The late Jonathan Larson's Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent — directed by stage and screen star Neil Patrick Harris — begins a weekend of performances Aug. 6 at the The Hollywood Bowl.
The starry cast features "High School Musical" actress Vanessa Hudgens as Mimi, Emmy winner and Grammy nominee Wayne Brady as Tom Collins, Next to Normal's Aaron Tveit as Roger, Spring Awakening's Skylar Astin as Mark, The Pussycat Dolls' Nicole Scherzinger as Maureen, Collins Pennie as Benjamin (“Benny”) Coffin III, Tracy Thoms as Joanne, Pacific Overtures' Telly Leung as Angel with original Broadway Renter Gwen Stewart. The company has more players than usual. The ensemble comprises 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, and Brandon Wardell.
Harris, an Emmy nominee for his work in "How I Met Your Mother," is making his musical directorial debut with the summer production. Harris has a long association with the Larson musical: He played Mark Cohen in both the Los Angeles and second national touring productions of the Tony-winning Rent. His performance garnered him a Drama League Award.
Tim Weil, the original musical supervisor and conductor for Broadway's Rent, is the musical director for the Hollywood Bowl's fully staged production. Jamal Sims choreographs.
Actor Leung, who plays Angel, has been blogging for Playbill.com all week. About this production of Rent, he says, "For all you Rentheads and Rent fanatics out there — just trust me when I say that we are keeping the spirit of what the show is — but also making significant changes to the original look and sound of the show that we all love so much. But, how exciting — to see and hear a show we all know so well in a completely new way!" To read all of his blogs, click here.
The Bowl has presented acclaimed productions of Les Miserables and Guys and Dolls in recent summers.
The Hollywood Bowl is located at 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood, CA. For more information visit HollywoodBowl.com or call (800) 745-3000.