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Fan Comments and Reviews, and Comments from others, who saw Darren in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway

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Poppy

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A nice tweet:

Note:  I scrolled down the twitter page of John during the period of Season 6 of Glee, and I did not see any tweets indicating he followed Glee or Darren.







Interesting, insightful comments from John Shevlin, long-time fan of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and JCM, as well as a fan of Glee.












Last edited by Poppy on Sat Sep 03, 2016 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Luke Vincentini is a long-time Hedwig fan.  I scrolled down his twitter page during the period of Season 6 of Glee, and he did not follow Glee or Darren.  Here, he is having a conversation with another long-time Hedwig fan, Lauran Moran (who also did not appear to follow Glee or Darren, at least based on her twitter page during Season 6 of Glee).


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poppy

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This is a comment on The Daily Beast article (June 18, 2015).



via tirpse





A comment on the BroadwayWorld.com message board.

credit to tirpse.

Poppy

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The Culturalist had a "Hedwig showdown."   John Shevlin tweeted in regard to that.






Review by gleekto (a fan of Darren), who also saw NPH in the role.  Her review is quite detailed, and I am posting an excerpt (but I urge you to read her entire interesting review).
gleekto wrote:
A Dream or a Song that Hits You So Hard: My Hedwig Experience 

I went to Hedwig last Wednesday and Thursday June 24 and 25, and I am still reeling in the emotions.

[. . . ]

4. I came into this show looking forward to Origin of Love, Wig In a Box, Wicked Little Town, Midnight Radio - And while Midnight Radio is still the heart of it all for me, the hard rock songs - Sugar Daddy, and especially Angry Inch, and Exquisite Corpse - knocked me out. I wrote this already but I did not like Angry Inch at all when I first saw Hedwig and it turned out to have the most emotionally gutting moment of the show with Darren. It’s been going through my head for days and while context is different, I can totally connect with that anger. He is unreal on those hard songs.

5. Darren’s acting is so layered and complicated in the whole thing and most of all he is epic at vulnerability - The moments for me -  As Hedwig wakes up from her botched sex change operation - Her face  - you feel the drugged shock, terror, anger. The moment took my breath away both nights. Another - Hedwig’s facial shift the 2 or 3 times she mentions her father - if you’re not close, you may not even see it but Hedwig goes from sweet, sassy Hedwig to pools of anger and hurt and then back again.

I know many reviewers have said this - but there really is a magnetic sweetness to Darren’s Hedwig. Somehow she is so compelling and sweet, you want to please her and love her and can easily forget how truly terrible she is being at various moments - particularly to Yitzhak. Such a brilliantly complex portrayal.

[. . . ]

The show is brilliant. My heart is cracked wide open. The brightest star.

-gleekto
(June 24 and June 25, 2015 shows)





A nice tweet:

Note:  I scrolled down the twitter page of @trustthelogan for the period of season 6 of Glee and I did not see any indication that this person followed Glee or Darren.







I thought I would note how Darren made certain comments during his performance on June 26, 2015, acknowledging the Supreme Court decision about the constitutional right to marriage equality across our country (Obergefell v. Hodges).






darrencriss-news:
June 26, 2015
(via gleekto)





A couple of nice comments about this Friday night performance on June 26, that was posted on HedwigOnBway's Facebook page:

-From Bob Hettinger:  "Tonight's show was magical!  Thank you's to the cast for an experience that I will not soon forget!"

-From Mark Camera-Eckman:  "Darren - amazing Hedwig tonight on such a glorious night!  Thank you!" 
Source:  HedwigOnBway Facebook








A nice tweet:

darrencriss-news:
June 27, 2015 - 8pm show
(via gleekto)

Note:  Stephanie Dunbar is a Glee fan, and works in the TV industry.






Nice comment (with photo) from someone who enjoyed NPH in the role (but I cannot post the photo):

Saw Darren Criss in Hedwig and the Angry Inch tonight!! Fantastic!!! Different than the Neil Patrick Harris version, but just as entertaining! Such a huge talent!
Barry Thomas Patterson with Greg Raynes at Belasco Theatre.
June 27, 2015 





Another nice comment on someone's instagram with photo (but I cannot post the photo):

@actingjen  I'm beyond happy that I got to watch @hedwigonbway! The show is wonderful and @darrencriss did a fabulous job as Hedwig. Plus any performer that talks to the first few rows genuinely thanking them for being there and participating in the show deserves great praise. #hedwigandtheangryinch #hedwigonbway #hedwigonbroadway #broadway #theater
June 27, 2015

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Last edited by Poppy on Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:54 pm; edited 5 times in total

Poppy

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On Sunday, June 28,  both the Pride Parade and a special Sunday Pride performance occurred.  Here are a couple of accounts on tumblr about how special the performance was on that day.

on-the-midnight-radio wrote:
hedwig 6/28 pride performance

Yesterday was my 16th time seeing Hedwig and the Angry Inch and to this day the most emotional and exhilarating performance I’ve ever seen . . . We finally get inside to our seats (I’m seating row E stage right) and you could feel the happiness inside the theater. It just felt so different than other days I’ve seen the show. . . And now I’m going to skip all the way to Midnight Radio. The emotions were running high. It was time to bring out the flags. The vocals for Midnight Radio were so strong, the best I’ve ever heard (It could have been because of the adrenaline rush). Darren starts the “lift up your hands” part but that’s when he’s supposed to be looking at Rebecca about 3 lift up your hands in he looks into the audience and sees flags up and he honestly didn’t know what to do with himself. I’m not sure if anyone further back could notice but he was holding back tears and you could see him choking up. We all started crying. Everyone was singing and waving their flags. He grabs a flag from the front row and waves it. It’s just an emotional mess I can’t even talk about the last few seconds because it was a blur.

At stage door the whole band came out for what I know is maybe the 2nd time in this history of Hedwig. Matt said when they saw the flags they all started crying. Rebecca said she wanted to bring out a flag but didn’t have enough time to pass it but was so happy we all did it. Darren said we made it really special for him.

-on-the-midnight-radio
June 28, 2015




theatrevicki wrote:
Hedwig PRIDE 6/28

Remember how I saw Darren in Hedwig on Saturday night and said it was amped up from the previous performances I’d seen? Well, that’s still true, but I must say that I perhaps spoke too quickly because the added Sunday PRIDE performance was the most incredible thing I have seen on any theatrical stage. Ever. Anywhere. Period.

A great deal of this was due to the audience. We were all pumped and excited. The spirit of Pride was everywhere, the theatre crackling with that buzzing energy (something that can only truly be felt rather than explained), and the audience gave Darren (the whole cast, really) all of that energy. Darren and Rebecca really fed off of that, and as a result, the show was electrifying. Hedwig was more vulnerable in those moments where she exposes herself to the audience, but she was also far peppier in the “happier” moments than I have ever seen. Every moment and emotion was felt more strongly than I have ever seen before.

Darren also took a lot of time moment-to-moment. The result was that the show ran over by quite a bit, but taking time allowed the more dramatic moments to “land,” while the improvisational moments stretched out for a longer amount of time. There was a lot of playful interaction between Hedwig and the audience as well as between Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Darren peppered the entire show with little mentions about Pride. I can’t remember all of them because there were quite honestly a bunch of references . . .

Improvised lines/moments that were in the show:

  • Usually, when the audience cheers for Yitzhak, Hedwig will cut the audience off and say something like, “there’s no need for that.” This time, however, Darren allowed the cheering to go on for a pretty long time before saying, “usually, this would make me mad but for some reason I’m feeling prideful today.”
  • During the sing-along section of “Wig in a Box,” Hedwig said, “follow the bouncing balls, which is probably what you did earlier today at the parade.”
  • Darren grabbed a Pride flag from an audience member and waved it during “Midnight Radio.”


[. . . ]

I happened to catch Matthew [Morrison] during “Sugar Daddy” and he was literally cracking up after Darren carwashed the person a few rows in front of him. I found it amusing and worth sharing.

Quite honestly, this show was amazing. You could tell that the cast was affected by the audience’s spirit and passion. When I spoke to Matt Duncan at stage door, he said that they were all choked up tonight, especially when the audience started waving Pride flags. He told me that Darren was very emotional from the audience’s energy and love. When I spoke to them, both Rebecca and Darren said that tonight’s performance was “very special.” I can’t agree enough with this. I often say that theatre is a communal experience, but this was one of the only times I’ve attended a show when it actually really felt that we–the audience–were all “in this” together. It was an unforgettable experience, so thank you not only to Darren, Rebecca, and Tits of Clay, but also to every single member of that audience who helped to create a truly amazing night at the theatre.

-theatrevicki
June 28, 2015






More comments about the Pride performance:  :happy face



DCN










fmac_25 Out of the 5 times I've seen@hedwigonbway, yesterday was the very best. @darrencriss is a force to be reckoned with. His #Hedwig is fierce and funny, heartbreaking and breathtaking. I can't even think of the right collection of words to describe how amazing yesterday's show was. This musical is my religion. Take me back. Please. #Hedhead  #hedwig  #broadway  #darrencriss

Note:  fmac_25 had seen Andrew Rannells (she is a fan of his), seen JCM twice (she calls him a "legend"), and this was her second time seeing Darren (she is also a fan of Darren).










darrencriss-news:
bruglikas: HappyPride! I spent it with @darrencriss who rocked the #BelascoTheater & @hedwigonbway hard! #Amazing #ProudOFhim ! #Nyc #Broadway #hedwigandtheangryinch #Hedwig #BlaineWho #TotallyCommitted #DarrenCriss #pride2015 #LoveWigs #LoveWins #AnnMargret #FlaggetryWithAnnMargretBonus
(via gleekto)










darrencriss-news:
June 28, 2015











maxbfriedman: A completely unforgettable night: I was blown away by the astounding brilliance of @HedwigOnBway, of @darrencriss, and of my beloved @onerebeccajones. They shouted “Lift up your hands!” and a very live audience filled with the spirit of #NYCPride answered with the waving of dozens of #Rainbow flags. I damn near lost it. What a special night on #Broadway and what a magical night in my incredible favorite town. Oh, #Belasco, you’re too good. #RockNRoll #MusicalTheater #Pride #TonightsBill #PlaybillPride #NYC
DCN
June 28, 2015







From HedwigOnBway Facebook page, some comments about the June 28 (Pride) performance:

-From Vicki Hoskins:  "Sunday's performance was incredible!  Thank you for adding this.  It was a truly special night." 

-From Anthony Gaccione:  "Awesome show tonight!" 

Source:  HedwigOnBway Facebook, June 28, 2015 (click on "View more comments")




-From Anthony Gaccione:  "Last nights performance was electric!!!  So amazing and inspiring!  Glad I was a part of such a special night!"

-From Russell Paul Graves:  "I was there after the show. Darren is amazing!" 

Source:  HedwigOnBway Facebook, June 29 (click on "Comments" and "View more comments")



Last edited by Poppy on Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:03 am; edited 4 times in total

Poppy

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A few tweets from someone from the U.K.  who is a big theater fan.  Her twitter account seemed to start just a couple of weeks before Season 6 of Glee ended.    I did not see any tweets from her then (March 2015) or more recently in 2016 to indicate she followed Glee.  She did tweet that she was looking forward to seeing Broadway shows on her trip to NYC, including see Darren in Hedwig, and later in June 2015, she re-tweeted Darren's tweet about his sorrow about the mass shooting at the Charleston SC church (she tweeted a lot in general about news events).
















A few more tweets:







June 30, 2015
darrencrisshedwig

Note:  I scrolled down the twitter pages of both Luis and Jon during the period of Season 6 of Glee, and I didn't see any tweets indicating they followed Glee or Darren.

Poppy

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A nice review by Ms. Lea Salonga:

Lea Salonga wrote:
A changing world

On Wednesday night, I took in a performance of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” playing at the Belasco Theater and starring Darren Criss. Sure, I had seen Darren on television as a cast member on “Glee,” as well as sang with him for a tribute to Alan Menken (plus some drunken musical theater piano bar singing… videos are somewhere on YouTube), so I thought I went in fully prepared for the greatness that I was expecting.

Once the house lights went down and the band and Yitzhak (played by the excellent Rebecca Naomi Jones) were all set, the music began and Hedwig descended to the stage from above, strapped to a harness.

Trademark look
With that trademark wig, glittery blue eyeshadow, Hedwig started to tell her (yes, Hedwig is a transgender woman) story about life in East Berlin, falling in love with an American man named Luther, marrying Yitzhak, and the relationship shared with a young American named Tommy (I can’t give much more away, except to say this particular young man is mentioned a lot throughout the evening).

There are a lot of inappropriate jokes throughout the evening that are bound to offend some (people who are particularly sensitive—or in our local parlance, madaling mapikon—might want to skip this show for something more benign). In fact, throughout the night, I’d spot one or two people getting up to leave, mostly older, seemingly more conservative, members of the audience.

Intense pain
How Hedwig lashes out at the world with the stories and the music leaves the impression of intense pain covered up by a pretense of fabulousness and callous humor. As the night wears on, it becomes very obvious to us that there are cracks in Hedwig’s fabulous outer shell, and—literally and figuratively—it all comes down, and we then see what’s really beneath the huge blonde wig, the makeup, and the costumes.

Darren as Hedwig is right at home here with a microphone in his face and the costumes on his back. This could be considered his own Hamlet, blending tragedy and comedy with skill and heart. It is very easy to get lost in his portrayal of Hedwig, balancing his great concert performance skills with sensitivity in his acting. You see the anger, but you also see that there’s more to this character than meets the eye.

When Hedwig’s final epiphany arrives, the payoff is hard-won on both sides of the fourth wall, and the audience leaves having been through the wringer, and we are all the better for it. Congratulations to the entire company of Hedwig for one heck of a show!

-Lea Salonga
July 2, 2015











(via darrencrisshedwig)
July 2, 2015

Links to tweets:
@haterobics
@flippahova
@Alistair72

Note:  @haterobics is a big Hedwig fan, also is a big fan of JCM. 

@flippahova has seen Hedwig on Broadway 6 times, including having seen NPH and JCM (John Cameron Mitchell).  I scrolled down her Twitter page during the period of Season 6 of Glee.  She may have been a previous fan of Darren and/or Glee because she tweeted  about Darren's performance on the two versions of "Teenage Dream" in Glee.  I did not see any other tweets about Glee or about Darren during that time period.

  @Alistair is involved in theatre.  After scrolling down Alistair's twitter page during when Season 6 of Glee was on, I did not see anything to indicate Alistair  followed Glee or Darren.





A few more tweets:

This one is cute, from a StarKid who saw Hedwig with her dad.  :happy face







Note:  Scrolling down the twitter pages of Megan and Johnny during the period of Season 6 of Glee, I didn't see any tweets indicating they followed Glee or Darren.

-



Last edited by Poppy on Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:06 am; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

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Note:  Jocelyn Bioh is an actor (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time).  I scrolled down her twitter page from the beginning of Season 6 of Glee (Janurary 2015)  to June 2015, and I did not see any tweets indicating she followed Darren or Glee.




This person is a big theater fan.  At the time that Darren was in Hedwig, she had seen four of the actors who played Hedwig on Broadway, having missed Michael C. Hall.   I scrolled down her Twitter page during the period of Season 6 of Glee and I did not see any tweets indicating she followed Glee or Darren.  She had tweeted that she did not watch Glee much.









Someone asked her how was Darren in Hedwig.  She replied:





Paul Wontorek tweeted that he was seeing Darren in Hedwig and @VanillaRiela responded:






Alexander Sharp saw Darren in Hedwig and started a conversation when he tweeted:














Someone mentioned having wanted to see Andrew Rannells in Hedwig.  @VanillaRiela replied:







July 3, 2015
darrencrisshedwig
Link:  ElTico68



Note:  @ElTico68 is involved in theater.  He did not know who Darren was before seeing him in Hedwig.  (He took a photo of Darren at the Pride Parade and at that time, did not know who Darren was).



Last edited by Poppy on Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:09 am; edited 1 time in total

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This person is a Hedwig fan (saw NPH and JCM) and a fan of Darren.  She did a review of Darren in Hedwig on his opening night:

theythrewtomatoes wrote:I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of someone I didn’t know before. And speaking solely as a Hedwig fan, Darren Criss blows the motherfucking ROOF off of the Belasco! What a sensational Hedwig.

-theythrewtomatoes
April 29, 2015

She also wrote:

theythrewtomatoes wrote:
I feel like I should clarify, since a lot of people seem to think that I’m just a rando Hedwig fan. I’m a BIG Darren Criss fan, but I’ve been a MASSIVE Hedwig fan for fifteen years. My username is a quote from the show, for god’s sake. What I meant was that I could look at it with an objective eye and see that I loved him in the show not just because it’s him, but because he does a GREAT job. He needs to settle in a little more, and he rushes a few of the jokes . . . He commits totally . . .

I’ll be very excited to see it again in a month or so after he’s settled in more; half of that show is the audience’s energy and he’s gonna need to get more comfy up there. But he’s pretty darn comfy already.

Also, he sings the SHIT out of it. I was worried after hearing him in H2$, because he (and he admits fully) doesn’t have a classic broadway caliber voice. But this show sits lower had allows for more personal interpretation, and is ALL rock n roll, so it’s sits beautifully in his voice and he rarely falters.

-theythrewtomatoes
April 30, 2015


Here is her review of Darren in July:

theythrewtomatoes wrote:
Saw Hedwig for the sixth time today, fourth time with Darren (I also saw NPH and JCM) today was most likely the last time I see Darren, as I’m broke at the moment, but wanted to share my thoughts.

Darren shocked the hell outta me in this role. His Hedwig is energetic, sassy, hopeful, mean and broken. I’ve never heard him sing so well; this score sits perfectly in his voice and it’s clear he adores singing it.

I’ve been a fan of his since Teenage Dream, but I’ve been a massive, unwavering Hedwig fan since I was 15 (in case anyone’s unaware, I’m 30). My loyalty was to her, and JCM, and the glorious piece of art he and Steven Trask created. I was ready to be disappointed or at least underwhelmed, but he knocks it out of the water. He’s actually my favorite in terms of singing the role (NPH’s voice is too pingy and musical theater, JCM doesn’t have some of the high notes anymore)

His Tommy Gnosis is my favorite part of the show. The way he transforms his physicality into an awkward teenage boy is unlike all the other Hedwigs I’ve seen, and I’m struck by how in all four of the major characters he portrays we never hear his real voice. It’s rare to get even a glimpse of Darren’s singing voice in the music; he is always Hedwig, or Tommy (in fact in sounds like he’s channeling Billy Joe Armstrong during the Wicked Little Town reprise, so even when he’s playing a character who would be the same age as him singing rock n roll, it’s still not him). I finally noticed today that we never hear him, he has infused every character with a different sound.

I don’t even have a way to wrap this up. He just deserves to be extremely proud of his run in this sensational revival.

theythrewtomatoes
July 5, 2015




This person is a Hedwig fan, who is passionate about JCM.  She grieved when JCM's performance run came to an end.  She saw both NPH and JCM in the role.   She does not consider herself to be a Gleek, but she knew of Darren, and was supportive of his casting when it was announced.













This person is a big Hedwig fan and saw the show on Broadway 16 times as of July 2015.   She loved MCH and JCM, and saw Darren twice. I scrolled down her twitter page during the period of season 6 of Glee and I did not see any tweets indicating she followed Glee or Darren (although her niece is a fan of Darren).





I'm guessing Darren was his usual kind self to @RuhamaAlice's niece:





A nice tweet:


Note:  She is an actor and model.   Scrolling down her twitter page during the period of Season 6 of Glee, I didn't see any other tweets about Glee or Darren.



Last edited by Poppy on Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:09 am; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

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This comment was posted on Instagram on June 6, 2015:
lizdikinson     "Few occasions where I've witnessed a performer leave their soul out on the stage. I am speechless. Thank you Darren Criss. Thank you John Cameron Mitchell. #hedwig : @manderz323"






This person is a fan of Darren and of Glee. 





A Twitter conversation about Darren in Hedwig:




H. Alan Scott responded:




And Susan Stripling joined in the conversation:



And Darren also joined in:

gleekto

Note:  Dave Holmes is an author and TV personality.   H. Alan Scott is a writer and comedian.   Susan Stripling is a Hedwig fan, who has seen all the Hedwig actors on Broadway at that time (NPH, Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, John Cameron Mitchell, and Darren).   When I scrolled down her twitter page during the time period of Season 6, I did not see any tweets about Glee.  She did tweet that she was excited and happy about the news that Darren was cast as Hedwig.



This is sweet.



Last edited by Poppy on Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total

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Another review by rarelyprettyneverhip (formerly known as crissmedarren), who is a long-time fan of Hedwig, and also a fan of Darren.  She had seen NPH, Andrew, and JCM in Hedwig.  This is her review of Darren's performance on July 10, 2015.


rarelyprettyneverhip wrote:
I’ve said it once and I will say it again: I hope all of the Glee writers go to this show and see what they missed. Darren is one of the best actors I’ve seen on a stage. My friend, who is by all means not a Darren fan but a HUGE theatre fan, said that she couldn’t believe it was him. I’m not sure where Darren’s talent stops, but I truly do hope that he continues to pick roles and work with people who bring out the best in him, because he truly is mesmerizing.

If you have any option of seeing Hedwig before Darren leaves, please use the opportunity. I’m not saying that Taye is going to be bad, because I don’t know. But I do know that the love and admiration that Darren has for this show and these characters really shines through, and that is something that I don’t know if they will be able to replicate.

-rarelyprettyneverhip
July 13, 2015



Last edited by Poppy on Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

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A review by a fan of Darren:

i-and-my-annabel-lee (formerly everydayiscrissmas) wrote:
My personal journey with Hedwig

The show right now is on a completely different level compared to the bootleg, and Darren and Hedwig’s confidence have blown up, such as his voice, physicality and improvisation skills. The vibe of the show is so much more present and the way he portrait the character and says his lines is surer and convincing.

I have been blown away by his different voices and characters. The way he switches between an older and bolder Hedwig to a younger and insecure Tommy made me emotional. The way he bends his shoulders and hangs his head and lowers his eyes or picks at the fishnets really hit the mark. I had the change to admire the expressions of his face up close twice and the way Hedwig strokes her arm or the unfocused glance she has when she mentions her father hit me really hard.

As  we all know by now, Darren’s voice is out of this world. I think this musical and these songs fit really well with his vocal skills and Darren said this himself on the first Hedwig press interview. But in my opinion, in this musical, the main instrument is his body. He fully owns his body from head to toe and there isn’t a movement made by accident or meaningless. He bends it and stretches it as he pleases and every flex of his muscles is a spurt of energy. The way he walks, the way he ponders each steps and the way he holds his hips is mesmerizing and captivating.

[ . . . ]


I already knew how much this show is important for Darren, but what surprised me the most is that you really feel it in your gut. As I said to Darren at stage door, we can really see how much this show means to him and how much passion he has for this story. The audience is under Hedwig’s spell, it’s in her hands and at her feet from the moment she puts her golden boots on the roof of the car since the very last note.

What moved me the most? Not the songs, as I was expecting. I was very moved by the whispered and sincere “thank you” Hedwig gives to her husband after The Long Grift – her body completely bended and her eyes wide open and honest – and the deep and pregnant silence after Wicked Little Town Reprise, underlined by Hedwig’s lost and disoriented glance.

The show is a wild roller coaster ride, is a complete and full and compelling experience from beginning to end and every time is a total different journey. I’m glad Hedwig took me with her and led me through the dark turns and noise of her wicked little story.

-i-and-my-annabel-lee
July 11, 2015





@haterobics is a Hedwig fan and has seen all of the actors who played Hedwig on Broadway.  He is a big fan of JCM.    He already had tweeted this after seeing Darren in Hedwig on July 2.  (He also posted about Darren on theBroadwayWorld.com message board.  I'll include comments from that message board in this thread at a later point.)



July 2, 2015




He saw Darren in Hedwig a second time:



He tweeted about Darren, to Tyler Oakley.  :happy face



Last edited by Poppy on Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:12 am; edited 2 times in total

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There are so many nice comments on HedwigOnBway's Facebook, but this comment caught my eye (I had the same thought, in terms of how Darren went all out in order to capture Hedwig's angst--bruises and cuts be damned!):


Tony Lagarto I was so afraid that he was going to hurt himself throughout the entire show. His electrifying performance truly had me and my nieces on the edge of our seats.
HedwigOnBway Facebook -July 14, 2015 (click on "Comments" and "more comments")

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This person comments not only on Darren's talent, but also Darren's kindness to his fans. 


Note:  I scrolled down the Twitter pages of both Sara and Patrick for the period of Season 6 Glee, and I did not see any tweets indicating either of them followed Glee or Darren.




Kevin Hines is a motivational speaker, a bestselling author, documentary filmmaker, and a mental health advocate.   In July 2015, he had written an article about Darren in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, entitled "Hedwig & The Angry Inch:  Expectations Blown," but the link to the article no longer works.   Some excerpts from Kevin's article were preserved by some of Darren's fans. 

Kevin Hines wrote:
The Crisses fostered Darren’s whole heart. They supported his theatrical vision. In doing so, he knew, whatever he wanted to become, he could. Moreover, he would. His true talent is a rare commodity that I fear so many actors and artists do not have and cannot obtain. It was clear during his rendition of Hedwig, that he had it down pat..

Darren is on a wonderful journey. Around every corner, through every crevasse, and beyond every turn he will not cease to amaze us all. Darren Criss, is in my opinion, one of the greatest, most talented, mesmerizing, versatile and powerful performers we will ever have the pleasure to enjoy.

— Hedwig & The Angry Inch: Expectations Blown - kevinhinesstory.com
July 13, 2015
(via bandwagonjumping)




Another excerpt:

Kevin Hines wrote:
There were some junctures within the show that feel like a Darren Criss, visceral, palpable, ingenious ad-libbing experimental event. Maybe it was the way that Criss never held back, and never once tried to please. He audaciously played the infamous character Hedwig . . . It was as the Twitter hashtag these last few months has so clearly said, #DarrenIsHedwig..

What I saw on that stage was a young singer, dancer, actor, and artist (an absolute triple threat) who gave himself entirely to such an endeavor. His role was ambitious, and it was eccentric. Little do most know that young Mr. Criss has been wishing for this day, playing this role. On this very stage since he was 16 years old, since he was first introduced to the story by his older brother, Chuck. A #TheaterHistorian and a true thespian, Darren has seemingly always been.

— Hedwig & The Angry Inch: Expectations Blown - kevinhinesstory.com
July 13, 2015
(via bandwagonjumping)

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Poppy

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There were several different threads on the BroadwayWorld.com message board, where Darren's performance was discussed.


First, there was the thread entitled "Darren Criss in Hedwig."

Here are a few comments that I haven't posted here yet from the thread of "Darren Criss in Hedwig" (from the BroadwayWorld.com message board).  Please note that there were some commentators on the BroadwayWorld.com message board who have a bias against Darren for various reasons (for no good reason other than the person posting likes to be a hater/person posting is a bitter Glee fan/person posting feels Darren is just a teen idol on a TV show/person posting resents Darren because he/she feels Darren has little theater experience/Darren followed John Cameron Mitchell--and many Hedhead fans idolized JCM deeply).  Additionally, please note that the BroadwayWorld.com message board in general can be quite critical/negative/biting.  However, for that reason, it's quite telling to read positive aspects of comments from some of those posting there.  In short, many folks on the BroadwayWorld.com Message boards generally are a tough crowd to please.  But for that reason, if folks begrudgingly let some praise of Darren slip out, you can be sure that praise is earned.

broadwaygeek3 wrote:
Clumsydude15 I didn't mean to imply he wasn't genuine with his interaction with his fans. He truly was.He engages them and answers questions and makes small talk.  He is really very sweet.I put act in quotes because when the person near us starts telling him a story about the last time they met and asks his he remembered he smiles and says oh sure. Really doubt he remembers with as many people he has interacted with.Yet, He makes them feel special.Watching him interact with them has made me a fan of his and I will support his work in the future because of that.I also thought he was very talented.The man moved around a lot...it appears he moves and dances around a lot more than previous Hedwigs and he sounded great doing it.Which is really incredible.I highly recommend seeing this. Rebecca was also wonderful!

(via BroadwayWorld.com Message Board)
Posted July 1, 2015



ChiTheaterFan wrote:
I walked by the Belasco on my way home from Hamilton Saturday. (So way after the show got out.). I have never seen so many people at a stage door. It was insanity. Even when Daniel Radcliffe was in How to Succeed there were not that many people--and I thought that was a zoo. 
 
I did not think Darren's audience would overlap that much with the Hedwig audience but I was 100% wrong. There were so many young 20-something women when I saw the matinee on Saturday. The crowd was wild and full of energy--a great audience. As for Darren, he surpassed my expectations. I'm thrilled I made the decision to see this with him (especially after my dad was the lucky recipient of the car wash!) I expected him to be a good singer but too young and not enough angst. So wrong. I thought he was really incredible in this role and his age didn't bother me. As a side note, I felt bad for the numerous people after the matinee hanging out by the stage door. There were no barricades and no security so given the bedlam that evening I assume he did not come out. I don't think they'd be able to do it without a barricade. 


-via BroadwayWorld.com Message Board
Posted July 19, 2015





ethan231h wrote:
I thought Darren was amazing as Hedwig,

-via BroadwayWorld.com Message Board
Posted July 20, 2015





Carlos Alberto wrote:
Wowza! And I thought it was crazy the 2x's I went! I thought Criss was great in the role, he put his own personal spin on the character but I think every actor who takes on the role wants to bring something new to the table and put their own personal stamp on it. It keeps it fresh and interesting for those who go repeatedly to catch each new Hedwig.

I really hope that whatever Criss does next on B'way that it's an original show and not a revival. He's amazingly talented and he still has great things ahead of him.

-via BroadwayWorld.com Message Board

Posted July 20, 2015






This person gave Darren a mixed review, but given that he/she admitted a grudge against Darren for some reason, I was impressed with some of the positive comments in his/her post.
dfrillsnedit wrote:
I ended up deciding to put my grudges against Darren to the side, and saw the show the night of the Supreme Court news. And I have to say, I was really happy I made the decision. Darren really surprised me, especially vocally. Though I wouldn't say that overall he was a "great Hedwig" but definitely a "good one" for sure. 

My biggest issue with Darren's performance was his comic timing. Maybe it's because my past Hedwig's were MCH and JCM, both whom I thought got the comedy aspect of the role like complete bosses (along with the rest of the role, obviously), but Darren's comedic efforts felt very rushed. It seemed pretty obvious that he was suffering from the fear that he'd forget his lines, and thus raced through them at rapid speed, and in the process missed a few of the punchlines. He did though do an incredible job when it came to the dramatic aspects of the role, and was easily the angriest Hedwig I had seen. Also his overall performance when taking on Tommy was brilliant. He skyrocketed to my favorite Tommy that I've seen thus far, and brought new energy into that section of the show. 

I also have to say that, next to JCM, Darren seemed the feel the most comfortable when taking on the "Punk Rock" energy of the role, probably due to his age. I really enjoyed whenever he would go into the more "hard" production numbers, like "Angry Inch" and "Exquisite Corpose". He definitely shined during those. Sadly, I think he was (like most have said) at his weakest during the slower songs, especially "Origin of Love". Was never truly terrible, but he didn't shine as much there as he did in the more upbeat/angsty numbers. 

Overall, Darren was vocally a beast, and tried his hardest. Nothing to write home to mom about, but wasn't as bad as I expected, nor as bad as what he seemed to be doing during his first few performances. Now I'm beyond excited for Taye, who I know will take a while to get comfortable in the role, but I have hopes of bringing new energy into the show - and if Alan rumors are true, my #1 dream Hedwig will be crossed off the list. 


-via BroadwayWorld.com Message Board
Posted July 21, 2015





cascade wrote:
I've seen 3 of the Hedwigs so far, JCM and Darren both multiple times. I found that Darren's performance varied more than JCM's. Maybe it was just the times I went, but I felt that JCM more or less maintained the same emotional tenor over his performances (which was perfectly fine because he was completely brilliant, and he did throw in a lot of improv bits). Darren vaciliated more in his moods as Hedwig and sometimes played it angrier and sometimes more light. He was pretty quick with coming up with lines off the cuff in response to the audience . . .

Agreed that Darren's weakest spot was the comedic timing, though it did improve as the show went on, it just can't compare to JCM's perfect dry delivery. His singing was my favorite of the Hedwigs I've seen or listened to, however, and he made some unique emotional choices. For instance when he spoke the bridge in Angry Inch he wasn't just angry but truly anguished. His Exquisite Corpse was also particularly intense. My favorite number of his though ended up being Wig in a Box, his youth worked in his favor for that one.

-via BroadwayWorld.com Message Board
Posted July 21, 2015



Cascade further clarifies his/her opinion:
cascade wrote:
"Also, I don’t feel that the fact that Darren altered how he played Hedwig (angry versus less angry) depending on the night, reflects badly on Darren. Theater does change from night to night; this is something often intentionally chosen by the actors on the stage."

 I didn't mean it in a negative way at all. I actually found it really interesting. If it was the same exact performance every night I wouldn't have wanted to see it with him multiple times. I found him fantastic to watch.

-via BroadwayWorld.com Message Board
Posted July 22, 2015



Last edited by Poppy on Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:19 pm; edited 2 times in total

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From the BroadwayWorld.com Message Board, in the thread, "Ladies and Gentleman . . . Taye Diggs is your next Hedwig."

haterobics wrote:
I thought Darren had a new bit of physicality after he was Tommy, and into Midnight Radio, where he ran his hands over his chest and torso like he was sort of reconnecting with Hansel after so many years, which made the moment where he refuses the wig more powerful when I saw him. That was the only thing I didn't recall from the previous Hedwigs... although aside from JCM, I only saw each other one once.

-via BroadwayWorld.com Message Board
Posted July 25, 2015




WickedLittleRentHead wrote:
I personally loved NPH's Hedwig as well. I saw him twice and was in tears and felt totally connected both times. After I saw him the first time (it was my first Hedwig experience) I was in awe. It was the greatest Broadway experience of my life.

That being said, I also loved JCM and Darren's Hedwigs.

-via BroadwayWorld.com Message Board
Posted July 29, 2015





People in this thread started ranking the actors who played Hedwig.

akmiller_98 wrote:
Here are my rankings:


  1. Kevin Cahoon—(Jane Street) He was my first. I think we all sort of fall a little in love with our first Hedwig, don't we? I went in with a terrible hangover, not really knowing anything about the show, and came out transformed.
  2. JCM—(Broadway) For me, he’s the most intense Hedwig. He doesn’t even have to move and he can convey any emotion he wants. He had me mesmerized. Just amazing. Would be number 1 if I had seen him before Kevin.
  3. Darren Criss—I went in with very, very, very low expectations. I had heard a bootleg of his vocals and thought he sounded awful. He blew me away. He was the most charismatic and the best actor of all the Hedwigs. He really seemed put everything he had into becoming Hedwig. Unrecognizable on stage. So graceful. So funny. Great accent. However, not the strongest of vocals.
  4. NPH—He was a lot of fun. But I felt like I was watching NPH in drag.
  5. Andrew Rannells—Really strong vocals. Horrible German accent. Sassy. Wanted to love him, but I just didn’t feel it.
  6. Anthony Rapp (Connecticut) —Such a disappointment. I am a former Renthead so I was so excited about this. I went on a little road trip with some friends who had never seen Hedwig. Just terrible. The direction, the staging, the costumes, the wigs, the acting, was just all wrong.

    Seeing Taye in Sept. Can’t wait!


-via BroadwayWorld.com Message Board
Posted August 1, 2015




luvcaroline wrote:
We've seen 2

Preferred NPH slightly over Darren Criss, who really surprised me. Seeing Taye in September and I can't wait!

-via BroadwayWorld.com Message Board
Posted August 1, 2015




Sam Hoffman523 wrote:
Guess I'll jump in:

1. MCH (God I don't even know, he just had so much command and anger)

2. NPH (He was my first, so I'm partial)

3. JCM (He is Hedwig)

4. Darren (His Tommy was on point)

5. Andrew (Saw his opening night, so he may have been a bit weak)

6. Taye (Super entertaining, but he just doesn't fit the role as an actor, in my opinion)

BroadwayWorld.com Message Board
Posted August 1, 2015




Alex M wrote:
Mine would be 

JCM 

NPH

Darren

MCH

Andrew

Cant wait to see Taye

-BroadwayWorld.com Message Board
Posted August 2, 2015





Hamilton22 wrote:
Darren is also fresh in my mind. I saw him in his 2nd to last week of performances and I was surprised at how great he was. I wasn't expecting much but he sure proved me wrong. His performance was electric and deeply profound. Probably has the best voice out of all the Hedwigs I have seen.

I'll be seeing Taye tonight. Extremely excited.

-via BroadwayWorld.com Message Board
Posted August 4, 2015

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From the  BroadwayWorld.com Message Board, in the thread:  "Hedwig closing Sept. 13."


WickedLittleRentHead wrote:
My performance before seeing Taye Diggs was the show during Pride in the second row of the orchestra and it was a phenomenal, beautiful, touching show to attend.

-via BroadwayWorld.com message board
Posted August 18, 2015




newromantics wrote:
I saw Neil and John and Darren and adored each of them, so I can't really complain.

-via BroadwayWorld.com message board
Posted August 18, 2015

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Some long-time Hedwig fans saying good-bye to Darren's Hedwig.



Nice comments from two long-time Hedwig fans.










Another Hedwig fan saying good-bye to Darren's Hedwig.





And this was so beautifully sweet and reverent. 


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Last edited by Poppy on Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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I thought this was an interesting couple of comments.  Please note that this is subjective of course, but this is how flamingmuse and gleekto felt about the portrayal of Hedwig by these two actors.

flamingmuse wrote:
I still use LJ for long-form blogging, and about a week ago I wrote up some of my thoughts after seeing Hedwig with Darren for the second time.  (There’s a bit of interesting conversation there about NPH’s vulnerability in the comments.)  Two people now have wanted to put this paragraph on tumblr, so I’m reposting it here:

I’ve been thinking a lot about Hedwig, and about how while NPH was really great in the role he always had a distance in it; he was always NPH-playing-Hedwig. By the end, when Hedwig is stripped bare both figuratively and nearly literally, he was still NPH-playing-Hedwig, with the vulnerability of that part of the play a step away from the actor playing it. Darren, on the other hand, seems unafraid to disappear into Hedwig-playing-Hedwig at the start in a way that is really interesting to me, because Hedwig herself is often playing a role for the audience, and by the end she is not, and it’s right there, raw and ugly. Darren is nowhere to be found. Hedwig’s heart on the stage is bloody, and it’s hers. Her voice is rough, her face is pained, nothing is pretty, nothing is polished. I mean, it’s planned and meticulously so, but it’s a much more full transformation. Darren doesn’t seem afraid for the story and the character to to be dirty and hard in a way that NPH - for whatever reason - balked from. It’s a beautiful and difficult piece of theater, not a polished Broadway performance the way NPH gave it.

I’m just floored by it still. I really like theater that guts me, that captures me in its silences, and Darren’s Hedwig did that.

-flamingmuse:
July 21, 2015

gleekto wrote:
I saw NPH last summer as well, and I agree so much with this comment. I so much enjoyed NPH as Hedwig - great improv, energy, a spectacle (as Hedwig should be) for sure. But I wasn’t that emotionally affected by the performance.

Recognizing that I came into this as a Darren fan but having seen the play that intrigued me more than gutted me, I was truly blown away by his Hedwig’s vulnerability. She got so into my heart - I connected in a way that I didn’t expect to. Darren really did something special and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it.
-gleekto



Last edited by Poppy on Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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I find this person, Jude, to be very eloquent and very sensitive to details of Darren's performances in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  Plus, Jude is a long-time Hedwig fan.  If you have time, take a look at his blog because he has many interesting thoughts on various issues.  I find him to be a brave soul.   

I already posted Jude's review of Darren for one of Darren's May performances (post 13 in this thread, on page 1 of this thread, go here:  Fan Comments and Reviews, and Comments from Others, Who Saw Darren in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway (Page 1)
Here are some of his other posts about Darren and the other actors who have played Hedwig.  :happy face
 
Here, Jude shared his thoughts about the different actors who played Hedwig on Broadway (and Anthony Rapp).  I am posting only the part about Darren, but if you are interested in his views about the other Hedwig on Broadway actors, click on the link and read his entire post.

ablurredrainbowconnection wrote:
So now that I've seen all the Hedwigs . . . lets get down to business

Now that I’ve seen all the Hedwig’s, I really can appreciate just how fucking amazing Darren really is- because damn. If you saw a really early show, you did not get the full experience and need to see it again, or find a newer boot. To briefly get his issues out of the way- his Luther and mother don’t feel fully fleshed out. However his Tommy is the best by miles, Like better then John’s almost. Part of it I think is an age thing. The other part is Darren has talked about how he was kind of all over the place/kind of awkward in High school and music was how he connected to people. I feel like his Tommy is at least vaguely based on his teenage self, which makes it feel more authentic. I really love his Hedwig in general, because they feel the most vulnerable to me- the most in pain. I guess I just relate to this Hedwig in terms of how they react to trauma. Darren also definitely has one of the best vocals, which isn’t surprising being hes a musician with a rock/pop background. It’s also clear that he’s used to being a performer vs an Actor. The improv is there, and he’s comfortable without a script.

-ablurredrainbowconnection
Note:  Emphasis was added by me (italicized/bolded text).    Also, I have seen solely Darren live in the show, and did not have a chance to see any of the other Hedwig actors live on stage.  I did watch one bootleg each of NPH, Andrew, and Michael, and a couple of bootlegs of John in HATAI.  I thought Darren did a good job with Luther, but I agree with Jude, that Darren's version of Hedwig's mother does not seem quite fleshed out as much as some of the other actors' versions.  I liked Michael's version of Hedwig's mother.   (I'm interested in seeing if Darren develops her more fully for the SF and L.A. shows.)   And it's not a secret that many people, media folks as well as long-time fans of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, feel that Darren did a great job at portraying Tommy.  I also agree that Darren did a fantastic job of making Hedwig sympathetic, despite Hedwig's cruelty to Yitzhak, because of how skillfully Darren shows Hedwig's pain.   Darren did a beautiful job in portraying Hedwig, such an emotional performance.   I am so proud of Darren.  bow to you   applause







This next post is quite long (I love the detail).  I am posting a few sections of it, but please read his entire post by clicking on the link.

ablurredrainbowconnection wrote:
Big Bad Hedwig Roundup (some final thought's on Darren's Hediwg)

so this past thursday(7/16), I saw Darren as Hedwig one last time. And just to keep up tradition, and because I have more to say…one more giant list style review.

( my usual disclaimer: I’m a queer trans man who has been a fan of Hedwig for almost a decade)

1)I really hope a bootleg from late in the run surfaces, because the early ones do his hedwig no justice, like at all. He was good at the beginning, now he’s fucking transcendent. He was practically vibrating off the stage( jitters from emmy stuff prob helped)

2)So lets start with the stuff that is still iffy: the mother is not fledged out, it just never came to fruition. which is shame. but not the end of the world

3)His improv is just fucking amazing. He’s about to close, and he’s still adding new puns.It’s very clear that he’s used to performing without a script, which is what some of the past hedwig’s have lacked. I really wish I had audio of the show, because there were so many one liners he added. LIke a good extra couple minutes worth

4)I feel like he’s been very careful with his words, and staying pg for the last 4+ years- due to the glee machine. And this was his chance to just say every dirty thing that comes to mind. Honestly( except for JCM), his Hedwig is the most sexual. Extra Props for his sex jokes covering  all genders and orientations. ( there was particularly well timed squirting joke)

[. . . ]

8)The best/worst moment of the night was one in the same. After the WLT reprise and Hedwig comes back to theirself and is no longer Tommy- the same group of girls starts laughing hysterically. The laughing literally made me nauseous, like it’s a such an amazing powerful quiet moment- and they thought it was funny? so why was it the best moment also? Because Hedwig just stayed silent and stared at the audience. The confusion and hurt was so palpable- they stopped laughing and there was a good 45 seconds of complete silence. it was just…damn.

[. . .]


12)I’m really just really grateful that he did this role. As a teenager there were three things that kept me together: first it was Harry Potter, then Hedwig, and then Darren. As an adult I find it ironic that they all connected in the end.

14)If you’re interested I wrote another post about what happened to me after the show( kind of triggering for transphobia and street harasment). It’s has a decent amount of Hedwig Character study, and why I relate to them,so. anyways that’s here: X

15)I’m super excited to see what Taye brings to the role and to continue to cry every time Rebecca sings “longs Grift”! Thanks to all who have been reading/liking these.

-ablurredrainbowconnection
(about Darren's performance on July 16, 2015)

Note:  Again, emphasis (italicized/bolded text) was added by me.    This touched me:  "I’m really just really grateful that he did this role. As a teenager there were three things that kept me together: first it was Harry Potter, then Hedwig, and then Darren.  As an adult I find it ironic that they all connected in the end."   I also read about what happened to him after the show on that date, and I was so horrified for him.  WARNING:  May be triggering to certain people.  That awful experience (and the others he mentioned) just really tore my heart apart in terms of the inhuman hate that he has endured.    He also inspired me with his courage in terms of enduring such bigotry and his refusal to let such hatred define who he is, as well as inspired by the kindness and courage of that couple who helped him.   Some awful, ugly, cowardly bullies, but also some kind, supportive human beings and one beautiful man at the center.







Ok, back to his reviews.  Again, please click on the link to read his entire post about the various Hedwig actors. 
ablurredrainbowconnection wrote:
[Answer to question from Anon]

Anonymous asked: what are your fav things about all the actors that played hedwig on broadway and how they portrayed her?

well first off, I tend to use gender neutral terms for Hedwig, since their gender identity is never made clear.

[. . . ]

Despite what appears to be unpopular opinion, Darren has been one of my fave hedwigs, and not cause he’s Darren. His Hedwig felt both emotionally real, but not like a copycat. Not to mention his voice is best suited for the score. I’ve talked a lot about why I like Darren’s Hedwig, so I wont go completely into agian: but it basically boils down to the fact that his Hedwig is really devestating- and he doesn’t shy away from it. It’s a devastating show and to honor that is really important. And more so then with a lot of other actors I’ve seen do hedwig, he doesn’t loose the sadness in the shtick. Which is not to say he doesn’t have shtick, his background doing concerts made his improv some of the best.

-ablurredrainbowconnection

Note:  Emphasis added by me.

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Last edited by Poppy on Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:27 am; edited 2 times in total

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