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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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
[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.
Note: Emphasis added by me.-