Taye Diggs’ performance as an Eastern European drag-queen in Hedwig and the Angry Inch was nothing short of black excellence. That man that stole our hearts in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, The Best Man Holiday, and my personal favorite, Brown Sugar, hiked up his shorts, placed a curled blonde wig on his crystal clear head and strolled across the stage in the fiercest golden heels on Broadway, exploding with black excellence and redefining the hyper-masculinity construct.  

While some were surprised (and angry) that Diggs took on the part of a flamboyant transgender character, his excitement for the role should be no surprise. A trained singer, dancer and actor, Diggs has always been in and out of stage productions. One of his most famous roles, Benny in the Tony Award-winning Rent, showcased Diggs’ singing skills to the world. Since then, that stellar smile and varied talent have stolen every stage he’s walked upon. But his performance as Hedwig has been one of the few that will historically tell a very different story of black male masculinity.

As the only African-American performer for Hedwig, Diggs’ charisma and charm were welcomed forms of expression for the audience. His version of “Sugar Daddy” had everyone in Broadway bliss, and it wasn’t difficult to engage audience members during “Midnight Radio.

What was further impressive, though, was Diggs’ ability to dive wholeheartedly into the role of a drag queen. Sparing no twerking movements, shimmies across the stage or hilarious sexual innuendos, Diggs’ performance exemplified what it means to be a black male doing what you love and doing it well, regardless of the hyper-masculine expectations society places upon them.

We are forever grateful, Taye.  

What did you think of Diggs’ performance? Let us know in the comments below!