The Hollywood Bowl previously announced Vannesa Hudgens for the role of Mimi in its production of RENT, which will have three performances August 6, 7, and 8. Today the Bowl is announcing additional casting, led by Emmy winner and Grammy nominee Wayne Brady in the role of Tom Collins.
Aaron Tveit, from Broadway's Pulitzer Prize winning Next to Normal and the upcoming feature film Howl plays Roger, and 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 Benjamin ("Benny") Coffin III. 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. Telly Leung, member of the final cast of RENT on Broadway, will play the role of Angel. Gwen Stewart, the original Broadway vocalist of "Seasons of Love," will join the production as well.
There will be three performances only, Friday and Saturday August 6 and 7 at 8:30pm, and Sunday August 8 at 7:30pm.
Jamal Sims, who was an associate choreographer of the film Hairspray, co-choreographed the 82nd Academy Awards, and was assistant choreographer of the Madonna: Sticky and Sweet Tour, has been announced to choreograph, working with Neil Patrick Harris who makes his debut directing a musical with this production. Tim Weil, the original Musical Supervisor and Conductor for RENT on Broadway, and Musical Supervisor for the 2009 US Tour of RENT will serve as Musical Director of the Hollywood Bowl's fully staged production.
Neil Patrick Harris said, "So far, 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."
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.
Single tickets (available beginning May 2, 2010) 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.
RENT, written by Jonathan Larson and directed by Michael Greif, opened at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996, following a history making, sold-out, extended limited engagement at off-Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop. The musical went on to win every major best musical award, including the Tony Award, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for drama. With 5,124 performances, RENT is the seventh longest running show in Broadway history.
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and is home to the best and brightest in all genres of music. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 42nd season. In January 2009, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the fifth year in a row at the 20th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.