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Taye Diggs, Divorced from Idina Menzel, Back on Broadway as First Black 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch,' Talks Drag Queen, Rent Boy, Butt Play Past

By K. Young k.young@classicalite.com on May 30, 2015 02:28 AM EDT

Starting July 22, Lower Manhattan-cum-Midtown show Hedwig and the Angry Inch's title character will get a new actor--the extremely talented Taye Diggs.

According to The New York Times, the show's lead producer, David Binder, confirmed earlier this week the move that had been rumoring around the city for days. This is not Mr. Digg's first venture into the world of theater, of course. While many Classicalites remember Diggs for his charming roles in films and television shows such as How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Private Practice and others, he was actually a member of the original cast of Rent, playing the role of Benny.

As Binder tells it, he's just excited to get Taye Diggs back on the stage: "Taye is fantastic. He has theater cred, he has pop culture cred. He can sing, he can act, he can dance. He's smart, and he's sexy...that's why we cast him."

The move to replace current Hedwig holder Darren Criss will represent a huge, um, transition. This will mark the first time that an African-American has peformed as the show's lead role on Broadway in New York. Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the tale of Hedwig--an East German musician who has a botched sex-change operation and relocates to Kansas.

Naturally, it's a boundary-crossing role and requires the same from the actor who performs it; Mr. Diggs is a perfect fit and would surely seem to be up for the task.

According to Jezebel, Diggs will step into Hedwig's gold, high-heeled Bowie boots for a 12-week run beginning July 22. While he, himself, is the first African-American male to star in the role on Broadway, he is also joined by Rebecca Naomi Jones (from Off-Broadway production of Big Love), who will be Broadway's first black Yitzak.

While weekly grosses have dropped this spring, producers are confident that Diggs can pull the production up to snuff. Previous Hedwigs include Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, Neil Patrick Harris (who won several Tonys), John Cameron Mitchell (who wrote the play) and Criss' current incarnation.

Surely, you won't want to miss T.D. in this pivotal role...

Taye Diggs -- Channeling His 'Inner Homosexual' to Play Hedwig

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TagsTaye Diggs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Neil Patrick Harris, Michael C. Hall, John Cameron Mitchell, Rebecca Naomi Jones

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