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Unpopular opinion: My ranking of the Broadway Hedwigs:

autybiscauty
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  1. Andrew Rannells
  2. Darren Criss
  3. Neil Patrick Harris 
  4. Taye Diggs
  5. Michael C. Hall
  6. John Cameron Mitchell

Let me be very clear, this is purely based off of the Broadway performances. I love John Cameron Mitchell and his Hedwig and obviously without him, we wouldn’t have Hedwig. However, that said, his Broadway version of Hedwig was... not as good as some of the others. I’m not gonna go in depth about my reasoning for each placement unless someone asks me about a specific one, but I just felt the need to explain the John Cameron Mitchell one before I’m attacked. So anyways, curious what others opinions are. These are just mine.

JSquared2
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EVERYONE else

 

 

 

 

Taye Diggs

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Sutton Ross
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ROFL. Taye Diggs cannot sing. Taye Diggs didn't learn the material. His performance was criticized by virtually everyone. I sincerely doubt you saw every single of these Hedwigs because if you had actually viewed his half ass performance, you would think differently. He's a gorgeous man, a straight sex symbol, but that's all he's ever offered Broadway. 

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bwayphreak234
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Taye Diggs as Hedwig will forever be one of the worst performances I have ever seen an actor give on a Broadway stage. It was absolutely painful to watch.

"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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Menken Fan
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I saw them all except Rannells. My opinion...

Michael C. Hall - phenomenal singing and drama
John Cameron Mitchell - had knee problems and sat for most of the show, but he IS Hedwig
Neil Patrick Harris - strong and funny
Taye Diggs - just not right for the role
Darren Criss - pitchy and too young
Updated On: 1/7/21 at 09:12 PM
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Bettyboy72
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JCM will always be the #1 Hedwig for me. Saw him twice on Broadway once when just injured and once more recovered. Both were a religious experience. He channeled all of it into the performance. Transcendent.

While JCM has been very clear that Hedwig is not trans he is described as a “slip of a girly man” which is why much of the stunt casting is bothersome. These actors with chiseled swimmers builds and guns aren’t really lending themselves to the character. Rannells and Hall had the vocals and acting chops to transcend their masculinity.

I enjoyed NPH a great deal but he was far from my favorite. Criss and Diggs were misfires.

I never saw Morton but heard he was good his voice is sublime.
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VotePeron
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I saw them all multiple times, including Euan on tour. Hard to rank in hindsight, as each made the show their own and I had such great experiences every time. Of course the JCM crate shows were for the history books, as well as Taye’s unfortunate turn in what was clearly a last ditch effort to keep the show open.

The biggest surprise for me was Darren, who had a remarkably deep hold on the character in addition to his strong vocals.

Michael’s physicality juxtaposed Hedwig in such a unique way, I loved watching him squirm around the stage battling it out. He was my personal fave outside JCM.

Euan on tour was just incredible. The houses on tour were so much larger than the Belasco but he commanded it while still managing to keep the story intimate.

What makes Hedwig great is 100 people can play the role and you’ll get 100 different, (mostly) valid takes. Darren and Neil leaned much more into the vulgarity of being a rockstar with flipping people off and ad-lib cursing, for example. Not to even mention the amazing Yitzhaks! Lena, Rebecca, Shannon, and Hannah were all really great and unique.

Another huge benefit of this particular revival was how much it literally changed throughout the run - for NPH and AR, the show was a tight 90 minutes, and featured a whole subplot about the box seats. I believe they cut that in time for MCH but I might be misremembering. Then JCM and rewrote a lot of small lines, made some cuts, and extended the show to 100 mins. THEN he added and cut more after his injury. Darren’s shows consistently ran ~105 mins, using the script JCM originally used pre-crate. Taye then struggled so much with the dialogue a lot of his first shows ran 2 hours. And then the tour was tweaked slightly and ran ~105 minutes as well.

It was a perfect revival of what I consider a damn perfect musical.
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Wick3
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I saw it several times as well and saw all the Hedwigs (JCM before the injury and after the injury.) I saw it enough times (thx to going to the in-person lottery almost every day after work) where I was fortunate enough to experience the carwash, smooch, eyeglass licking, spitting, etc. at one point or another with various Hedwigs. lol

I'd say NPH was the best in terms of ad-lib jokes and picking on the patrons sitting in the box... For vocals I agree that Darren Criss really surprised me. He was amazing and yes I'm a fan of GLEE so of course I was already biased when attending the show. Michael C Hall was also spectacular. I felt bad for Andrew Rannells because he performed immediately after NPH left and I think a lot of people who bought tickets at that time were expecting NPH. I loved the movie and to me it was a treat to see JCM perform onstage again (last time I saw him onstage was when I was kid watching SECRET GARDEN.) 

Zion24
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no one came close to JCM in terms of character/wit/performance. 

I also saw Darren Criss and Andrew Rannells- both did well, but Criss really surprised me with how strong his take was on the character, and he and Rebecca Naomi Jones had a different kind of palpable chemistry that was refreshing (I saw her with JCM also). I did not like Rannells' take on the character really- it was my first time seeing it, and i thought Hedwig came off as bratty, though he had his moments.

 

 

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Jordan Catalano
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You’re gonna find pretty much anyone who saw the original to say that nobody can ever come close to JCM. Others were very good in the role but don’t come close to him.
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Jordan Levinson
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My parents got to see Hall and they thought he was good. 

(heads down to the orchestra pit during the Exit Music)
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NOWaWarning
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Did anybody see Lena Hall as Hedwig? How was she?
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A Canadian in NYC
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NOWaWarning said: "Did anybody see Lena Hall as Hedwig? How was she?"

I saw Lena in SF. She was AMAZING!  I only wish she had been given the role on Broadway. 
I’ll chime in that I saw most everyone on Broadway except Hall and Diggs.  I enjoyed them all except I really didn’t like Darren Criss. That being said he was much improved on tour. 

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Glittergrrl
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I literally gasped at the OP.

I saw the show a approximately 20 times at the Jane and 7 or 8 times on Broadway. 
These are my rankings of the actors I’ve seen.

1. JCM  (I’ve definitely seen him the majority of my viewings)

2. Michael Cerveris (3 times) 

3. Kevin Cahoon (once)

4. Matt McGrath (once)

5. Michael C. Hall (once)

6. Neil Patrick Harris (3 times) I was at the first preview and then went a couple more times. I was so happy the show was back, but I just couldn’t take to his Hedwig. 
 

Updated On: 1/10/21 at 09:44 PM
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Glittergrrl
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Updated On: 1/10/21 at 09:44 PM
broadwayindie
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I'm just saying Euan Morton is probably one of the best. Just a flawless embodiment of the role. Hannah Corneau was quite incredible too

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Wee Thomas2
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We saw all but Darren Criss and did see Euan Morton

 

  1. JCM standing
  2. JCM with crate
  3. NPH
  4. Andrew Rannells
  5. Euan Morton
  6. Michael C Hall
  7. Taye Diggs
yahyahyah
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Okay perhaps unpopular but.. Saw all Hedwigs on Broadway, plus Euan on tour, and many regional Hedwigs like Anthony Rapp, etc.

Broadway ranking:

JCM (was there his first show, closing show, and 3 other shows w crate and no crate in between)

Euan Morton

Michael C. Hall

NPH

Andrew Rannells

Taye Diggs

Darren Cris

JCM is far and away the best. Others acted, he was, he is Hedwig. A performance of equal parts ease, passion, wit, savage, divine inspiration, and truly being SCARILY in the moment. You couldn’t look away. Like a fine wine, just years of beautiful maturation since Jane St.

I thought Darren was by far the weakest. There were regional Hedwigs that would blow him out of the water. Darren strutted, pouted, and “femmed it up”—but it was empty. A shell. Sophomoric. Over dramatic and without nuance.

Also, unpopular opinion— I actually enjoyed Taye. Particularly after seeing Darren. Taye wasn’t doing a copycat, he was working through it, finding a way to make Hedwig himself. I actually really appreciated that and thought it was fascinating. I wasn’t mad at it at all. Inspired, musically and with character choices... where others just followed the mold.
 

Also, Euan is divine. That voice. That vulnerability.
 

Just wish the production was less BROADWAY and more creative in its elements, that felt truer to the grit of Jane Street and the reality of what a tragic Hedwig one night only Broadway engagement might actually look like. Maybe with a few surprises. But did we really need a flying Hedwig to start the show? Lol Smidgen of reality please.

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quizking101
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I only saw four out of the six (I was still in college and decided to dismiss Rannells and Criss).

1) JCM - Saw him on his last night. The show ran for at least two hours with ad-libs, encores, crowd surfing. It was the show on steroids (no pun intended given JCM was still wearing the bedazzled sneakers post ankle injury). Probably my favorite night of theatre ever.

2) NPH and MCH were two very different portrayals that were nonetheless each fantastic in their own way. NPH learned into the vulgarity a lot more and the humor was much higher, but MCH played into the dark side of the character more and gave Hedwig an unexpected depth, while also being a fantastic rock vocalist.

...

3) Taye Diggs - Ooooooof. She tried but she was MESSSSSSSSY! I had the misfortune of being front row for this. (FWIW, I didn’t balk at the casting and also it was a birthday gift for my mother, who loved him from “Private Practice” back in the day). He just could not keep it together. It was about a week into his run and he struggled with everything - from the accent (which sounded Jamaican), to the choreography (which was low energy and he struggled to stay on the car prop because he was sweating so much), to the characterization (When you are staring up at a pair of thighs that could probably crack your skull like a walnut - “Slip of a girly boy” my ass). There wasn’t even really a “transformation” at the end because all of the makeup had been sweat off by the time “Midnight Radio” came around.

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ACL2006
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It was rumored they were already prepping Lena Hall to replace Diggs. But his reviews were so bad and ticket sales were terrible, they closed the show anyways and let Hall do one show a week on the tour as Hedwig. Wayne Brady was also rumored to be lined up as a replacement.

A Chorus Line revival played its final Broadway performance on August 17, 2008. The tour played its final performance on August 21, 2011. A new non-equity tour started in October 2012 played its final performance on March 23, 2013. Another non-equity tour launched on January 20, 2018. The tour ended its US run in Kansas City and then toured throughout Japan August & September 2018.
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ACL2006 said: "It was rumored they were already prepping Lena Hall to replace Diggs. But his reviews were so bad and ticket sales were terrible, they closed the show anyways and let Hall do one show a week on the tour as Hedwig. Wayne Brady was also rumored to be lined up as a replacement."



Sounds right, I believe Lena and Stephen Trask were going to go in eventually. I also know people were clamoring for Pink, but think that was just a BWW rumor? And wasn't Miley Cyrus "approached"? Sooo many possibilities...