Wayne Brady will join the cast of ‘Rent’ at the Hollywood Bowl


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Emmy winner Wayne Brady will play Tom Collins, the renegade philosophy professor, in a new production of Jonathan Larson’s ‘Rent,’ which will run Aug. 6-8 at the Hollywood Bowl.

Brady joins Vanessa Hudgens, the ‘High School Musical’ star who previously was cast as Mimi in this East Village rock riff on Puccini’s ‘La Boheme.’


Other cast members announced by the Bowl Friday include a trio of performers who appeared in ‘Rent’ during its 12-year Broadway run: Tracie Thoms (CBS’ ‘Cold Case’), who played Joanne onstage and in the 2005 film version; Telly Leung; and Gwen Stewart.

Also featured will be Aaron Tveit (‘Next to Normal’), Skylar Astin (‘Spring Awakening’) and Collins Pennie (the 2009 movie ‘Fame’).

Brady has pursued a wide-ranging career as a television and movie actor, singer, dancer, comedian and talk and game show host. He won Emmys for his work on ‘The Wayne Brady Show’ and ABC’s ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ He starred on Broadway as Billy Flynn in 2004 in a revival of ‘Chicago.’

The Bowl’s fully staged production of ‘Rent’ will be directed by Neil Patrick Harris with choreography by Jamal Sims. Tim Weil, who was the musical supervisor and conductor when the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning show opened on Broadway in 1996, will serve as musical director.

--Karen Wada

Above: Wayne Brady. Credit: James Dimmock / Fox


Vanessa Hudgens to star in ‘Rent’ at the Hollywood Bowl this summer