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Neil Patrick Harris was almost in 'American Horror Story: Murder House'

Neil Patrick Harris has no shortage of things to do: He stars in the box office hit Gone Girlrecently finished a 20-week run as the title character in Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inchjust released his first book, and will be hosting this year’s Oscars. But one opportunity he missed? Starring on American Horror Story.

Long before Twisty the Clown made his debut on this season of the FX show, American Horror Story showrunner Ryan Murphy asked Harris and his husband, David Burtka, to play a couple in the show’s first season, Murder House. But the two had just played a dysfunctional “couple” in A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, and Harris didn’t want a repeat—so the roles went to Zachary Quinto and Teddy Sears instead. The show’s now in its fourth season.

Harris, who was apple-picking with his twins’ pre-school class before news that he’d be hosting the Oscars broke Wednesday, stopped by EW Radio on Sirius XM Thursday to talk with EW editor Matt Bean about what he doesn’t want the Oscars to look like, who his celebrity crush is, and why exactly he skipped out on that Horror Story role. Here’s the rest of what Harris revealed. READ FULL STORY

Andrew Rannells talks 'Hedwig' pressure, 'Girls' Broadway connections

Broadway’s most exhilarating rock concert burst onto the boards earlier this year when Neil Patrick Harris stepped into the silky fishnets of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, earning a Tony for the role and ushering the East German rocker into the hands of a new generation of fans. After Harris departed the show in August, The Book of Mormon veteran Andrew Rannells was tapped to fill Hedwig’s high heels. To say his turn is electric, heartbreaking, and wholly different from Harris’ would still be underselling the performance.

With TV turns on Girls (as gay frenemy Elijah) and How I Met Your Mother and movie appearances in Bachelorette and The Intern, Rannells’ return to his theater roots is a thrill for fans and for the actor himself. EW paid a visit to Rannells’ dressing room backstage at the Belasco Theatre to quiz the Tony nominee about his Broadway return.

EW: I went running five days ago and my legs hurt, and I just had pad thai for lunch, and now I feel gross. Do my pitiful body woes make you laugh?
ANDREW RANNELLS:
 Oh, please. No! This is certainly unlike any show I’ve ever done before and has very unique challenges, but this is sort of what I was used to for so long, this schedule and this physicality. There’s something about it that feels really normal for me, to snap back into this eight-show-a-week thing. 

Is the snap reminiscent of Mormon, or eight shows a week dancing in the chorus of Hairspray?
In terms of the pain… there are moments in The Book of Mormon. I remember doing “All American Prophet,” which is that song in the middle of the first act where I was just running all over the stage and there were a million words and nothing ever repeated. It was hard as hell to learn, and doing that and thinking please, Jesus, let me survive through this. If I don’t die in the middle of this number, it’ll be a good one. But the crazy thing about this show is that, really, the anticipation of it starting is the worst part. Because once you’re doing it and you’re in it, it’s fine, and it moves really quickly once it starts, but it’s that gearing up to do it—that’s stressful.

Do the nerves kick in when you get here for make-up?
Until the second I set foot on stage. READ FULL STORY

Broadway box office: Andrew Rannells still packs them in for 'Hedwig'

Neil Patrick Harris may have hung up his five-inch pumps, but audiences are still lining up for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. According to figures from the Broadway League, the Tony-winning musical revival took in $648,738 for the week ending Aug. 24—the first with Book of Mormon alum Andrew Rannells in the cross-dressing title role. While that’s a steep drop from NPH’s final week, when the show grossed a whopping $1.14 million, it still represents an enviable 82 percent of the potential earnings for the 1,007-seat Belasco Theatre. (Harris’ star power enabled producers to sell many more “premium” tickets for well above the average price.)

Broadway’s other new production, a revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s ’90s drama This Is Our Youth starring Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin, took home a decent $365,614 from its first seven preview performances. That’s about 58 percent of the maximum potential gross, and represents a good start for a show that will officially open Sept. 11. READ FULL STORY

Andrew Rannells gets glittery in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' poster

hedwig-and-the-angry-inch-andrew-rannells

In comes Andrew, out goes Neil, but the glitter will always remain the same.

A new poster has been released for Andrew Rannells’ stage return in the Broadway rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He replaces Tony winner Neil Patrick Harris as the German transvestite rocker intent on putting on a concert across the street from his ex-lover’s rival show.

With the announcement of Rannells’ casting in June, the Tony-winning revival of Hedwig also announced its extension beyond Harris’ originally scheduled end date of August 17. Rannells will step into the role for a limited eight-week engagement beginning August 20.

Hint: Click the photo above for full-size Rannells.

'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' with Neil Patrick Harris recoups investment on Broadway

Neil Patrick Harris, in fishnets and heels, has officially torn down the Broadway box office.

Less than three months after opening, the Harris-led, Tony-winning revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch has recouped its initial investment on Broadway. Harris won a Tony last month for playing the titular German transgender rocker in the John Cameron Mitchell and  Stephen Trask musical, breaking the fourth wall and directly interacting with the audience at the Belasco Theatre seven times a week (unlike most shows, which are scheduled for eight performances). The production, directed by Michael Mayer, took home a total of four Tony Awards, including best revival of a musical and performance awards for Harris and co-star Lena Hall.

“Well, I guess New York loves Ms. Hedwig!” producer David Binder said in a statement. “Our girl is feeling it now! All of us at the Belasco Theatre couldn’t be more thrilled. We’re so grateful to all the folks who have turned out and we’re especially thankful to all the fans that have flown in from around the world to join our celebration on 44th street. It has been an incredible journey.”

Girls star and Tony nominee Andrew Rannells will take over wig-in-a-box duties from Harris next month, when he steps into the role of Hedwig beginning Aug. 20.

Broadway box office: Bryan Cranston's 'All the Way' gets the biggest Tony bump

Broadway producers love the Tony Awards because it gives a rare national platform for their shows, typically boosting ticket sales for musicals that make the most of their televised production number. And what lucky show got the biggest boost from the June 8 broadcast? Surprise! It wasn’t a musical but the LBJ bio-drama All the Way, which won Best Play and Best Actor for Bryan Cranston (above). In the post-Tony week ending June 15, box office climbed 30 percent to a Texas-size $1.23 million, according to figures from the Broadway League.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, a play with music that earned Audra McDonald a record sixth Tony, also basked in the awards afterglow. Box office climbed 19 percent last week to $457,174, an impressive 87 percent of the potential gross in the intimate Circle in the Square Theatre. And Best Revival winner A Raisin in the Sun saw a 5 percent bump to $1.29 million — an impressive haul for a non-musical on Broadway. READ FULL STORY

Andrew Rannells to replace Neil Patrick Harris in extended 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' on Broadway

There’s some news in Hedwig land, fresh off the very, very high heels of Sunday’s Tony Awards ceremony in which the first Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch took home four trophies (including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actor in a Musical for Neil Patrick Harris).

Tony nominee Andrew Rannells (Girls, The Book of Mormon) will slip on the fishnets of transgender rocker Hedwig as the first replacement for Harris, who departs the show on Aug. 17, the date the production was originally slated to end its limited run. Following Sunday’s Tony victories, the show will stay open after Harris vacates the intense role — which he’s been performing seven times a week since March — with Rannells now at the helm for a limited eight-week engagement beginning Aug. 20.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a musical-cum-rock concert led by Hedwig, a transgender singer from East Berlin who intersperses tales of her childhood with songs backed by her fictional rock band, all the while distracted by her ex-lover’s rival concert being performed the very same night, right across the street. READ FULL STORY

18 context-free quotes from the Tony Awards red carpet

What happens on the Tony Awards red carpet? Fans cheer, stars schmooze, and TV stars get closer to an EGOT.

This year, Radio City Music Hall was packed with an array of celebs who showed up to demonstrate their love for the theater. EW hit the red carpet to ask some of the ceremony attendees about their current show, the show that gave them their biggest theater education, their big stars, their little selves…really, just anything having to do with the stage. Below, enjoy 18 quotes we heard about the wonderful world of theater. READ FULL STORY

Tony Awards: See every musical performance

There’s plenty of Tony Awards coverage to go around—you can peruse through EW’s list of the best and worst moments, or re-live Sunday’s ceremony through our live blog—but, let’s be real. Everyone just wants to see the performances.

Worry no more. Here are all of this year’s musical performances from the 68th Tony Awards.

READ FULL STORY

See Hugh Jackman's bouncy Tony Awards opener

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a full opening number. But at least viewers finally found out why Hugh Jackman was bouncing up and down in his Tonys promo.

For Jackman’s opening routine at the Tony Awards last night, the host opted to forgo a full musical opening. (He’s done his fair share in the past — and, honestly, he probably couldn’t compete with Neil Patrick Harris’s showstopper from last year’s ceremony.)

Instead, showing off the endurance of the guy who brought Wolverine to screens, Jackman’s routine involved bouncing — everywhere and by everyone. Even Sting and Clint Eastwood got in on the fun.

Watch below, and stay for Jackman and Harris’ purposefully awkward elevator bit. Come on, Jackman, tell Harris you can host any show better than him. READ FULL STORY

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