The revival, which launched last year with Neil Patrick Harris and walked away with four Tony Awards, has maintained a rotating roster of stars since Harris left, bringing in actors including Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, original star John Cameron Mitchell and Criss for stints in the show. No actor has since yielded the high box office that Harris brought to the show.
Diggs’ turn in the musical will mark the first time the role has been played in a major New York production by African-American actor; prior performers to play the part in the show’s Off Broadway incarnation included current Tony nominee Michael Cerveris and Ally Sheedy. Diggs, who launched his career in the original Broadway production of “Rent” and has also appeared on Broadway in “Chicago” and “Wicked,” last appeared on a New York stage in a 2005 Off Broadway production of “A Soldier’s Play.”
Also the star of TNT drama “Murder in the First,” Diggs will star opposite Rebecca Naomi Jones in “Hedwig.” He begins his 12-week run in the production July 22 after Criss wraps up his engagement July 19.
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“Hedwig” will also take the spotlight at the Tony Awards next month when Mitchell, the co-creator of the show, wins a special Tony Award for his performance in the show earlier this year.