Meet the Cast of Fox’s Live ‘Rent’ Musical
Fox just revealed the cast for its upcoming live Rent musical — and it is stacked. High School Musical and Grease Live alum Vanessa Hudgens leads a star-studded roster that also includes singer Tinashe, Valentina from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and more incredible talents from both the stage and the screen.
Hudgens will take on the role of Maureen Johnson, a character originated by Broadway vet Idina Menzel in the mid-’90s. Kiersey Clemons (Dope) will play her girlfriend, Joanne Jefferson, an Ivy League-educated lawyer.
The role of Mimi Marquez, a dancer who is struggling with addiction and HIV, will be filled by Tinashe. Hudgens previously played Mimi in a production of the musical at the Hollywood Bowl in 2010; Rosario Dawson played the character in the 2005 film.
Valentina, meanwhile, will play Angel Dumont Schunard, a young drag queen and street percussionist who falls for ex-MIT computer scientist Tom Collins. That role will be filled by Brandon Victor Dixon, who earned raves for his performance as Judas in another live televised musical, Jesus Christ Superstar Live.
The role of struggling musician Roger Davis will go to Brennin Hunt (Walking With Herb), with Jordan Fisher (Grease Live, Dancing With the Stars) playing the musical’s narrator and central character, aspiring filmmaker Mark Cohen. Mario rounds out the main cast in the part of the infamous landlord Benjamin Coffin III, a character previously played by Taye Diggs. And The Greatest Showman star Keala Settle will also make an appearance, with a featured solo during “Seasons of Love.”
Loosely based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème, Jonathan Larson’s Rent tells the story of young artists in New York’s East Village who are trying to pursue their creative dreams while also dealing with the realities of poverty and HIV/AIDS in the 1990s. The Tony-winning musical debuted on Broadway in 1996 and ran until 2008; it was also adapted into a movie with several members of the original cast in 2005.
Fox’s live version of Rent will air on Sunday, January 27, 2019.
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(photos via Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine + Noam Galai/Getty Images for American Theatre Wing + courtesy of Fox)