John Cameron Mitchell Pulls Wig Down from the Shelf, Returns to Hedwig

Start saving your money now because come winter, you’re going to want to throw down for some expensive-ass theater tickets. This January, John Cameron Mitchell will start an 8-week stint as the titular role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the musical he originally wrote and starred in.

Mitchell, who first performed the play in 1998, tells the New York Times that he’s nervous about revisiting Hedwig, but also excited. Having seen the Broadway adaptation with all three leads (Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells and Michael C. Hall), he says, “I was kind of itching to do it, and if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it, because I’ll be too old.”

Now 51, Mitchell is worried about the physicality of the role and says that his voice is slightly out of practice. It’s an understandable concern, but a part of what makes Hedwig special is its rough edges. Besides, Mitchell is Hedwig OG. He could perform the show lying down (he HAS performed the show lying down) and he’ll still be the most punk rock thing to ever hit Broadway.

But even after adapting the production and choreography to be “more frayed,” there will still be challenges, both emotional and physical. As Mitchell puts it:

“We’ve all changed in the last 25 years. I’ve lost friends who were originally involved with the show. I originally wrote the role to release anger and grief – I’m generally a pretty quiet person – and I haven’t experienced a lot of emotion in that same way in a while. I think I’ll even surprise myself as people come to mind while I’m performing.”

Naturally, there’s a lot of nostalgia involved in his return. From the Times:

“I think it’ll be an emotional thing for people who were around in the old days, because all the memories will make it a cryfest, a laughfest, a celebration,” he said. “Getting the audience together will be like getting the band back together, because the audience was so key downtown.”

Put the wig back on your head, Mr. Mitchell. We’re ready for you.

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