

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Aw, you're welcome, Lilikoiluv.    Thank you for all your wonderful posts, and for your wonderful review as well.  :happy face   You wrote such an eloquent review, that I felt I had to put more effort into mine.  :amused 


I agree that Hedwig's anger seems less frantic in the tour shows that I saw, compared to in the Broadway show that I saw. 


Lilikoiluv wrote:During SHNSF's panel "Hedwig and the Angry Inch in Coversation with Darren, Lena, and Stephen Trask, Darren mentioned how he got like 2 notes from Stephen during rehearsals, and that one of them "completely changed the trajectory of this show." (VIDEO: The question about Stephen giving advice starts at about  22:13, and Darren's remark starts at about 22:49). I've been wondering if this fine tuning of Hedwig is what Darren was referring to when he said that.    Makes me also want to know what exactly Stephen had said to him for both rehearsal notes. 

Thanks for the link to the video, and the handy reference to the point in the video.  I also would have loved to hear what Stephen said to Darren. 

Lilikoiluv wrote:YES! I felt such a send of loss and sadness for/from Hedwig that I actually cried during OoL. The animation and Hedwig interacting with it was stunning too.

I'm glad that you were so touched by this song performance, Lilikoiluv.  It is an amazing part of the show.  As you said, the animation is gorgeous to view.  Darren's voice and acting, combined with the lyrics of this beautiful song, really did make me emotional.   I felt more emotional during this song performance in the Los Angeles shows, than the Broadway show. 


Lilikoiluv wrote:It seemed (to me at least) that Tommy wasn't just "performing" the song as a rock star, but was really singing out to Hedwig with the those words (and even his motions reached out).  I did not get such an emotional reaction to the Broadway version, but wasn't sure if I just didn't catch it. I like that you think this was the beginning of Hedwig's self-acceptance, and I think this version of WLTR hits that home.

You helped me understand why I found Darren's performance of WLTR so much more emotional in the tour version, when you said it was not just Tommy "performing" the song in the tour shows.  The emotion in the song just felt palpable to me in the Los Angeles shows that I saw.   It felt so heartfelt. 

Lilikoiluv wrote:During the performance I saw, there was a smattering to applause after WLTR, but it quickly died down to complete silence. As I mentioned before, what was so amazing that you could just see how Hedwig's awareness/transformation stopped the clapping quickly.  It was remarkable and oh-so powerful to watch that whole scene
Yes!   Darren's acting was stunning, truly gorgeous in this scene.   Truly impressive acting.  bow to you     My husband was very impressed, and that's not an easy thing to do.    He said to me after our last Hedwig show, that Darren is a talented person.

Lilikoiluv wrote:
I also liked how, during the Broadway MR, Hedwig actually gives Yitzhak a little push or send off for the newly wigged Yitzhak as Hedwig sings "shining" as in "and you're shining like the brightest star"--and Yitzhak raises his hands in triumph as Hedwig looks happy for him. That little push/send off seemed like a beautiful visual step in Hedwig's self-acceptance/healing and I loved it, so was a bit disappointed that it didn't happen during the performance I saw (or the SF/LA videos I've seen so far).  

Oh, I forgot about that little push, Lilikoiluv.  I agree, that push was a visual symbol, both of Yitzhak being freed, and of Hedwig being "freed" by not being bound bythe vicious cycle of cruelty to Yitzhak and not being bound to her own self-hate. 

Lilikoiluv wrote:I found myself aching for Hedwig so much, especially knowing that Tommy was about to reject her.  The weary sadness that Darren brought to his portrayal of Hedwig throughout the show all led up to this moment, and all of the hope/hurt she put as she slowly uttered those words, just shattered me . . . I cried here too.

Truly a heartbreaking scene.    broken heart   :cry   And performed so beautifully by Darren.  (Deserves this emoticon, again! bow to you bow to you )


Note:  My husband's friend decided to see the show in Los Angeles after my husband mentioned seeing it.  His friend does some stand-up comic work and does public speaking/training for agencies.  I think he appreciated more than my husband and me, how remarkable was Darren's seamless, effortless back-and-forth transition from Tommy to Hedwig during this central scene.   He remarked to my husband:  "Do you know how hard it is to do that this well, this smoothly?!!"   And the answer is, "no," as a non-actor who does no public speaking and no performance work/acting, I don't think I appreciate how difficult is that scene where Darren moves between Tommy and Hedwig.  I don't think I appreciate how much skill, time, rehearsal and plan hard work it took for Darren to perfect that scene. 

I remember for the first Los Angeles show I saw, I chatted with that nice woman who also seemed very impressed with Darren's acting in this scene where he transitions back-and-forth between Tommy and Hedwig.  I think as a Hedwig fan who had seen several actors perform the role on Broadway, she appreciated more than I did how wonderful Darren was in this scene, and how wonderfully he conveyed emotion in this scene by making the "acting" disappear.  This feedback from my husband's co-worker also impressed upon me how amazing Darren is in this scene.  The talented Lena Hall said Darren's Tommy is her favorite.  Now, that is a tremendous compliment!  And there's more!  Stephen Trask had said that Darren is really  good in the show (Point 47:30 in the video Lilikoiluv linked:  VIDEO.  I think Darren should be very, very proud of himself.  (And we, as his fans, are very, very proud of you, Darren.  Truly.)

Poppy

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Lilikoiluv wrote:I'm so proud and thrilled for Darren, Lena, and company for their incredible start to the "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" National Tour!   
 

Well said, Lilikoiluv!

Lilikoiluv wrote:
I’m also happy that both his runs coincided with interesting moments in history, and that Hedwig was a voice that resounded with audiences during those times. 



And yes, Darren was a part of the Hedwig family during two historic times for our country, both during a time of joyous celebration, as you noted, and as a source of inspiration and hope,  during a time that--as you said--is chaotic and distressing.   Such different roles that Hedwig and the Angry Inch played, yet both roles so important and powerful.  And Darren was a part of both roles/times. 

Liliikoiluv wrote:OT:  Poppy, I'm SO EXCITED that you'll be enjoying Darren's Feinstein's gig tonight!  With all of the wonderful things that have happened and will happen for Darren (Hairspray Live! eek!), it will surely be a wonderful event for both Darren and you all.  Have FUN!  I'll keep my fingers crossed that he'll also surprise everyone and play some new songs from his upcoming album and uses this gig to announce the release date too!  It's only natural right?  

Aw, thanks Lilikoiluv.    That's so sweet of you.  My husband and I had a wonderful time at Darren's show at Feinstein's at the Nikko!

Poppy

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I'm posting a few messages I missed:




calliesquyres    When I first discovered Hedwig and the Angry Inch at 15, it immediately became a safe haven for me.  It's gotten me through so many difficult times in my life, and the story really resonates with me.  The show has helped me grow and accept who I am.  I'm so incredibly thankful for it. There's no other way to describe seeing Hedwig live other than life-changing. I still cannot believe I had the pleasure of seeing Lena Hall perform as Yitzhak, and Darren Criss really did Hedwig justice.  Thank you @hedwigonbway for everything. heart
November 24, 2016



Last edited by Poppy on Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

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From dailydarrennnews:




@SaugusGSA: STILL CAN’T BELIEVE WE MET @DarrenCriss! @HedwigOnBway was fantastic! Truly spectacular!

@amimperiale: @DarrenCriss IN THE FLESH  heart #hedwigandtheangryinch at the #Pantages was a spiritual experience, my whole body is numb !!!

tardisblueboxx: @darrencriss was amazing onstage and gracious backstage #hedwigandtheangryinch #pantages #suchfun

November 26, 2016

Poppy

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-


Lovely comment from Kim Tillman, a friend of Darren's:

# Repost thekimtillman 

The show tonight was excellent. Cathartic, irreverent & deeply emotional. I imagine I’ll be trying to wrap my head around it for a while. I knew #darrencriss would knock it out of the park, but I’m still a little stunned. #Hedwig #hedwigandtheangryinch #darrencriss #pantagestheatre #losangeles #LA #lastweekend #holyshitdude  http://ift.tt/2gLyjfe
November 26, 2016
via DarrenCrissArmy


Poppy

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From dailydarrennews:




@garishere   What an amazing show and amazing talent!  #DarrenIsHedwig #DarrenCriss #hedwigandtheangryinch @DarrenCriss








Nice pic and message:

owlyannie   There aren't words to describe how transformative this man was in this role, and no moreso than today. Truly blown away and overwhelmed by how absolutely perfect he was, and how proud I am to be a fan.  (@darrencriss @hedwigonbway @dailydarrennews #darrencriss #hedwigonbway #hedwigandtheangryinch #hollywoodpantages)

via dailydarrennews

Poppy

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I've been meaning to post a few comments/reviews from Ticketmaster's Hedwig and the Angry Inch tour site.    Link to  Ticketmaster Reviews 






Boolah71 wrote:


Darren Criss has talent!


I took my mom to show not expecting much. I was blown away by the story and the concert like format of the show. I really didn't know who Darren Criss was until I looked him up after his amazing performance. The guy from Glee! He proved to have more than the cookie cutter image on Glee even though he's obviously talented in the tv series. Long story short he made the show sensational. Tha pantages theater had a unique look to it that night. And the plot was perfect for Hollywood. Don't miss this show. Don't miss Darren Criss.

- Sun, Nov 27, 2016
Posted 11/30/2016
by Boolah71








YoryaJ wrote:



So good I saw it twice in one day!


I wasn't sure about Darren Criss in the role and have never been so glad to eat my words! "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" exponentially exceeded my expectations due in no small part (wink) to his mind-blowing performance. I am obsessed!

- Sat, Nov 26, 2016
Posted 11/29/2016
by YoryaJ







Jadestar007 wrote:


Darren Criss and Lena Hall are FANTASTIC!!

I am a huge fan of the Hedwig movie and John Cameron Mitchell is the absolute embodiment of Hedwig. I didn't think that Darren Criss could fill Hedwig's platforms but he did and with a fierce attitude!! He has a great presence, a powerful voice and great comedic timing. He had the audience eating out of his hand. Lena Hall has the voice of an Angel and owned every scene she was in. It's been such a long time since I've walked out of a musical feeling happy and elated but this one had me walking on clouds! I LOVED it!!

 - Wed, Nov 23, 2016
Posted 11/27/2016
By Jadestar007



Last edited by Poppy on Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:55 am; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

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I came across this review by Billy Masters, who runs an entertainment/gossip site.  

Billy Masters wrote:
Darren Criss Becomes a Man

November 7, 2016

I attended the LA opening night of the national tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch with some trepidation.  When I first saw Hedwig in 1999, it was at the Henry Fonda Theatre - a venue half the size of (and across the street from) the cavernous Pantages, where it is currently playing.  I also wasn't sure about Darren's ability to lead this production.  Yes, he played the role towards the end of the Broadway run, and yes, he's cute as a button.  But I didn't know if his winning qualities would be enough to pull off this character. 

[. . . ]

As to Criss, his strong vocals let me know he could more than handle the material.  But what surprised me was his ability to morph into various characters with very specific speech patterns and inflections.  His delivery of surely well-rehearsed ad libs was matched by his fearlessness in embracing silent moments and letting them play out.  As I told him at the after-party, he started out as a cute, talented boy, but in the course of the evening, he became a man.  His performance impressed me so much, I almost didn't notice his abs during the nearly-naked finale . . . I highly recommend it (and him). 





Another review on Ticketmaster.
DGR17 wrote:



ELECTRIFYING from the moment Hedwig steps on stage

Can't say enough about this production. I saw it on Broadway with Rannels, JCM and Criss. They were all great. JCM being the "true" Hedwig...

But, DARREN WAS AMAZING! Even better in LA than in NY. (Never thought that would be possible)
Go see it before it's too late!


 - Sat, Nov 12, 2016
Posted 11/15/2016
by DGR17

Poppy

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More from Ticketmaster:

ConstantineM wrote:



Truly Moving


This show had my jaw hanging open for the last 20 minutes straight. I was unable to close it. That is all.


 - Sat, Nov 5, 2016
Posted 11/08/2016
by ConstantineM






chardothefightfan wrote:


biggest hedwig yet!

this show was amazing. 3rd incarnation of the show i've seen. a lot of the small bar band aesthetic has been replaced by over the top spectacle. a very different but equally enjoyable experience. i had concerns about Darren Criss, (or most anyone for that matter), stepping into hedwigs VERY BIG SHOES, but he was truly incredible...


 - Tue, Nov 1, 2016
Posted 11/04/2016
by chardothefightfan

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