Lena Hall

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Lena Hall
Lena Hall in 2015
Background information
Birth name Celina Consuela Gabriella Carvajal
Born (1980-01-30) January 30, 1980 (age 37)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Genres rock, blues, glam rock, broadway
Occupation(s) actress, singer-songwriter
Years active 1998–present
Website http://www.lenahall.com/

Lena Hall (Celina Consuela Gabriella Carvajal)[1] (born January 30, 1980) is an American actress, singer and songwriter. She is known for being the lead singer of the band The Deafening and for her work on Broadway,[2] including originating the role of Nicola in Kinky Boots and her Tony Award-winning performance as Yitzhak in the 2014 revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which also earned her a Grammy nomination for the musical's album.[3] She made history by becoming the first person to play both Hedwig and Yitzhak in the same production during the national tour of the musical in 2016.[4]

Her other Broadway credits include Cats, 42nd Street, Dracula, the Musical and Tarzan, the Musical. Off-Broadway credits include Radiant Baby, Bedbugs!!!, Rooms: A Rock Romance, The Toxic Avenger, Prometheus Bound, Chix6, and the 2017 original play How to Transcend a Happy Marriage. Her band, The Deafening, released an album with original songs in 2012 titled Central Booking.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Hall was born Celina Consuela Gabriella Carvajal in San Francisco, California on January 30, 1980 to Carlos and Carolyn (née Houser) Carvajal. Her father is a ballet dancer, choreographer and the co-artistic director for the annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival,[6] her mother was a prima ballerina and is now a yogi master.[7][8][2][9]

She has Filipino,[10][11] Spanish,[12] and Swedish ancestry through her father.[13] Her paternal grandfather arrived from the Philippines to San Francisco in 1926,[11] and her paternal grandmother is Swedish.[14] Her sister is Calliope "Calli" Carvajal, a hair stylist.[1]

She is a graduate of Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, where she first studied dance.,[15] and an alumna of the Young People's Teen Musical Theatre Company in San Francisco.[16]

Hall changed her professional name from "Celina Carvajal" to Lena Hall in 2013, saying she had created it for her music persona and now wanted to use it for her acting career as well.[17] She explained her name change to Broadway.com: “Multiple people in the industry suggested I have one name for everything. [Lena Hall] is just two shortenings of my first name and my last name. So Lena Hall is Celina Carvajal. It seemed like an easier way of people getting to know me. Lena Hall is a nice symmetrical name, and it reminds people of Lena Horne, who was a singer. And when people hear my name, I want them to think of a singer".[17] She later found out that "Carvajal" is actually a stage name taken seven generations back and kept it as a family name.[10] Hall told that it was one of the reasons why she was able to let go of the Carvajal name because it was a stage name, and it felt like her ancestors would agree with her name change.[10]


Hall made her Broadway debut in 1999[18] in Cats,[2] taking over the role of Demeter after first performing in the national tour in 1998.[18][19] She next took over the role of Ann "Anytime Annie" Reilly in 42nd Street.[2] She also performed in a national tour of Annie Get Your Gun,[20] understudying the lead role.

In 2003, Hall appeared in Radiant Baby,[21] a musical about artist Keith Haring, in various roles. In 2004 she was in the original ensemble of Dracula, the Musical,[2] and was the understudy for Kelli O'Hara as Lucy Westenra. In 2006 she was in the original ensemble of the musical Tarzan,[2] and was also the understudy for Jennifer Gambatese as Jane Porter.[22]

In 2008, she competed in the reality show Legally Blonde: The Musical – The Search for Elle Woods, in which she was the 3rd contestant eliminated,[23] and starred in the Off-Broadway musicals Green Eyes,[24] and Bedbugs!!!, in which she played the role of Carly at the New York Musical Theatre Festival.[25][26]

In 2009, she was the understudy for Leslie Kritzer in the role of Monica P. Miller in the musical Rooms: A Rock Romance.[27] Also in 2009, she took over the lead role of Sarah in the musical The Toxic Avenger at the New World Stages.[28]

In 2011, she performed as Daughter of the Ocean in the musical Prometheus Bound,[29] inspired by Aeschylus's Ancient Greek tragedy, at the American Repertory Theater,[30] and also appeared as Blaze in the musical Chix6.[31] In 2013, Hall originated the role of Nicola (played on film by Jemima Rooper) in the musical Kinky Boots,[2] which won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

In 2014, Hall was cast as Yitzhak in the Broadway production Hedwig and the Angry Inch,[2] (a role previously played off-Broadway by Miriam Shor) opposite Neil Patrick Harris, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.[32] She left the role on April 4, 2015, after playing Yitzhak opposite Harris, Michael C. Hall, Andrew Rannells and John Cameron Mitchell as Hedwig. In 2016 she was cast in the national tour of Hedwig, which opened on October 2, 2016, reprising her role as Yitzhak, and for one performance a week, playing the title role of Hedwig for a total of eight performances,[33] making her the first actor to play both roles in the same production.[34] She played the roles in San Francisco and Los Angeles alongside Glee star Darren Criss.[35]

Her TV work include 9 episodes in All My Children in the role of Treena in 2009, Juicy Lucy in Good Girls Revolt (2015), the voice of Countess Coloratura/Rara in the 115th episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, titled "The Mane Attraction".[36][37] In 2016, Hall played a seductive yoga instructor in an episode of the HBO series Girls.[38] She also performs the songs along with Tony Vincent for the fictional band "Dog Gone" in the 2015 PBS series Nature Cat.[39]

She has appeared in five movies: Sex and the City (2008), The Graduates (2008), Born from the Foot (2009), The Big Gay Musical (2009) and Becks (2017), in which she plays the title role and her first leading role in a feature film.[40]

In 2017, Halls stars in the role of Pip in the Off-Broadway play How to Transcend a Happy Marriage by Sarah Ruhl, opposite Marisa Tomei.[41]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 Sex and the City Twenty-Something Girl #4 (as Celina Carvajal)
2008 The Graduates Inga (as Celina Carvajal)
2009 Born from the Foot Barney (as Celina Carvajal)
2009 The Big Gay Musical Wife / Eve (as Celina Carvajal)
2014 Russian Broadway Shut Down Lesbian Short film
2017 Becks Becks Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Legally Blonde: The Musical – The Search for Elle Woods Herself (as Celina Carvajal) 5 Episodes
2008 All My Children Treena (as Celina Carvajal) 9 Episodes
2015 BoJack Horseman Voice Episode: "Yesterdayland"
2015 Good Girls Revolt Juicy Lucy Pilot
2015 My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Countess Coloratura / Rara (voice) Episode: "The Mane Attraction"
2015 Nature Cat Dog Gone Poodle (voice) Episode: "The Treasure of Bad Dog Bart/Pet Sounds"
2016 Girls Holly Episode: "Queen for Two Days"


Year Title Role Notes
1998–1999 Cats Demeter (Replacement) / Bombalurina (Replacement) / Cassandra (Replacement) National tour
1999–2000 Demeter (Replacement) Broadway, Winter Garden Theatre
2000 Annie Get Your Gun Annie Oakley (Understudy) National tour
2000 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Dancing Ensemble Off-Broadway, Encores! Concert
2001 42nd Street Annie (Understudy) Broadway, Lyric Theatre
2003 Radiant Baby IV / Pop Girl / Business Person / Prom Goer / New Yorker / SVA Student / Graffiti Artist / Celebrity / Gallery Owner / Art Patron / Bath Boy / Police Off-Broadway, Joseph Papp Public Theater / Newman Theater
2004 Dracula, the Musical Second Vampire / Ensemble (Original) / Lucy Westenra (Understudy) Broadway, Belasco Theatre
2006 Tarzan, the Musical Ensemble (Original) / Jane Porter (Understudy) Broadway, Richard Rodgers Theatre
2008 Green Eyes Off-Broadway, Theater 80
2008 Bedbugs!!! Carly (Original) Off-Broadway, New York Musical Theatre Festival
2009 Rooms: A Rock Romance Monica P. Miller (Understudy) Off-Broadway, New World Stages Stage II
2009 The Toxic Avenger Sarah (Replacement) Off-Broadway, New World Stages Stage I
2010 The Last Goodbye Rosaline Williamstown Theatre Festival
2011 Prometheus Bound Daughter of the Ocean (Original) American Repertory Theater
2011 Chix6 Blaze Off-Broadway
2013–2014 Kinky Boots Nicola (Original) Broadway, Al Hirschfeld Theatre
2014–2015 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Yitzhak (Original) Broadway, Belasco Theatre
2016 Hedwig / Yitzhak National tour, Los Angeles and San Francisco
2017 How to Transcend a Happy Marriage[41] Pip (Original) Off-Broadway, Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2008 NYMF Excellence Awards[42] Outstanding Individual Performance Bedbugs!!! Won
2014 Tony Award[16] Best Featured Actress in a Musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch Won
Drama League Award[43] Distinguished Performance Nominated
Broadway.com Audience Awards[44] Favorite Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated
2015 Grammy Award[3] Best Musical Theater Album Nominated
2017 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award[45] Featured Performance Nominated


  1. ^ a b "PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Kinky Boots Star Celina Carvajal". Playbill.com. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Lena Hall". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "ALADDIN, BEAUTIFUL, HEDWIG Among Grammy's Best Musical Theater Album Nominees". Broadway World. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "Lena Hall Makes Hedwig History Tonight". Playbill.com. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "The Deafening". bandcamp.com. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  6. ^ "Meet the Man Behind the Scenes of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival". KQED.org. 6 June 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "Lena Hall on Her Tony Nomination for ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’". Black Book. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "People and Places - Lena Hall" TheatreGold.com
  9. ^ Run For You Life Dance Company accessed 12-23-2015
  10. ^ a b c "Broadway Actress Lena Hall Discusses Upcoming "Hedwig" Tour and Her Filipino Heritage". Caamedia.org. 3 October 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "StoryCorps: Carlos Carvajal and Four Generations of Filipinos in the Arts". Caamedia.org. 3 October 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  12. ^ "Lena Hall Opens Up With New Cabaret 'The Villa Satori: Growing Up Haight Ashbury'". Village Voice. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  13. ^ "Carlos Carvajal. 2004 resume" runforyourlife.org, accessed June 3, 2014
  14. ^ "San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival is calling". San Francisco Gate. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  15. ^ "Separating from Hedwig". The Bay Area Reporter Online. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  16. ^ a b "HEDWIG's Lena Hall Wins Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical". Broadway World. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  17. ^ a b Ferri, Josh. "From Celina Carvajal to Lena Hall: the 'Kinky Boots' Rocker Explains her Recent Name Change" broadway.com, July 16, 2013
  18. ^ a b "7 Former Cats Cast Members on Learning to Play Feline". Vulture.com. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2017. 
  19. ^ "CATS - US National Tour IV - Grizabella: The Glamour Cat". YouTube. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2017. 
  20. ^ "Annie Get Your Gun". Variety. 14 August 2000. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  21. ^ "Radiant Baby". Variety. 2 March 2003. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  22. ^ "Lena Hall" playbillvault.com
  23. ^ "Where are they now?: Legally Blonde – The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods". Stage Door Dish. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  24. ^ "Green Eyes, with Blaemire, Carvajal, Watkinson and Bloch, Begins Aug. 16". Playbill.com. 16 August 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  25. ^ "Futuristic Pop Tuner Bedbugs!!! Begins NYMF Run Sept. 16". Playbill.com. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  26. ^ "Enter Singing: Giant Bedbugs, Fancy Boys, Bank Robbers, Potato Farmers". NY Times. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  27. ^ "Rooms: A Rock Romance". Internet Off-Broadway Database. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  28. ^ "Celina Carvajal to Play The Toxic Avenger's Sexy Blind Librarian". Broadway.com. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  29. ^ "Lea DeLaria & More Join A.R.T.'s Prometheus Bound, Starring Gavin Creel". Broadway.com. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  30. ^ "Prometheus Bound". Variety. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  31. ^ "'Chix 6,' a rock kaleidoscope for the senses". Queens Chronicle. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  32. ^ "Interview" broadwayworld.com, April 14, 2014
  33. ^ "Lena Hall Hopes to Play Hedwig in Her Own Run". Playbill.com. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  34. ^ "Lena Hall on her history-making double play in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'". Los Angeles Times. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  35. ^ http://www.playbill.com/article/lena-hall-will-play-yitzhak-and-hedwig-in-tour-of-hedwig-and-the-angry-inch
  36. ^ "VIDEO: Tony Winner Lena Hall Makes Singing Guest Appearance on My Little Pony". Broadway World. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  37. ^ "Lena Hall: Rara Reacts to Rara [MLP Countess Coloratura]". YouTube. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  38. ^ Allen, Rebekah "Get ready to fall in love with Lena Hall" accessed 3-28-2016
  39. ^ "VIDEO: Sneak Peek - Lena Hall & More Broadway Stars Set for New PBS Series NATURE CAT". Broadway World. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  40. ^ "That's a Wrap on Becks!". JP Sound. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  41. ^ a b "How to Transcend a Happy Marriage". Internet Off-Broadway Database. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  42. ^ "NYMF Excellence Awards Announced!". Bedbugsmusical.com. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  43. ^ "Drama League Awards Go Broad with Crowded List of 2014 Nominations". Variety. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  44. ^ "Time to #VoteBway! Les Miz & If/Then Lead 2014 Broadway.com Audience Choice Award Nominations". Broadway.com. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2017. 
  45. ^ "Darren Criss, Lena Hall, and More Earn Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Nominations". Theater Mania. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 

External links[edit]