Neil Patrick Harris spit water on a member of the audience as he took the stage as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway on Thursday night. The How I Met Your Mother star was in full drag in his role as Hedwig--a transvestite--when he apparently noticed a woman snapping photos of him from the audience. This is prohibited at Broadway (and many other) productions.
A source reports that about halfway through the production, Harris “leaned down into the audience and asked a woman, ‘Are you drunk?’ She waved her arms in the air and everyone assumed it was part of the act. Neil then berated her for taking photos, telling the audience she was sitting in seat 3A. He then sniffed, ‘I hate you,’ and turned on his high heels.”
Later in the production Neil Patrick Harris was supposed to spit some water into the audience as part of the play, but instead “he spat the water straight at the woman,” the source shared. “It was all a bit frosty and awkward. His anger was spectacular, especially the ‘I hate you’ bit. The audience went into a stunned silence. You could cut the atmosphere with a knife!”
A rep from the Broadway show reportedly told the New York Post that it was a planned spit.
“There is always an element of audience interaction in each show, and it is all in character,” the rep explained.
It certainly sounds as though Neil Patrick Harris had about enough of the woman's incessant photo taking--as well as the fact that she wasn't adhering to the theater rules. He might have even believed that if she was so enamored with this character that a little spit may have made her feel that much closer to his stage persona.
Of course Hedwig and the Angry Inch features lots of improv and this actually wasn't the first time Neil Patrick Harris made news for seemingly inappropriate behavior. Last time it was for swearing at a member of the audience.
— Michael Crawford (@dmcrawford) July 13, 2014
— jen (@jenslish) July 13, 2014
Neil Patrick Harris won a Tony Award for his role as Hedwig--so audience members aren't that riled up over him swearing at and spitting upon them.
It's uncertain how the woman in the audience responded to Harris's spitting--but after all, what's a little shared spit among friends? She wanted all those photos--right? Now she even has bona fide DNA.
Image via Wikimedia Commons