Neil Patrick Harris Returning to Broadway in 'Hedwig'

12:53 PM PST 06/17/2013 by David Rooney
Neil Patrick Harris

The four-time Tony Awards host could be a contender for theater honors himself when he stars in John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's cult musical.

NEW YORK -- Having made no secret of his vow to get back on Broadway, Neil Patrick Harris will make good on that promise next spring when he takes on the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

While no theater, exact dates, creative team or additional cast have yet been firmed up, producer David Binder made the announcement of Harris' eagerly anticipated return to Broadway on Monday.

A 1997 cult musical with a book by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, the show follows the path of an East German rocker bouncing back from botched transgender surgery, who comes to America in search of fame and a truer sense of herself, fronting a band called The Angry Inch.

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“I am simultaneously ecstatic and terrified to be stepping into Hedwig's heels," said Harris. "It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime role and I can't wait to begin the journey.”

The musical ran for two years Off Broadway, beginning in February 1998. Mitchell originated the title role onstage, later writing, directing and starring in a 2001 New Line screen adaptation. The upcoming production will mark the show's Broadway premiere.

Commenting on the Harris announcement, Mitchell said: “Who better to pass the wig to but the finest entertainer of his generation?" 

While Harris has been kept busy in recent years on the hit CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, he has maintained strong ties to the New York theater community, notably by hosting the Tony Awards, Broadway's top honors, four times.

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His last appearance on Broadway was in the dual role of the Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald in Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins, which won a 2004 Tony for best musical revival.

Harris made his Broadway debut opposite Anne Heche in David Auburn's play Proof in 2002, and the following year stepped into the Emcee role in the Sam Mendes production of Cabaret. More recently, he played the lead, Bobby, in the New York Philharmonic's 2011 staged concert of Sondheim and George Furth's Company, which was filmed for theatrical release.

Next up, Harris will host and produce the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch will be produced on Broadway by Binder and Jayne Baron Sherman, with 101 Productions serving as executive producers.

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