The original Broadway cast from the award-winning musical Rent will reunite to appear on Fox’s Rent Live on January 27, Us Weekly is reporting. Idina Menzel, who originated the character Maureen in the musical back in 1996, posted a clue to her Twitter that seemed to imply that she and her fellow OGs would be appearing. Menzel shared photos of trailers that had pieces of paper taped to them. All of the papers had the Rent logo and a set of initials: “IM” for Idina Menzel, and “DRV” and “FW” — which fans believe stand for Daphne Rubin Vega and Freddie Walker, who originated the roles of Mimi and Joanne.
Anthony Rapp, who originated the role of Mark in the musical, shared similar photos of initialed signs. Each sign read: AP, TD, WJH, and JLM. This matches up with the initials of Adam Pascal (Roger), Taye Diggs (Benny), Wilson Jermaine Heredia (Angel), and Jesse L. Martin (Collins.) The cast was reportedly very close during their time on Broadway together. Menzel and Diggs, for example, even got married! Though they split in 2015, they are said to “trust each other” as parents to their son Walker, age 9.
The cast for Rent Live is said to be getting pretty close too. This time around, Vanessa Hudgens will play Maureen, Tinashe will play Mimi, Mario will play Benny, Kiersey Clemmons will play Joanne, Jordan Fisher will play Mark, Valentina will play Angel, Brennin Hunt will play Roger, and Brandon Victor Dixon will play Collins.
Rent, a story that puts on a spotlight on addiction, the LGBT community, and the HIV/AIDS crisis was groundbreaking when it first debuted in the ’90s. According to Hudgens, the musical is more relevant than ever in 2019.
“We are all in a time and age where there’s a lot going on in the world and the things that are dealt with in Rent are things that are still being dealt with in our current communities,” she said during an interview with E! News.
“People are still dealing with AIDs. Gentrification in new cities and rent prices going up is a real thing. There’s props where we’re voting on them to see what’s going to happen. It’s all so relevant. The love stories in Rent are so honest and so raw that if anything, through watching it, will just allow people to accept others that aren’t like them.”
Rent Live airs Sunday, January 27 at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.