Jordan Fisher, Vanessa Hudgens & More Announced to Join Live ‘Rent’ Television Event
Joining the cast of FOX’s Rent: Live are a few familiar faces in musical theatre and live musical television events as well as some fresh faces.
Jordan Fisher will be playing Mark Cohen, a documentary filmmaker, while Vanessa Hudgens will play Maureen Johnson, a performance artist and Mark’s ex-girlfriend.
Both Fisher and Hudgens have worked together before back in 2016 in Grease: Live, another live television musical event from FOX based on the stage musical of Grease.
Brandon Victor Dixon will play Tom Collins, a gay, anarchist philosophy professor who teaches at New York University and is also diagnosed with AIDS.
You would recognize Dixon from when he played Judas earlier this year for NBC’s live television musical event Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert with John Legend and Sara Bareilles. Dixon had also earned an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar.
So. Fourteen years ago I sat at a dinner with a mentor of mine and a bunch of other friends. Mentor said let’s talk about manifestation. I want SPECIFIC dreams from each of you. It was my turn. I said “I want to be the first Mark Cohen of color in Rent”. It was the show that made me want to pursue this industry. Then it closed on broadway…Here we are now. See y’all Jan 27th 😊
Fisher, Hudgens, and Dixon will be joined by Kiersey Clemons, Brennin Hunt, Mario, Tinashe, and Valentina in the main cast.
Kiersey Clemons, who is also starring in the upcoming Disney live-adaptation of Lady and the Tramp, will play Joanne Johnson, a lesbian lawyer and Maureen’s current girlfriend.
Former X-Factor contestant Brennin Hunt will be playing Roger Davis, a musician diagnosed with HIV, a former drug addict who was just released from rehab, and Mark’s roommate.
Singer Mario will be playing Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III, Mark and Roger’s former roommate and current landlord.
R&B artist Tinashe will be playing Mimi Marquez, a dancer diagnosed with HIV and Roger’s eventual girlfriend. Hudgens had also played Mimi in the 2010 Hollywood Bowl production of Rent.
Season nine contestant of Rupaul’s Drag Race Valentina will be playing Angel, a drag queen who later becomes Tom’s boyfriend and is also diagnosed with AIDS.
Keala Seattle, who had gained acclaim for her role as Lettie in The Greatest Showman and for her show-stopping number “This is Me,” will also be joining the cast of Rent: Live as an ensemble member.
Rent was created and written by playwright Jonathan Larson and is based on Giacomo Puccini’s famous opera La Bohème. A number of the songs that Larson had written for Rent became popularized and iconic songs in musical theatre such as “Seasons of Love” and “Take Me or Leave Me.
Rent: Live will air on FOX next year on Sunday, January 27th, 2019.