The next live musical event to hit your TV screens will be Fox’s upcoming staging of Rent, and the network just revealed who will be starring in its adaptation of the hit rock musical. The new Rent live cast is stacked with stars that you love from projects like High School Musical, The Greatest Showman, and even RuPaul’s Drag Race. Check out the full, newly announced cast list for the upcoming live musical event below, along with when Rent Live will be airing.
For those unfamiliar, Rent is the Tony Award-winning 1996 musical that quickly became one of the biggest modern Broadway juggernauts. The rock musical is about young artists struggling to survive in New York City’s East Village during the late ’80s in the wake of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It later gained even broader pop culture fame when it was adapted into a major motion picture in 2005, with much of the original Broadway cast reprising their roles.
Rent Live will be Fox’s fifth televised musical adaptation, a recent trend that the network has begun to dive into in competition with NBC. In 2016, Fox aired Grease: Live, The Passion, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and last year it aired A Christmas Story Live. Rent Live is slated to air on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. ET on Fox. Check out the newly announced cast list below:
Jordan Fisher as Mark Cohen
Fox chose an actor and singer who has proven his chops to lead Rent Live as the aspiring filmmaker and narrator of the show Mark Cohen: Jordan Fisher. Not only does Fisher have a ton of TV credits and a pop album under his belt, he also recently won Dancing with the Stars, wowed Broadway crowds by starring in Hamilton, and already has Fox live musical experience from starring in Grease: Live.
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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 😊
Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen Johnson
After also starring in Fox’s live adaptation of Grease in 2016, Vanessa Hudgens is returning to do it again as the outspoken performance artist Maureen in Rent Live. Maureen is Mark’s ex-girlfriend who begins a relationship with a woman shortly after the break-up.
Brennin Hunt as Roger Davis
For the lead role of HIV-positive rocker Roger, Fox went with country-rock singer Brennin Hunt. Hunt has appeared on Nashville, but is best known as a standout contestant on the first season of the U.S. version of The X Factor.
Tinashe as Mimi Márquez
Pop star Tinashe is taking on the lead role of HIV-positive dancer and drug addict Mimi for Grease Live, playing Roger’s love interest. Tinashe is best known for crossover hits like "2 On" and "All Hands on Deck." She also recently competed on the current season of Dancing with the Stars.
Brandon Victor Dixon as Tom Collins
After wowing viewers in the breakout role of Judas in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live, Broadway star Brandon Victor Dixon is set to do it again as the anarchist computer genius with AIDS, Tom Collins.
Valentina as Angel Dumott Schunard
Fox looked to an established drag queen to portray Rent‘s drag queen, Angel. Valentina was a standout contestant on Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and now she is set to play the AIDS-afflicted drag queen street percussionist Angel in Rent Live.
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Kiersey Clemons as Joanne Jefferson
Starring opposite Vanessa Hudgens, actress and singer Kiersey Clemons will play the buttoned-up, Ivy League-educated lawyer Joanne, whom Maureen leaves Mark for in Rent. Clemons is best known for her roles in Dope, Transparent, and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.
Mario as Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III
R&B singer Mario will take on the role of the former friend-turned-sell-out landlord of the show’s main cast, Benny. Mario recently released his fifth studio album Dancing Shadows and currently has a recurring role on Fox’s musical drama Empire.
Broadway star Keala Settle does not actually have a character role in Grease Live, but she is confirmed to join the cast during the show’s iconic finale number "Seasons of Love." Settle is best known for starring in last year’s movie musical The Greatest Showman, in which she performed the movie’s breakout hit "This Is Me."
Rent Live will premiere on Fox on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. ET.
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