Taye Diggs has made his debut as the titular transgender East Berlin rocker in Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Taye Diggs As Hedwig

Diggs, 44, took to the stage at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway Tuesday evening in Hedwig’s signature skimpy shorts and delivered a performance that earned him a standing ovation. During the curtain call, standing beside his costar Rebecca Naomi Jones and the Angry Inch band, Diggs couldn’t help but get emotional.

After his performance, Diggs shared a picture of the crowds that had gathered outside the Belasco Theatre on his opening night.

Taye-Diggs-hedwig-angry-inch

Credit: Instagram @tayediggsinsta

Diggs had long wanted to play the part of Hedwig, but had thought that it would be a long shot since the character is traditionally played by white actors.

“I didn’t think it would ever happen. I assumed that nobody would ever have the open-mindedness to cast this character black,” Diggs told The New York Times when his casting was announced. “[The role is] everything I’ve ever wished for.”

The actor added that after years of telling others that he had the ability to pull off a role as challenging as this one, he was finally getting the chance to prove it.

“This is me telling myself, ‘Okay…. put your money where your mouth is’,” Diggs said. “‘You’ve been telling agents and your best friends’ – I told [ex-wife] Idina [Menzel] – ‘I want a chance to show everybody everything. I can dance and I can sing, and everybody knows I can act.'”

Prior to Diggs, the lead role in the Hedwig and the Angry Inch revival has been played by Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, co-creator John Cameron Mitchell and Darren Criss.

Diggs will remain as the star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch for a 12-week run.