Lena Hall to Star as Yitzhak in Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Neil Patrick Harris Extends His Run

first_img Featuring a book by John Cameron Mitchell and a score by Stephen Trask, Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the story of a fictional rock ‘n’ roll band, fronted by Hedwig (Harris), a transgender woman and “internationally ignored song stylist” from communist East Berlin. Between rock songs, Hedwig regales the audience with both humorous and painful stories about her life, including her botched sex change operation. Trask’s score includes “Tear Me Down,” “Wig in a Box,” “Wicked Little Town,” “Angry Inch” and more. View Comments Related Shows Hall is currently starring as Nicola in the Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots. Her other theater credits include The Toxic Avenger, Tarzan, Dracula, 42nd Street, Cats, Bedbugs and Green Eyes. Hall’s TV and film credits include Sex and the City, The Stepford Wives, The Graduates, All My Children and Legally Blonde, the Search for the Next Elle Woods. Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 13, 2015 Lena Hall Kinky Boots star and The Deafening frontwoman Lena Hall is joining Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch as Yitzhak. Starring Neil Patrick Harris as the eponymous rock star and directed by Michael Mayer, Hedwig will begin performances March 29 at the Belasco Theatre, with an official opening night set for April 22. Harris also announced that he’s extending his run with the production by four weeks due to popular demand. Harris will now star in the show through August 17. The members of Hedwig’s band, “The Angry Inch,” will be music director Justin Craig, Matt Duncan, Tim Mislock and Peter Yanowitz. The creative team for Hedwig and the Angry Inch features scenic design by Julian Crouch, costume design by Arianne Phillips, lighting design by Kevin Adams, hair and makeup design by Mike Potter and sound design by Timothy O’Heir. Want a sneak peek of Hall as Yitzhak? Check out this photo she posted on Instagram back in November! Star Files Hedwig and the Angry Inch Neil Patrick Harrislast_img read more

World Juniors 2020: Canada, Rimouski forward Alexis Lafreniere putting up impressive numbers in pre-draft year

first_imgWorld Juniors 2020: Dylan Cozens making history for Canada Still, as sweet as these superlatives sound, they don’t necessarily guarantee Lafreniere will outproduce or outperform any of the aforementioned top picks. He’s still a teenager learning the game, and his enthusiasm has led to some undisciplined play. Never neutralized completely, Lafreniere has been held in check, albeit for short periods of time.The constant dilemma for opponents past or present is managing and planning around the certainty that Lafreniere has both the will and the skill to change the complexion of a game in an instant. Looking at his numbers in comparison to several current NHL stars at the same age, there’s no reason to think he won’t do the same at the highest level. The remarkable success of Alexis Lafreniere’s junior career has made him the clear-cut favorite to be the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.Not only has he lived up to the lofty expectations but he appears to be on the verge of establishing a new standard of excellence for French Canadian-born prospects. A bruising winger with exceptional puck skills, Lafreniere was raised in the Montreal suburb of Saint-Eustache, Que., and currently plays for the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. It’s the same organization that produced two of the last three Canadian-born forwards from the Quebec League to go first overall — Vincent Lecavalier in 1998 and Sidney Crosby in 2005. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/dc/8b/graphic-121719_cqd0iut0fxil1kh4cm32wllvx.png?t=364800031&w=500&quality=80 Of course, goals and assists are just part of the overall evaluation process.The fact they play different forward positions in different leagues doesn’t cheapen the significance of either player’s impressive stat totals. And, now that we know Lafreniere’s impressive draft-year production isn’t enhanced by some sort of multiplier, we can begin to analyze the aspects of his game that make him unique; not only for this specific draft class but possibly for any draft prospect since Connor McDavid.Lafreniere is a powerful left wing who possesses the vision and touch of a finesse playmaker. He was the key cog on what was arguably the best line in all of Canadian major junior when he played this season with center Cedric Pare and the now-injured Calgary Flames prospect Dmitry Zavgorodniy; each averaged near, or over, two points-per-game. While this type of single-line production has historically been common in juniors, it has become more of a rarity in the past decade and it’s no stretch to say that neither Pare or Zavgorodniy would be putting up career years had it not been for the talented 18-year-old.World Juniors 2020: Canada’s roster | AnalysisIf you listed the last half dozen first-overall picks, to include McDavid, none offer Lafreniere’s impressive mix of creativity and rugged play. That isn’t saying one style or player is better or worse. Rather, it spotlights the significance of having a high-octane physical winger with an elite scoring touch being the centerpiece of the draft in an era where the average NHL player is not only quicker but shrinking as well.Lafreniere’s skills with the puck are as diverse as they are appealing but the added bonus is his intangibles — leadership, work ethic and compete level. He has the balance and agility of Auston Matthews, the vision and passing of Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier’s two-way proclivity and, most importantly, Lafreniere displays McDavid’s commanding on-ice presence.Draft-year production of current NHL Stars drafted out of the CHLPlayerLeagueGPPTSPTS/GYearLeague G/GSidney CrosbyQMJHL621682.7120056.37Connor McDavidOHL471202.5520157.01Patrick KaneOHL581452.520077.46Alexis LafreniereQMJHL3270*2.192020*6.88Mitchell MarnerOHL631262.0020157.01Quinton ByfieldOHL3057*1.902020*7.64Taylor HallOHL571061.8620106.95John TavaresOHL561041.8620096.86Steven StamkosOHL611051.7220086.89Nathan MacKinnonQMJHL44751.7020136.91Andrei SvechnikovOHL44721.6420187.10Nico HischierQMJHL57861.5120176.90*Thru games played on Dec. 15A throwback from a physical standpoint, Lafreniere’s vision, stickhandling and hands are elite by present-day standards. He is a possession-driving forward who manages to look graceful in tight spaces as often as he does in open ice. There isn’t much an opponent can do once he and his linemates take control in the offensive zone and their surgical exchanges and weaving during the cycle force most checkers to waive the white flag and retreat to the slot. Once he’s afforded room, Lafreniere can deliver a devastating wrist shot and pick the corners with regularity. If we’re going to evaluate a premier prospect solely on point production, then Lafreniere’s grip on the top ranking has tightened. Not only is he leading the entire QMJHL in scoring, but he is expected to be on Canada’s top line at the IIHF World Junior Championship set to begin Dec. 26 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. While he made the team last year, he served as more of a depth player; this year, he’ll be leaned on for clutch play and help revitalize a Canadian power play that has struggled the last few tournaments. Lafreniere’s 27 power-play assists through Sunday are the most of any player in any of Canada’s three major junior leagues.The 2010s: Crosby named NHL Athlete of the Decade | NHL All-Decade TeamA scrub of Lafreniere’s resume prior to this season more than validates the consensus opinion that he would become the first pick in this draft. Selected first overall by Rimouski in the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft, Lafreniere guided the Oceanic to a 43-point improvement in the standings, earning Rookie of the Year honor with 42 goals — the most by a 16-year-old since Crosby (2004). He kicked off last season by guiding Canada to a gold medal at the under-18 Ivan Hlinka and finishing as the tournament’s leading scorer. In league play, he posted his first 100-point season and was named the Canadian Hockey League’s Player of the Year despite being a year away from draft eligibility. At the rate he’s going, Lafreniere is the favorite to join Crosby and John Tavares as the only players in CHL history to win the prestigious award multiple times before they were drafted.So, how good are Lafreniere’s QMJHL numbers, really? After recording an impressive 1.72 points-per-game average last year, and bumping that up to a mind-numbing 2.19 through Dec. 15, he is on pace to join Crosby (2003, 2004) as the only two QMJHLer’s in the last 22 years to eclipse the 1.70 mark in consecutive pre-draft seasons. Additionally, his current 2.19 average would be the second-highest of any QMJHL draft prospect since 1996. In other words: Lafreniere has been the QMJHL’s most dominant pre-draft player not named Sidney Crosby in well over 20 years. He’s also accomplishing the feat when scoring in the Quebec League is nearly a full goal less per game now (6.88) than it was in 2000 (7.81). Of course, goal-scoring in “The Q” is slowly trending upwards from its low point in the mid-2000s but Lafreniere is single-handily out-pacing by a wide margin almost two decades worth of draft-eligible alumni.Impressive, indeed.Pre-draft QMJHL prospects 1993-20 (high picks and NHL notables)PlayerGPPTSPTS/GSeasonDrafted overallLeague G/GSidney Crosby621682.7120051st6.37Alexandre Daigle531372.5819931st8.81Daniel Briere671632.43199624th8.04Sidney Crosby591352.292004Draft-16.72Alexis Lafreniere32*70*2.19*20202020 Draft6.88*Jonathan Drouin491052.1420133rd6.91Pierre-Marc Bouchard691402.0320028th6.97Derick Brassard581162.0020066th7.41Vincent Lecavalier581151.9819981st7.44Alexis Lafreniere611051.722019Draft-16.92Nathan MacKinnon44751.7020131st6.91Brad Richards681151.69199864th7.44Alex Tanguay51851.67199812th7.44*Thru games played on Dec. 15Still, some continue to argue that Lafreniere’s numbers are the byproduct of playing in an up-tempo league as opposed to the more balanced Ontario Hockey League, or the tough and tight-checking Western Hockey League. A closer look into league-wide goal-scoring, however, reveals that it is the OHL, not the QMJHL, that offers the playmakers and goal scorers an environment far more conducive for registering impressive draft-year stats.This is relevant because it not only adds context to Lafreniere’s production but also to his closest competitor for the top spot in the draft — Quinton Byfield. The hulking center for the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves is nearly a full year younger than Lafreniere and averaging an impressive 1.90 points per game. Of Byfield’s 57 points in 30 games, 41 have come at even strength or shorthanded — the same number Lafreniere has recorded out of his 70 points but in two more games.The difference in overall point totals is due to Lafreniere’s significant advantage in power-play points (29 to Byfield’s 16). Rimouski, which operates the QMJHL’s second-best power play at 31.1 percent, earns 4.35 opportunities a game while Byfield’s Wolves sits at 24.2 percent effectiveness on 3.76 chances per contest. Even if, in a hypothetical scenario, Sudbury drew as many power-play chances as Rimouski, the additional goals they’d score would only bump Byfield’s overall point total from 57 to 61 (currently he’s been involved in 16 of the team’s 30 power-play goals).In conclusion, Alexis Lafreniere is outproducing Quinton Byfield by a wide margin, and doing so while the QMJHL is averaging 0.76 goals less per game than in Byfield’s OHL.2020 NHL Entry Draft Top 125: Lafreniere, Byfield continue to lead the packlast_img read more