Theater People: Michael Mayer

Michael Mayer’s work has been seen by many, having directed hit shows Spring Awakening, American Idiot, Thoroughly Modern Millie, just to name a few.  Now, his latest show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, is taking Broadway by storm.

Michael Mayer was asked to direct the orignal production of Hedwig, but his own musical, Triumph of Love, got a theater.  He told Patrick that he had to make a “Sophie’s choice.”  Now, the show has made its way back to him.  

Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the story of Hansel, a man who fell in love with a US soldier in East Berlin.  In an effort to be with the love of his life, undergoes a botched sex change and becomes Hedwig.  The story is told as one giant flashback, in the form of a giant monologue from Hedwig.


Neil Patrick Harris, most known for his roles on Doogie Houser, MD and How I Met Your Mother, is now headlining the show as Hedwig.  This is a new role for Harris, which Michael says is “delicious.”  There is an opportunity for fans of Harris and fans of Hedwig to come together in one place.  Neil, according to Mayer, has a lot of freedom in the role, which can be seen in recent news.  If he wanted to, Neil could come out into the audience and interact with them.  Along with him, Kinky Boots star, Lena Hall, is playing the role of Yitzhak.  In a few short months, the rocker has transformed from Charlie Price’s fiance to Hedwig’s transgender husband.  

Michael Mayer is credited with discovering and/or kickstarting the careers a long list of performers, including Allison Janney, Kristin Chenoweth, Jonathan Groff, Jessie Mueller, Lea Michele and Lindsay Mendez – just to name a few.  It is not that he looks for star power, but he has been blessed with performers that match well with the work.  

Michael and Patrick discuss his many works: Thoroughly Modern Millie, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Spring Awakening, and American Idiot.  

For more information about Hedwig, follow Neil Patrick Harris, Lena Hall, and Michael Mayer on twitter. 
Get more information on tickets here.

Be sure to check out the upcoming episodes of Theater People, as they are sure to be great interviews!! 
Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and follow them on twitter!


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