Black Broadway Stars Breaking Barriers


The first pic of Taye Diggs as Hedwig has been released, and it's breathtaking!


The 44 year-old will be returning to his Broadway roots to star in Hedwig and The Angry Inch. He will be playing the role for 12 weeks starting in July, replacing Glee alum Darren Criss.
This rock musical follows the genderqueer Hedwig (born Hansel) who underwent a sex change operation in order to escape East Germany by marrying an American man. Unfortunately, the operation wasn't performed all that well, leaving her with an “angry inch.” The show follows her life and career as the front runner of a rock and roll band.

Taye Diggs is excited to take on the role. He told People Magazine that, “Hedwig is the role of a lifetime. I'm looking forward to being challenged performance-wise on many levels, as well as being humbled by the musical's social implications.”

Taye Diggs, known for his role as Benny in the 1996 musical Rent (and later in the 2005 film version), is the first African American man to play Hedwig on Broadway. But, he isn't the only one who has been breaking Broadway's racial barriers lately. Norm Lewis (Scandal) recently played the first African American Phantom in Phantom of the Opera. And in 2014, Keke Palmer starred as the first African American woman to play the title role in the popular Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella. She said she drew inspiration from Brandy Norwood, who portrayed the role in the 1997 movie version opposite Whitney Houston.




Perhaps it was Audra McDonald's historic performance in the 1994 revival of Carousel that led to the modern breaking of racial barriers. McDonald, the first African American to play Carrie Pipperidge on Broadway, won her first Tony for the performance. She has since won 5 more Tonys, making her the most-decorated winner of all time.


Congrats to the cast and crew of Hedwig and The Angry Inch. We wish them a spectacular 12-week run. And break a leg, Taye Diggs!

-Matré Grant
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