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The Girls actor who first made a Tony-nominated splash in The Book of Mormon on Broadway will succeed Neil Patrick Harris, who won this year’s Tony for lead actor in a musical for his performance as the transgender East Berlin rocker with a botched sex-change surgery.
In comparison to Harris’ key art, Rannells’ features the lead in full color, showcasing the actor’s hot-pink lip detail and glittering blue nail polish. Plus, Rannells put his own spin on the show’s now-signature open-mouth pose.
The image was release Friday, the day of Rannells’ first rehearsal with his Tony-winning co-star, Lena Hall.
“Word on the street is that he’s really mean to Yitzhak, and I love that — I’m so excited,” Hall told The Hollywood Reporter at the Sex Tape premiere in New York City on Monday. On Rannells take on Hedwig: “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?”
And of her elaborate pre-show character rituals, Hall said she hopes to continue the production’s tradition with her new lead. “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.”
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which has a book by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, began performances at the Belasco Theatre on March 29 and officially opened on April 22. Produced by David Binder, the show has been doing sellout business and recently recouped its $5 million investment.
Harris plays his final show on Aug. 17, with Rannells slipping into his heels on Aug. 20. He is scheduled to appear in the production through Oct. 12.
See a larger version of the photo below.
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