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]