The triple-threat performed to sold out audiences.
Last night, actor, singer, dancer, and recent Emmy-nominated songwriter Darren Criss concluded what can officially be called a massive stepping stone in his career. The actor, who previously starred on Broadway for a three week visit in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, finished off his 12-week engagement in the titular role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Criss received almost unanimous praise from fans and critics alike, many of whom who were shocked and awed by the visual transformation that the actor underwent seven times a week. While many knew that the one time Glee star had talent in scores, it was great to see it for a long period of time to see how hardy his voice and body could be.
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The role of Hedwig required Criss to sing, dance, and act in a pair of golden platform heels, fishnets, skirts, lingerie, and eventually body-hugging black shorts. The young star's body underwent a miraculous transformation that was seconded only by the immense star power and skill that he showed on stage. Everyone from small-time blogs, Broadway World message boards, to the New York Times and even creator Stephen Trask applauded Criss on his run.
There were some snags, with some jokes that were taken the wrong way by audience members, the now all too common cell phone problems, and a few weeks where sales struggled in an over-saturated market - but it seems like all of the pales in comparison to what is likely known as Criss's greatest performance to date.
Criss's final weekend was met with sold out performances, celebrity guests like Alan Cumming and the Hedwig creators John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, and a plethora of fans from all around the world, according to Broadway World. Throughout his run, Criss gained the respect and admiration of the Broadway community at large, something that can be quite difficult to do in a world where talent supersedes celebrity or good looks (both of which Criss has).
Even better, Criss's fans raised over $12,000 for the The Hetrick-Martin Institute, which helps with LGBTQ youth service programming with life-saving initiatives in New York. Criss has long had a well-known legion of loyal fans who follow his every move. Criss has been ever gracious at talking to them, and sometimes stayed for hours after performing just to sign Playbills and talk to his fans. He couldn't sign after his final show, because of the sheer number of bodies, but he did go out in style, on top of his car:
Criss is now off to Italy to film his next role as a fashion executive in the rom-com Smitten!, which starts filming in Italy today - no rest for the weary!
The role of Hedwig will next be played by Mr. Taye Diggs, who will be in the role until mid-October - he has some large platform golden shoes to fill.
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