Rehearsals Are Now Underway For The Hollywood Production Of ‘Rent’

Viva La Vie Bohème!

Next weekend, for 3 nights only, Hollywood is gettin’ a special version of the Tony Award winning musical Rent in an all new production directed by actor and Rent alum Neil Patrick Harris. This new version of Rent stars Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal) and Skylar Astin (Spring Awakening) as Roger and Mark alongside Vanessa Hudgens (as Mimi), Nicole Scherzinger (as Maureen), Wanye Brady (as Tom Collins) and more! This production of Rent will play at the Hollywood Bowl and promises to be a very special one-of-a-kind production … which will debut next Friday night after only 1 week of rehearsals! Here is a photo from these Rent rehearsals and some deets about the show itself:

RENT, written by Jonathan Larson, will be performed at the Hollywood Bowl for three performances only, Friday and Saturday August 6 and 7 at 8:30pm, and Sunday August 8 at 7:30pm. Neil Patrick Harris will direct the production, with musical direction by Tim Weil and choreography by Jamal Sims. The cast includes Skylar Astin, Wayne Brady, Vanessa Hudgens, Telly Leung, Collins Pennie, Nicole Scherzinger, Tracie Thoms, and Aaron Tveit. Tickets are now on sale, and may be purchased online at HollywoodBowl.com, by phone at 323-850-2000, in person at the Hollywood Bowl box office, or by calling Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. With a 12-year run on Broadway, a Tony Award for Best Musical, and a Pulitzer Prize, RENT is one of the most groundbreaking and popular shows of all time. This year the Hollywood Bowl’s annual fully staged musical brings to life “La Vie Bohème”, “Seasons of Love” and all the songs that made RENT such a hit … Neil Patrick Harris said, “I’m thrilled with the cast. With this gang, I’m hoping to provide an eclectic mix of experienced RENT performers, amazing new talent, and recognizable faces in unexpected roles. Of paramount importance to me, though, is honoring the piece as a whole – the music, the vibe, the creator – so that those who have never experienced RENT will be able to appreciate it alongside die-hard fans. We’ll only have one week of rehearsal, which I like to call ‘madness’, but as of now my hopes are very high.” Appearing in RENT at the Hollywood Bowl as Mimi is Vanessa Hudgens, best known for her breakout role in the High School Musical series as Gabriella Montez, for which she received numerous nominations and awards. Nicole Scherzinger, solo artist, lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls, and this season’s winner of Dancing With the Stars, will play Maureen. Emmy winner and Grammy nominee Wayne Brady plays Tom Collins. Aaron Tveit, from Broadway’s Pulitzer Prize winning Next to Normal and the upcoming feature film Howl plays Roger. Skylar Astin, who played Georg in Spring Awakening on Broadway, plays Mark. Collins Pennie who appeared in the films Fame and the upcoming Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming, plays Benny. Tracie Thoms, a regular on CBS’ Cold Case, will be Joanne, a role she played in the film and the final cast of RENT on Broadway. RENT alum Telly Leung will play the role of Angel. Gwen Stewart, the original Broadway vocalist of “Seasons of Love,” will join the production as well. The ensemble of RENT includes Yassmin Alers, Eric B. Anthony, King Aswad, Susan Beaubian, David Burtka, Kathy Deitch, Sam Given, Rachael Harris, Tricia Kelly, Ethan Le Phong, Kristolyn Lloyd, Zarah Mahler, Laura Mixon, Jason Paige, Miri Park, Gwen Stewart and Brandon Wardell. Gwen Stewart was the original Broadway vocalist of “Seasons of Love.”

Rent is absolutely one of my all-time favorite Broadway shows … and is the one I’ve seen the most times (30+ at last count). I am so excited to see this new production, even if I have some reservations about the casting.


In all honesty, I’m not entirely convinced that Vanessa Hudgens can bring Mimi to life on stage … but I trust NPH‘s decision to cast her. I’m very curious to see how the whole show comes across, to be honest. I’m pretty sure that we will be going to the opening night performance on Friday … and I’m really excited. Here’s hoping this new production of Rent will do my fave show justice … or else ;)

[Photo credit: Ed Krieger; Source]

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  1. JRad

    I never thought we would ever see Wayne Brady and Vanessa Hudgens involved in a project together.

  2. jessica

    Wish I could be there. Rent is absolutely amazing and I can’t wait for another tour!

  3. LEO

    David, Neil’s “better half” is in it too! Didn’t know that. They seem to be together constantly these days….Greece, H&K, road trip, and now this. One word for that…AW!!!!!!!

  4. Diana

    1 week of rehearsals?! Is it a full on production Trent? Just curious.

  5. Janelle

    To be honest, this casting is just plain questionable. Nicole S and Vanessa H? Not feeling them.

  6. Christina

    Rent is my ALL TIME FAVORITE musical! I’m very curious about how it’ll turn out and I’m dragging my husband down to LA for a long weekend (we’re in Seattle), just because of this show. I’ll be there Friday night! Anything else cool going on in LA next weekend?

  7. nicole

    @Jrad – i was thinkin the same thing lol.
    i loooove RENT. sadly i wont be able to see this, but a part of thinks this cast could work out…really well.
    hope you have fun trent :)

  8. Cali

    Vanessa H.???? Why oh why? Were there no other brunettes with great pipes available? RENT is so much better and better than she could ever hope to be – she needs to go back to High School!

  9. Jackie

    I’m a fan of Tveit but I still have a hard time imagining him as Roger…

    As for Vanessa, I’m willing to give her a chance. I don’t like HSM, but I’ve become a Zac fan. Maybe Vanessa will surprise us all.

  10. Joe

    this is a horrible, horrible idea.

  11. mimi

    i cant see a believable relationship being played out by vanessa and nicole.. nicole just seems like she would be too old for it to be realistic between the two of them, but who knows? im optimistic about vanessa playing mimi though.

  12. Lula

    Hey mimi- the lesbian relationship is between Maureen (Nicole) and Joanne (Traci Thoms, who also played Joanne in the final Bway cast), not Maureen and Mimi (Vanessa).

    I dunno about Nicole as Maureen….not “earthy” enough for me, I guess. Not that Idina Menzell or Eden Espinoza, etc., aren’t absolutely gorgeous, they are just not, IMO, glamourpusses, as Nicoles seems so be. I could be wrong….

  13. Elkay

    My aunt is in it! Therefore everyone should see it!

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