Vanessa Hudgens of “High School Musical” is moving onto a more mature productions nowadays, showing off her singing and dancing skills at the Hollywood Bowl. The actress appears in the L.A. production of “Rent,” directed by Neil Patrick Harris, alongside stars such as Wayne Brady and Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger (see our report on Neil Patrick Harris, here).
The runaway Broadway hit, showcasing the lives of a group of young New Yorkers, is not exactly as peachy-rosey as the “High School Musical” productions. However, Hudgens and her castmates were all up for the challenging play, and the one and only week of rehearsal time they had to prepare for the show.
“It’s been insanity,” Hudgens told MTV News about the grueling schedule. “[The] first two days was [everyone gathering] around the piano and the rest of them [were] just trying to figure out where you are. It’s kind of like, you do it [and then] it’s like, ‘You did it! Great, moving on.’ You’re like … ‘OK, it’s OK, I’ll just figure it out on my own time.’ ”
Just like “HSM,” “Rent” has a die-hard following, and it saw it’s cinematic release in 2005. Hudgens, who plays a drug-addicted dancer, gives her own view about the play. “For me I think the strongest thing is how my character Mimi finds strength within love,” Hudgens explained. “I’m a hopeless romantic, so it gets me every time.” And as for differences between characters in “HSM” and “Rent” Hudgens admits. “It’s 100 percent different than ‘High School Musical’ because the characters [have] so much more to deal with and [my character goes] through such a massive journey. Each song really shows a different side of the character,” Hudgens said.
Crediting her director for helping her back into the musical pace and environment, she says . “It’s exciting. Getting back into it has been kind of like a leap of faith, but I know I’m in good hands with Neil.”