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Lena Hall Talks Rannells Take on HEDWIG: 'It Won't Be A Carbon Copy'

Lena Hall Talks Rannells Take on HEDWIG: 'It Won't Be A Carbon Copy'

The first image of Andrew Rannells as the titular character in the Broadway hit musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch was released today. The 'Book of Mormon' star will take over the lead from Tony winning actor Neil Patrick Harris on August 20th.

At the New York premiere of the new film 'Sex Tape,' Hedwig star Lena Hall spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the upcoming transition. "Word on the street is that he's really mean to Yitzhak, and I love that - I'm so excited," she gushed.

Asked about her thoughts on Rannells take on the role of a transgender East Berlin rocker who underwent a Botched sex-change operation, the Tony winner opined, "It won't be a carbon copy, it can't be, honestly. He's taller than Neil, and they put him in the same size heels, which means I'm gonna feel even more like a peanut! I'm like, can we add some lifts to my shoes?"

Hall also shared that she hopes to keep up her pre-show ritual of talking about something she did during the day, as her character, Yitzhak. "I think he knows about it. I'm gonna do what he really likes. I may adjust - I wear Fahrenheit cologne every night for Neil, but [Rannells] will want me to smell like something completely different."

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Photo: Joan Marcus

Neil Patrick Harris' returns to Broadway in the new production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the musical with book by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, directed by Michael Mayer. The limited engagement, featuring Lena Hall(Kinky Boots, lead singer of The Deafening), opened Tuesday, April 22 at the Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street).

HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH was originally produced by David Binder off off Broadway at Westbeth and then, under the direction of Peter Askin, ran over two years at the Jane Street Theatre beginning in February 1998. The musical won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical and both John Cameron MitchellandStephen Trask won Obies in 2001. It won a 1998 New York Magazine Award and Entertainment Weekly's "Soundtrack of the Year" Award. Time Magazine named HEDWIG the Top Musical of 1998.

The film of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, won the Audience Award and Best Director Awards at Sundance. Mitchell won the Best New Director from the National Board of Review, the Gotham Awards, and the LA Critics Society. Stage productions have played for many years in Japan and in 2008, Korea hosted a popular televised Reality Show about the search for a new star to play Hedwig.

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