Welcome to a special episode of the Billboard.com Pop Shop Podcast, Billboard’s weekly audio breakdown of the Billboard charts, hottest music news and the year’s biggest musical events. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard co-director of charts Keith Caulfield and Billboard.com senior editor Katie Atkinson every Tuesday on the Pop Shop Podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in iTunes (click here to listen to the previous Tuesday’s edition of the show on Billboard.com).
On this special installment of the show, we’ve got an interview with a Pop Shop favorite: Darren Criss! The singer/actor (and Emmy Award-nominated songwriter) returns to the podcast to talk about his role in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which is playing through Nov. 27 at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles.
Criss — who starred in the Broadway production of the show in 2015 — says, “I keep telling people, ‘I’m very prepared for this [to be] the greatest role I ever get to play.’ It’s just such a good piece.”
Hedwig premiered off-Broadway in 1998, was turned into a film in 2001, and then finally made its Broadway debut in 2014. The Broadway production won four Tony Awards, including best revival of a musical.
Criss says, “There’s a human struggle there [in the show] that, at the end of the day, a lot of people can relate to, and a heartbreak that people can really feel for, and maybe even hopefully identify with.”
Hedwig set out on its first U.S. tour on Oct. 2 in San Francisco, with Criss in the title role. The show then moved to Los Angeles on Nov. 1, and tickets are available at HedwigBroadway.com. After its Los Angeles run, the show (without Criss) will continue to play through the U.S., with dates lined up through July of 2017.
Listen above and click here to subscribe/rate the Pop Shop Podcast on iTunes.