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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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A few comments on HedwigOnBway's Facebook page, from folks who saw him in the SF leg of the Hedwig tour (sometimes with a few comments from folks who saw him in Hedwig on Broadway).

HedwigOnBway Facebook, October 28 wrote:
Sara Miller Hobbs   My husband and I are Hed-heads from Oregon, and we flew to SF to see you last week -- fantastic!! I flew to NYC to see JCM, only to have our show canceled due to his hurt knee... Have waited for a live show for 19 years -- you were brilliant, Darren Criss


Nash Johns   Saw him in July when he was still on broadway! Wonderful! Hedwig is my absolute favorite! I'd love nothing more than to be a part of it, already have it memorized XD


Randi Kerman Shendell   I saw him on Broadway with my daughter. He was excellent as Hedwig. We waited for him at the stage door. He was so gracious and a gentleman. He personally sighed the poster we purchased.


Jennifer J. Mundy   Saw him this afternoon in SF.  Amazing performance! Saw NPH in NYC and thought he was awesome as well. I love all the iterations of Hedwig and the unique infusion each actor gives to the character.

HedwigOnBway Facebook, October 28, 2016
(click on "Comments")








HedwigOnBway Facebook, October 25, 2016 wrote:
Brooks Cody Drew   Saw it again last Saturday. This show does not disappoint. Kudos to all involved!


Erin Baker   You were brilliant!!! Saw it on friday night.


Jacob Yates   We saw it last week...it was wonderful!

HedwigOnBway Facebook, October 25, 2016







HedwigOnBway Facebook, October 20, 2016 wrote:
Jennifer Lynne   I never imagined that a Beefcake Hedwig could rock my world. but ROCK it she did. hours later i am still reeling from Darren's powerfully poignant (or poignantly powerful? ) performance. Hoorah, young man.

HedwigOnBway Facebook, October 20, 2016

Poppy

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Some tweets:























Last edited by Poppy on Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:46 pm; edited 2 times in total

Poppy

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Some tweets:













Last edited by Poppy on Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:14 am; edited 2 times in total

Poppy

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                                                                 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Tour at the Hollywood Pantages in Los Angeles:   November 1 - 27, 2016. 






Darren's Schedule



November 1-27    Hedwig & the Angry Inch.  L.A.:    Tickets






So begins the Los Angeles leg of the Hedwig and the Angry Inch tour! applause

Poppy

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From DarrenCrissArmy:

Zelda Williams is Robin Williams's daughter.  She is a childhood friend of Darren.  She had seen Darren in Hedwig on Broadway.





Zelda Williams, actress and daughter of the late Robin Williams | June 11, 2015
DCN





She tweeted this today.  So sweet that she is thinking of Darren as he performs Hedwig in Los Angeles.



@zeldawilliams
via DarrenCrissArmy









# Repost @dommer32

Tonight was magical!! My husband surprised me with opening night, second row seats to Hedwig!!! Thank you so much baby, it was amazing. #HedwigAndTheAngryInch #DarrenCriss #PutOnMyMakeup #TurnUpTheEightTrack http://ift.tt/2fv0DCX









# Repost shmabriel__13

Such an amazing time seeing #darrencriss and #lenarockerhall KILL their opening performance of one of my all time favorite shows, Hedwig and the Angry Inch!! (And yes I died immediately after Darren rested his hand on my arm for our entire conversation ) http://ift.tt/2f0Hrsh








From dailydarrennews:

larawsb: @darrencriss rocked our worlds tonight (and made us laugh and cry as he took us on an unforgettable 90 minute journey as Hedwig running all November~ a must see! #hedwigandtheangryinch






melmels91  Hedwig was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen!  Truly inspirational.  Ecstatic we met him afterwards!  he was the sweetest!









ryryshangster  So Impressed!  @darrencriss left it all on the stage. 
Good luck with getting rid of all the glitter. 
Blaine has abs.





  @davisbloome84    Hedwig was the most amazing play I've seen in such a long time thank you @Pantages @LenaRockerHall @DarrenCriss







kaleidoscopecolors    Out of body experience watching @darrencriss kill it on @hedwigonbway #myfirstbroadwayshow #4throw #darrencanspitonme



Last edited by Poppy on Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:42 pm; edited 2 times in total

Poppy

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Some tweets about last night's dress rehearsal (Tuesday, November 1, 2016):




 A short conversation about the performance (from earliest to later):











Comments from some Hedwig fans:





roseapodaca     Did @DarrenCriss as #Hedwig tonight in #LA rock me like @NeilPatrickHarris did in #NY? Let's just say my LA friends, you'd be fools to miss this run!  Fools!
Get thy tix now.
The amazing music and staging aside, too, there are the wigs--the WIGS!--and #makeup by @MikePotter/ costumes by the one and only @AriannePhillips (thank you, again, my friend).
@josephbrooksjewelry, you were a handsome date.
#Opening Night #Preview #hedwigandtheangryinch #pantages #hollywood #lavieenrose #luckygal with #talented friends








More comments:

























Greg Hernandez is a member of the media (editor of  GregInHollywood.com, US correspondent for GayStarNews.com.   Former LA Times, Hollywood Reporter, LA Daily News.









Poppy

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Opening Night (Wednesday, November 2, 2016), Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Hollywood Pantages!




# Repost slim_t3


During my 1st year undergraduate at CAL I took a comparative literature class. We watched this movie and I FELL IN LOVE with the story! Seeing it today on opening night was like a dream. Darren Criss was amazing. Ugh my mind has been blown
#playwright #broadway #hedwigandtheangryinch #darrencriss #pantagestheatre #hollywood #musicals #openingnight http://ift.tt/2fdxmeB
via DarrenCrissArmy



Some tweets:





Note:  Olesya Rulin is an actor (High School Musical)











Note:  Sara Rue is an actor (films and TV shows:  Popular, Less Than perfect, and Eastwick!).

Beth Hall (Mad Men, Mom) also was present.




















This made me laugh.  He is the Managing Editor of JustJared.com  (although Chik Fil A??).






This twitter video is fantastic, giving a great view of the crowd on Opening Night at the Pantages!

Lilikoiluv

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Hi, Everyone. I finally wrote up my Hedwig experience. You guys probably know by now that I'm rambly and long winded when I have a lot of FEEELS. and this is not going to be any different, I'm afraid.  My aplogies in advance.  I just needed to finally get my thoughts out. Okay, here goes: 

Darren Criss belongs on the stage.  Darren Criss just owns the stage as soon as Hedwig enters (through the back no less!). The entire 90-minute show was truly a rollercoaster that takes the audience from her sassy, funny shield, to the depths of her wounded soul, to the battle to win herself back, and then rise to soar at her release and joy of self-acceptance.  The ride she takes you on is funny, devastating, and oh-so exhilarating to witness.

It has taken over 7 years for me to FINALLY enjoy Darren performing live, and I am blown away by the charisma he exudes on that stage, in such a demanding role no less! I knew I would be blown away, but it doesn't take anything away from the actual experience. TOTALLY. AND. COMPLETELY. BLOWN. AWAY.

From what I could see, senior-citizens made up the vast majority of the audience in the front orchestra section, and I wondered how that would inform Hedwig’s performance.  I had chatted a bit with the two younger guys sitting next to me before the show. One had seen the show before and was seeing it again because the other was not in town the last time. They were taking selfies and clearly excited about seeing the show. Hedwig made a hilarious reference to the audience make up.  When she marvels at the historic “groaning planks” of the theater and lists the famous people that have performed there, like Frank Sinatra and Carol Channing she quips, “I see many of you were there.” lol.

And I’m not sure if it is just me or perhaps the make up of the audience, but Hedwig was not as loud and outwardly angry as I had gotten in listening to the recordings or watching the bootlegs of the NYC shows.  Hedwig was still angry (and loud), but I got a sort of weariness too as she told us about her life.  It was so powerful.  Hedwig would pause and take a second or two to sort of gather herself up from time to time.  Her voice would break at pivotal moments. These were brief blink-and-you’ll-miss moments but really struck me that behind all of her bravado was a battered soul.

Darren’s performance was incredible. Everyone that has seen the show has always commented on how he “becomes” Hedwig how you don’t see Darren on the stage, and they were all correct.  I knew that but was still surprised how you don’t think about Darren throughout the show. Hedwig sucks you into her life and story and doesn’t release you until the very end. 

Tear Me Down:  What hit me first was the sheer power of Darren’s voice live. His voice has such power and an added hard, gravelly element (that I loved and don’t recall hearing in the NYC recordings), that I was blasted back in my seat a bit in amazement.   I’m not sure if this hard, gravelly element is in response to Lena’s strong, gravelly rock voice, or if recordings (or my ears) never caught it before but it, combined with the rest of the song, are just incredible.  “Angry Inch” was full rage and again the gravelly element just added to the impact.

Origin of Love:  I had seen a bit of footage of JCM with the scrim animation, but seeing it live was a thing of beauty.  Darren really puts great expression and emotion into the telling of the story.  That, and Hedwig’s instrumental interaction with the animation had me in awe and teary-eyed.  That was rather unexpected for me.

Sugar Daddy:  Was raucously risqué and fun!  It looked like the theater seats armrests were not made for Hedwig to climb on, and so she had to really maneuver herself to car wash the person on the end of the front row.  It was all glorious when it came together though.  She sat and shimmied on the lap of the older gentleman in the row in front of us. He was surprised but he and his wife laughed when Hedwig moved on.  The friends/couple next to me LOVED it tremendously!

Wig in a Box:  Darren’s Hedwig rendition of this song has been one of my favorites and seeing it live was wonderful.  The weary sadness at the beginning--seeing her slumped body on the hood of the car and the sad, empty expression in her eyes--my heart just ached for her. Hedwig’s transition from the persona of each wig to the transformation “back to myself” after each wig is removed is also tugs at your heart and makes you ache for her.  The costume switch takes place in a different part of the car, and took a bit longer than usual, but when punk rock star Hedwig appeared everyone cheered and clapped.

The story of her and Tommy!  Oh my god, Hedwig just tore me apart. Everyone’s written such praises about this exquisite scene, and it’s all true.  I won’t go into details but a other few moments (besides the gut-wrenching climax, of course) that also had me aching in the depths of my heart and stomach for Hedwig were:
-The little transformation Hedwig makes between “We were very, very happy…” and  “One day, I’m curled up in my trailer with…” is amazing.  Hedwig pauses for just a brief moment there and you see her kind of steel herself for the next part of the story. Complete silence from the audience.  It was brief but braced everyone for what was about to happen.
-the fondness in her face and voice as she shares their conversations
-Hedwig’s awed, breathless realization when she slowly says, “I’m filled with and ancient…” and “He’s the one” took my breath away too.
-Tommy’s groans as he says how paradise was lost and how it will be regained.
-The oh-so-effective pause after Tommy says, “What is that?” and Hedwig again takes just a flash of a moment to gather herself. The longer vulnerable pause when she says, “That…is what I have to work with”.  KILLED. ME.
-Hedwig’s quiet and anguished, “What are you afraid of?” And the way her voice breaks when she says, “Then he runs out the back door.” And how she tries to gather herself up again and fails continued to KILL. ME. MORE.
-Hedwig’s totally broken and breathless, “Look what you’ve done…” as she unsuccessfully tries to sing “The Long Grift.” She was devastated and I was DEAD. SO DEAD.

Hedwig’s Lament:  That moment Yitzhak spits in Hedwig’s face and just afterwards, people gasped and then silence. Hedwig’s broken voice as she tries to contain her anger and anguish just devastated me (and the rest of the audience). Then she finally explodes with "Exquisite Corpse" and everything unravels.
    
Wicked Little Town (Reprise): Whoa. Whoa. WHOA.
As others have mentioned the transition from Tommy back to Hedwig is longer now to perhaps give some time as these SF audiences clap after WLT.  No matter what the reason, Darren effectively makes full use of that transition time. He is not just waiting for the applause to die down; it is like he now has a whole longer process to Hedwig’s transformation, and it lasts even longer after the applause dies down to the absolute silence afterward. It is a marvel to now relish that transformation.
 
Midnight Radio:  It was an incredible uplifting, soul-renewing, emotional powerhouse that literally took my breath away. I have no words to add to every praise written about this scene except to say that every bit of praise is ACCURATE!

After that powerhouse of a performance, I was literally left a bit breathless. Everyone is on their feet with their hands raised when the curtain call begins.  It STILL amazes me that when the doors open again, THERE finally, is a smiling and sweet DARREN CRISS!  How he is able to so quickly leave Hedwig is amazing. The joy and satisfaction on his face made my heart soar for him…and us!  My hands and throat were sore afterwards from all the clapping and cheering!

The staging has Hedwig losing her heavy make-up, wigs, and layers of clothing little by little (through sweat and emotions) as she bares her story and soul throughout the show.  At the end everything is literally and emotionally left lying bare there on the stage. Wow. I needed a moment after the show to sit and gather myself up again before I could move. I had a conversation with Poppy during the NYC run about how I was surprised by how emtional HatAI is.  I have to say, seeing it live with an audience just elevates that experience exponentaially! AMAZING.

I will say it again.  Darren Criss belongs on the stage. He is just astounding to behold and you just feel that this is where his heart lies and how much he relishes challenge/privilege of the entire process.  I am so proud and happy for his triumphant success. And I am so thankful to have been able to witness his triumphant portrayal of Hedwig live. Bravo to Darren and everyone involved in this magnificent and important show!


ONE LAST THING:  My one regret is that I didn’t buy tickets to more than one show.  The show is a lot to take in. My focus was, naturally, totally on Hedwig throughout the performance. She was spectacular to watch.  But I would have loved a second or third (or fourth, or fifth…) viewing to take in and enjoy the many other aspects and nuances of the show (Lena’s brilliant Yitzhak and Yitzhak’s connection with Hedwig, the Tits of Clay…I didn’t even realize that the lights flashed the letters to H-E-D-W-I-G during the curtain call until I saw someone’s recent video of the curtain call!) I should have known better, but ah well.

Again, if you've read this far, my apologies for the long-winded post. I just needed to get my thoughts out.  I know I've missed so much more, this will do.

I'll be back to catch up on and respond to all the wonderful happenings from Hedwig's LA preview and opening nights!



Last edited by Lilikoiluv on Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:02 pm; edited 3 times in total


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Poppy

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Wow, wonderful review, Lilikoiluv!   I am so glad to hear that Darren's Hedwig moved you.  broken heart :cry   I was hoping that he would have that effect on you. 

Your review has so much glorious attention to detail!   I am off to see Darren in Hedwig tonight.  I am sure when I return, I will be agreement with much--maybe all--of your review (and I doubt if I could write it any more articulately than you, Lilikoiluv!).   Thank you sooooo much for sharing with us your thoughts and emotions, Lilikoiluv!   It's always a highlight to me to read your eloquent words! :love

Poppy

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A couple of reviews!

From dailydarrennews:

The Hollywood Reporter wrote:
'Hedwig and the Angry Inch': Theater Review

11/3/2016 by Deborah Wilker

Then again if you happen to be sitting in the first several rows, also consider yourself warned. Glee's Darren Criss, who portrayed Hedwig on Broadway in 2015 (one of a handful of star replacements for Tony-winner Neil Patrick Harris), steps back in for the first two cities of the tour, and he will absolutely have some fun with you.

The saucy asides and local jokes come fast. "If I wanted to see a mess in an L.A. theater I could just see . . . L.A. Theater." There are shout-outs to Glee co-star Lea Michele, as well as its creator Ryan Murphy: "I'm the only scream queen on this stage!" And there's a broad swipe at Donald Trump, whose ugly boasts about Tic Tacs and sexual assault are taken apart in a well-written bit.

These shenanigans of course cannot mask the pain Hedwig endures as an "internationally ignored song stylist" whose mother was cold as ice and whose former boyfriend, Tommy, has stolen the hit songs they wrote together and gone on to rock superstardom.

Criss conveys the weary fatigue, anger and optimism all at odds in Hedwig's soul, appearing very much at home in one of the theater's most physically demanding roles — as well as with the potent rock score that dips into grunge, metal, hair bands and more. A forceful straight-ahead rock singer, particularly on the opener "Tear Me Down," he's even better on the bar-stool ballad "Wicked Little Town," which is reprised later in the show as a Green Day-style anthem. The plaintive "Wig In A Box," which builds dramatically, and "The Origin of Love" are also standouts.

Hedwig, the self-described "slip of a girly boy," is not exactly a waif in Criss' hands. His chiseled, muscular physique throws off an almost Olympian vibe, but Hedwig's bedazzled denim mini skirt (and in fact all the fashions by costume designer Arianne Phillips) is so great it's easy to suspend reality.










BroadwayWorld wrote:
BWW Review: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH: The Reason why Theatre Isn't Dead in the 21st Century

November 3, 2016

Last, but not least, Darren Criss and Lena Hall's performances were simply outstanding, as to be expected. The sheer stamina Criss must possess in order to completely rock out song-after-song and still keep his wit and delightful sass about him is impressive. Lena Hall's strong belting voice is always a treat to hear live.


Poppy

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Opening Night (Wednesday, November 2, 2016), Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Hollywood Pantages!


From DarrenCrissArmy:





Darren and Camryn Manheim on opening night of Hedwig in Los Angeles
(Source: twitter.com)
DarrenCrissArmy






I know that dailydarrennews posted some screenshots of tweets. 






Some tweets:



Note:  Andrew Carlberg is a producer. 






 



Note:  Max Landis is a writer and producer.  Chloe Dykstra is an actor and model.


















From dailydarrennews:


joe_pinzon: @darrencriss not only worked the house down boots as Hedwig, he was also super gracious, as he came over to @littleterisunshine and I to chat. He’s definitely Filipino. Go see Hedwig! #hedwigandtheangryinch #hedwig #darrencriss #pinoy #filipino #wereprobablycousins

Lilikoiluv

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All of these glowing reviews just make me so giddy! I'm overjoyed and thrilled for Darren and the rest of the Hedwig cast and crew! Bravo! What a spectacular start to what will surely be a very exciting and successful run!

I'll come by an respond and hopefull add a bit more to the wonderful opening events, people, and reviews but I just have time to drop in and express my excitement and happiness that you're seeing Hedwig tonight, Poppy! :so happy I hope know that you're going to be blown away, yet again, by the show and can't wait the chat with you about your overall impressions and what changes/growth you noticed!  You'll also have a list of celebrities that were there tonight too!  The banners along the street...the gorgeous Pantages theater... Ah, Hollywood. :big grin   Have a fabulous time, Poppy!  celebration dance!


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I saw Darren in Hedwig tonight (Thursday).  I think I need to gather my thoughts, before I write my review about Hedwig.   I just want to say that I re-read Lilikoiluv's review, and I am so impressed with your review, with the range of issues you bring up.  I may as well just say "ditto" for my review.   :amused I cannot possibly say it any more eloquently.  Not possible.  At all. 

I can share a few things that are easy for me to talk about.   I chatted with this nice lady sitting in front of me. She is a big Hedwig fan, having seen NPH, Andrew Rannells, John, and Darren (twice!) on Broadway.  I could tell she was in awe of John.  She said Neil felt the most ferocious, which impressed her.  She said before she saw Darren she had her doubts, because he seemed too young for the part.  But after she saw him, she felt he was terrific (she saw him twice on Broadwy).   She said he captured Hedwig's pain.  So I, being the nosy person that I am, asked beside John, who stood out for her.  I asked her if it was Neil, since she did seem very taken with his peformance.  She hesitated and like the nice person she is, she said every single Hedwig she saw brought something different and interesting to the show.  She was thinking, and then said while she was impressed with how ferocious Neil's Hedwig is, she was impressed with how she felt Darren really understood the character and what Hedwig was feeling.  And then she took a breath and sighed (literally), and exclaimed with admiration, how Darren's transformation back and forth between Tommy and Hedwig was seamless and effortless in the scene where Hedwig and Tommy are having the conversation near the last 1/3 of the show.   I can tell by her tone of her voice, how moved she was that Darren portrayed the pivotal scene in such an amazing, emotional way.   It was really great talking to someone who was such a big Hedwig fan. 

After the show, while we were waiting to get our car, I heard a man talking to his two friends.  He said he was impressed with Lena's voice, and then he exclaimed "Darren was terrific!" (yes, he said it with emphasis!).   His friends agreed.  The man then said he didn't know who Darren was before.  One of his friends said Darren was on Glee.  The man said he never watched Glee, and then he repeated with admiration in his voice, that he thought Darren was just terrific!     My husband and I smiled when we heard his words.

So the audience was interesting.  Tonight was an evening show.  The last time I saw Darren in Hedwig was on Broadway, during a matinee.  And I have read that the energy of a matinee is much less than that of the evening shows, and I would agree with that, but only in some ways.  This crowd was louder than the Broadway matinee I saw, in terms of applause and hooting with appreciation.  But I had a feeling that this audience, even though more middle-aged, compared to the more elderly folks at the Broadway matinee I saw, knew less about the show they were seeing than the Broadway audience I was with.  Only one person shouted out when Hedwig asked about her hair.  ( I shouted something out to help out since there was only one shout-out, but Hedwig made a joke about moving on, or something.  :amused My husband was laughing at me.)

I couldn't see who was kissed, but it appears that whoever it was left.   Hedwig remarked on it during the show.  I have never heard of this happening before.  It was shocking to me, and really unfortunate.  And again, I am so impressed with how Darren just ran with it, and made a joke to the person who was sitting next to the person who left, about how glad she/he is still there.  And at curtain call, being the sweet person he is, Darren looked at the person (persons) who were sitting next to the person(s) who left and again thanked them.  It was very sweet and genuine.

And sadly, I had some not-so-desirable seat partners.  My husband and I were sitting in the aisle seats (where Yitzhak walks at the end).   There was a couple who came a good 10-15 minutes after the show started, and the poor usher was going up and down the aisle with a flashlight, shining on the row numbers in one area for what felt like a good minute.   To my  horror, they figured out it was my row that the couple was sitting in, so everyone had to stand to let the couple in, who had the middle seats.    Then later, the man who came late, stood up and needed to leave (to go the restroom?) during the time that Hedwig and Tommy are having THE conversation!  He returned to be seated again with the usheer, and had to walk through our row (hubbie and I are at the end of the row), literally a few seconds just before the part where Tommy rejects Hedwig!  I was sooooo disappointed, I felt crushed that that scene was ruined for me.   I'm still trying to move on, from my disappointment. 

I've been to a good number of shows, at the Ahmanson and Mark Taper in Los Angeles, and a few at the Pantages.   The Ahmanson has a strict policy of not allowing people who arrive after the show has started, to enter the theater, because of the distraction (I know this because my friend was not allowed to enter the theater when she arrived 10 minutes late).   This wasn't the case with the Pantages.   And I guess because most of the shows I've seen have intermissions, I have never (that I can remember) encountered the problem of people interrupting my viewing of the show, due to them needing to leave to use the restroom during the show.  People arriving late of course do not have time to use the restroom before the show starts, and he was elderly, so I am not faulting him for needing to go.  But he changed my experience for tonight. 

At curtain call, the couple to my right decided to leave, so we had to focus on moving out of the way for them, right when I was trying to focus on Darren's bright face looking so happy at curtain call, which was unfortunate as well.  

Don't get me wrong, I loved the show tonight.   But I'm still feeling the sting of disappointment, and I need to gather my thoughts more on differences I noticed in Darren's performance tonight from the Broadway show I saw, but I can say this right now.  Darren has only gotten stronger, both in singing, his song performances, and his acting.   Throughout the night, I was thinking to myself:  "Oh my god.  He is truly so wonderful at this." 

I have to give Darren so much credit for dealing with this distractions (the audience was not on its best behavior, to say the least), he is a pro and handles himself like one.  bow to you   Unlike me, who is still pouting . . . sad face I don't know

Just so I don't finish on a downer note (I'm so sorry for venting), my husband and I didn't discuss the show much on the way home.  He was tired, tough week at work,   So I held back, and didn't ask him 101 questions, like I normally would.  I simply asked him what he thought of the show, and how did he think Darren did, reminding him to be honest.  He said he wasn't sure how much he would enjoy the show, but he said he really, really (yes, he said "really" twice)) loved it!    He was moved.  He thought Darren did "very well" in his acting and his singing.  BTW, that is a high compliment from my husband, who is a tough critic.  When it comes to the younger actors, he rarely expresses that he feels an actor did "well" in terms of dramatic acting, so that he said Darren did "very well," is big (to me).    He said that Darren was very good in terms of his facial expressions and his voice in terms of expressing emotion.

My husband also high-fived Lena as Yitzhak walked through the aisle.  It seemed that during the distance Lena had to walk to our row, there were only a few hands sticking out for her (due to the audience not being familiar with the show?), so she seemed very grateful for the hands that were extended to her.  ha!  My husband said she had a very firm grip ("she almost took my hand off").

So I will write back, after I've processed more.  Sorry again for my negative venting.

EDIT:  ha!  One thing I want to mention, my husband exclaimed:  "Darren got really buff!"  :amused

Poppy

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Thank you Lilikoiluv, for your well wishes.  I didn't read your post, until I returned. You are so sweet.   And tonight, I am blown away by Darren, in some ways more than when I first saw him in Hedwig on Broadway, which is saying A LOT, considering my seat partners.  :very confused    I will share more later.  Thanks for being so sweet, Lilikoiluv

Poppy

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I am soooooo pleased to see this wonderful review from the Los Angeles Times!!!

The Los Angeles Times wrote:
Review 'Annie' with a bad attitude: 'Hedwig' rocks the Pantages

November 3, 2016
By Margaret Gray

Hedwig is one of those magical roles that somehow transcend the individual. People don't so much play the part as get possessed by it. It's conceivable that an actor (or actress) could perform Hedwig badly, but think of all who have risen magnificently to the challenge. John Cameron Mitchell, who created the character and wrote the book for the musical (Stephen Trask composed the glam-rock, Bowie-influenced score), played Hedwig off-Broadway for years, creating a cult following of Hed-heads. When the show reached Broadway, Neil Patrick Harris took over.

Criss was one of Harris' replacements, and here in Hollywood he is inexpressibly, addictively wonderful. However skeptical you may initially feel about his Hedwig's startling hairstyle, German accent, screeching vocals, insinuating puns, muscular thighs and panther-like leaps, by the end of the evening you will feel devastated to part from him.

Under the direction of Michael Mayer, Criss has impeccable timing and such vivid and detailed expressions and gestures that it's a struggle to look away from him, even for a moment.

. . .

I have to admit that I wasn't quite sure what happened toward the end of the show, when Hedwig and Tommy Gnosis appeared to merge into one person. My companions suggested afterward that I was overthinking it and ought to see it as an “apotheosis" or a "passing of the torch" or a metaphor for Hedwig's "acceptance" of her own identity. Whatever was going on, I loved it. I never would have imagined, as that kid in New Jersey, I’d someday regard a show about a botched sex-change operation as a great American musical.

Simply fantastic review! celebrate :bravo

Poppy

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These tweets were based on Opening Night (Wednesday, November 2)

From dailydarrennews:













Hedwig’s Opening Night in Los Angeles - November 2, 2016
dailydarrennews



Note:  Max Landis is a screenwriter, director, producer, and actor.  Vince Rodriguez III is an actor (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend).  Jennifer Wolfe is a Peabody-winning journalist and storyteller.  Patrick Gomez works at People Magazine.    Garon Cockrell is a producer and writer.  Alex Cohen us a radio journalist.  Sara Rue is an actor, as is Olesya Rulin.

Poppy

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From dailydarrennews:


juliegarnye:Then sometimes your friend Darren absolutely blows you away to the point of speechlessness. @darrencriss - you had my heart from the first downbeat of tonight. Tonight, you were BEYOND. Absolutely magnificent in every possible way. I adore you, you crazy talented man. #hedwig #cherrypopped













melodysev: Hanging out backstage with Darren Criss! Thank you @darrencriss for being so awesome tonight! Much transformers love to you! You freakin killed it tonight in a show that’s so dear to me! I know you’re going to rock all the upcoming shows as well! #Hedwig #hedwigandtheangryinch #pantagestheatre #spinningtoyourrockandroll #itsacarwashladiesandgentlemen #darrencriss #amazingshow

Note:  Melody Severns works in animation on "Transformers."






fallenjunkie:
lulureneeb: Thinking back on last night at the #hedwigandtheangryinch opening. I still feel like I’m picking my mouth up off the floor because this fella right here completely rocked my face off. The show is filled with so much sass and excitement! It pulled at my heart strings and made me want to wear a lot more glitter. #neverabadthing SO PROUD OF YOU D! @darrencriss






Great review!
USC Annenberg Media wrote:
'Hedwig And The Angry Inch' Wows At Hollywood Pantages

There is no intermission – just ninety minutes of no holds barred rock music, fabulous drag costumes and wigs, and a gradual stripping down to Hedwig's most vulnerable self. In this touring production, led by Darren Criss, who played the role for five weeks on Broadway and co-starring Lena Hall, who won a 2014 Tony in her role, we hurtle toward the conclusion with no chance to pump the brakes.

Simply put, the show is fantastic. Criss has made a career playing clean-cut guys with a boyish charm, like his breakout role as Blaine Anderson on "Glee." His sterling takes on pop hits like "Teenage Dream" and covers of Disney songs have demonstrated his winning vocal abilities. With Hedwig, Criss kicks through that strait-laced image with all the power his high-heeled gold boots will allow. He shows impressive range – moving from the ballad storytelling of "The Origin of Love" to the raunchy antics of "Sugar Daddy" to the bouncy pop of "Wig in a Box" to the vulnerable ache at the heart of "Wicked Little Town." He kicks, climbs, and sashays his way around the stage, jumping into the audience to gyrate on top of guests.

Watching Criss in the role is like watching a live hurricane take the stage – unstoppable and full of power. He commands your attention from the word go. One minute making you gasp with laughter at a joke unsuitable for print, the next breaking your heart with a tale about a search for love and acceptance. Criss reaches down into new depths to expose Hedwig's soul to us, and it pays off in spades. He is, in a word, mesmerizing – sexy, raunchy, raw, and utterly thrilling to watch.

[. . . ]

"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is a lot of things – a showcase for its two immensely talented leads, a hell of a good time, and ultimately, a meditation on acceptance, self-love, and what it means to be complete – a reminder that we can't really love until we first learn to wholly love ourselves.  Rock concerts can amp you up and send you out into the night on a cloud of glitter and good vibes – it takes putting one into a Broadway musical to make it an experience that also makes you take stock and perhaps be kinder to those around you, and above all, yourself.
via dailydarrennews







From DarrenCrissArmy:
laist wrote:
'Hedwig,' Now A Broadway Diva, Is Back In Town At The Pantages

November 4, 2016


While laugh lines wash over us a mile a minute (some pretty funny, many worthy of Vegas lounge act patter), the best part—the defining part—of Hedwig, as they always have been, are the musical numbers. Engaging as he is in Hedwig's ongoing chat with the audience, Criss becomes a hyper-dynamic figure in these great songs. Backed by a four-piece punk band ensemble dubbed The Angry Inch, along with Hall's Yitzhak, Criss irresistibly evokes the kind of restless exuberance that has always been inherent in the performances of punk icons like Iggy Pop and the New York Dolls. Costumed by Arianne Phillips and groomed by Mike Potter, Criss' Hedwig is also totally glam enough for Hollywood.

One might have been forgiven at the end of the last century for hoping that Hedwig was going to nudge American musical theater in a new direction with an expanded musical and thematic range. So far, that's happened sporadically at best, though a few shows like Spring Awakening, Kinky Boots and Hamilton bear traces of their genderqueer theatrical forebear's DNA. Adaptable and renewable as Mitchell and Trask's show has proven to be, at least, we can probably affirm now that we know Hedwig will never die.
via DarrenCrissArmy



Last edited by Poppy on Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:02 pm; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

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From DarrenCrissArmy:



Very articulate post:

# Repost mjae13

If you’ve watched #darrencriss in #gleeonfox, you will definitely be blown away by his performance in #hedwigandtheangryinch at the #hollywoodpantagestheatre. #DarrenCriss has such a commanding stage presence, and I was really impressed by his vocal reach. He was completely hilarious, shocking, and vulnerable, which is a lot to juggle when in drag, hitting high notes, and undergoing an existential crisis all at once! And I can’t even with #LenaHall. Her voice is otherworldly. Catch this show if you can, #LosAngeles! It will explain why I am so ecstatic to have a used face towel in my hands! #AMustSee #theater #musicals #music #musicalLover #liveperformance #pantages #pantagestheatre #glee #hedwigonbway #ILovemusicals #ilovetheater http://ift.tt/2fnsiRj
via DarrenCRissArmy

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I missed this tweet from HedwigOnBway:





(Source: twitter.com)
via DarrenCrissArmy







# Repost hedwigonbway

“Criss - a forceful rock singer - conveys the weary fatigue, anger and optimism all at odds in Hedwig’s soul, appearing very much at home in one of the theater’s most demanding roles.” #hollywoodreporter ⚡️photo: Joan Marcus http://ift.tt/2f9ZADW
via DarrenCrissArmy

Poppy

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Some tweets:



Note:  LeSeanThomas is a television producer, director, animator, comic book artist, and writer (Legends of Korra, Black Dynamite).


















Note:  Performing Arts LIVE is an online source for music, theater and dance events in Southern Cal.






It's nice of Minerva Productions to tweet their support to Darren. 

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