Five Burning Questions with Hedwig and the Angry Inch Rocker Lena Hall

Last updated April 9th, 2014 by Josh Ferri
Five Burning Questions with Hedwig and the Angry Inch Rocke…
Lena Hall juggles a career in musical theatre—doing shows like Cats, Kinky Boots, Tarzan and The Toxic Avenger—with a career as a badass female frontwoman of the band The Deafening. In Hall’s latest gig, she is able to marry her two worlds together and blow the roof off the Belasco Theatre as Yitzhak in the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. BroadwayBox caught up with Hall to get the scoop on Hedwig co-star Neil Patrick Harris, Kinky composer Cyndi Lauper and her prosthetic packer.

1. What’s the most important part of your transformation into Yitzhak?

There are so many little pieces to it. I lost some weight in my legs and my butt, because that's usually the dead giveaway of a woman. I trained myself to walk differently; I observed men walking around the city—Yitzhak is a shuffler and a kicker. There’s also the hair and make-up (it’s all shading), and then I wear men’s deodorant, cologne, underwear and boots with big, huge lifts. And I wear a prosthetic called a packer, and it helps a lot. It puts your focus in a different place, where a man’s would be; I figured out why men think about sex all the time because it rubs on everything all the time.

2. What’s it been like working with NPH? What's been your best story so far?

He’s amazing. The way you think he is (fun, easy going, prankster, nice, funny), that’s really how he is. We have a lot of fun together. And he gets nerves just like everyone else, and you just don’t think someone like that is going to be nervous. So, he brought [his children] Harper and Gideon to the theatre, and he was in full Hedwig drag. And Gideon was just like whatever, but for Harper it was like he was the Barbie doll of her dreams. So Mike Potter [hair and makeup designer] made her a wig. It was the greatest thing ever.

3. Who is the most bad-ass female rocker of all time?
It’s Ann Wilson, the lead singer of Heart. She’s unbelievable; her range is incredible. She’s so undervalued for what she does. Her stage performance isn’t all that badass but her voice is so monumental. She’s one of my main inspirations.

4. If we are only going to listen to one song by your band The Deafening, which one and why?

I would say “Evil Kiss” because it is classic rock to a T, the lyrics are amazing and it tells a great story about buying a classic car and fixing it up. And I would say the vocal performance in it is the best. We haven’t done a video for her it yet because our video concept is very expensive. Maybe one day.

5. You’re stranded on a desert island with Cyndi Lauper, what’s the one thing you want to be sure you packed in order to survive?

[Laughs] A guitar. If there were anything that would be fun and pass the time, it would be to write songs and sing together. Otherwise, we would probably kill each other.

Don't miss Lena Hall in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Belasco Theatre.