(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 4/22; via Pam Green.)
Do not be alarmed by recent reports that Neil Patrick Harris, an irresistibly wholesome television presence, has fallen deeply and helplessly into the gap that separates men from women, East from West, and celebrity from notoriety. There’s no need to fear for his safety, much less his identity. Quite the contrary.
Playing an “internationally ignored song stylist” of undefinable gender in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” Mr. Harris is in full command of who he is and, most excitingly, what he has become with this performance. That’s a bona fide Broadway star, the kind who can rule an audience with the blink of a sequined eyelid.
You may have assumed that Mr. Harris had won that status already. As the indefatigably charming M.C. of the Tony Awards in recent years, he has given life and luster to a creaky ceremony. And he’s logged hours on Broadway stages before, notably in the 2004 revival of the Sondheim-Weidman musical “Assassins.”
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