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Drag kings are women who use the trappings of masculinity, machismo and ostensibly ‘male’-gendered fashion to create a persona or appearance that transgresses gender norms. The flipside of drag queens, drag kings get less attention and less media hype – but their efforts are just as painstaking, deeply considered and creative as those of their drag sisters.
Lena Hall is currently playing Yitzhak, the husband of title character Hedwig in the Tony Award-winning musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Lena earned a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Yitzhak. In the musical, Yitzhak is both husband and backing singer to the scene-stealing Hedwig, but secretly yearns to take the limelight himself as a woman.
In the show and the movie, Yitzhak is typically played by a woman in drag, who undergoes a transformation from a man into a woman at the very end – meaning a challenging performance of drag upon drag for the actor lucky enough to snag the part. This is just one example of the fabulous possibilities of drag – and a great drag king look to boot.
Playbill.com filmed Lena undergoing her drag king transformation. You can see Lena becoming Yitzhak below: