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Where Are They Now? Catch Up on the Careers of the Original Cast of RENT

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The original cast of Rent featured Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Idina Menzel, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Fredi Walker & Jesse L. Martin.

In our new series, 'Where Are They Now?' we're taking a look back at some of our favorite original Broadway casts, and catching up with their careers!

Next up, the original cast of Rent!


Anthony Rapp

Anthony Rapp originated the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway production of Rent. He reprised his role in the 1998 West End production of Rent. On stage, following Rent, Rapp went on to star as Charlie Brown in the 1999 Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Rapp then went on to star in regional productions of Nocturne, Henry V, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. In 2003, he starred in the Off-Broadway production of Private Jokes Public Places, and in 2004 he starred as Seymour Krelbourn in the national tour of Little Shop of Horrors.

Rapp returned to the role of Mark Cohen in Rent on Broadway in 2007 alongside original cast member Adam Pascal. In 2007, Rapp debuted his one-man-show Without You, based off his 2006 memoir about his time in Rent. In 2008, he appeared Off-Broadway in Some Americans Abroad. In 2009 Rapp once again took on the role of Mark Cohen in the national tour of Rent, starring one again alongside Adam Pascal as Roger. In 2014, Rapp originated the role of Lucas in the Broadway production of If/Then, starring Rent co-star Idina Menzel.

In film, Rapp has appeared in Twister, David Searching, Man of the Century, Road Trip, A Beautiful Mind, Open House, Rent (reprising his role as Mark Cohen on screen, alongside most of the original Broadway cast), Winter Passing, The Other Woman, Junction and more.

On television, Rapp has appeared in Spin City, The X-Files, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Psych, The Knick, The Good Fight, Star Trek: Discovery, 13 Reasons Why, Rent: Live and more.

Adam Pascal

Adam Pascal originated the role of Roger Davis in both the Broadway production of Rent. For his performance on Broadway, he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. He reprised his role in the 1998 West End production of Rent. Following Rent, Pascal went on to star in the original Broadway production of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida as Radames in 2000. That same year he released his first album, Model Prisoner. In late 2003-2004, Pascal joined the closing cast of the Broadway revival of Cabaret as the Emcee. That same year he went on to re-join the closing cast of Aida, and release his second album Civilian.

In 2007, Pascal returned to Rent on Broadway to star as Roger. He and Anthony Rapp reprised their roles as Roger and Mark in the Rent national tour. Pascal joined the Broadway cast of Memphis in 2011, as Huey Calhoun, remaining in he role until the show's closure. In 2013, Pascal starred as Billy Flynn in Chicago on Broadway. In 2016, Pascal also starred in the original Broadway production of Disaster! as Chad. That same year, he joined the Broadway company of Something Rotten! as William Shakespeare in the show's closing cast. In 2019, Pascal joined the Broadway cast of Pretty Woman: The Musical as Edward Lewis. He will be reprising this role in the show's national tour, opening in October.

On screen, Pascal has appeared in School of Rock, Rent (reprising his role of Roger Davis alongside most of the original cast), Cold Case, Falling Star, Wild About Harry or American Primitive, Punk's Dead, Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival, Rent: Live and more.

Daphne Rubin-Vega

Daphne Rubin-Vega originated the role of Mimi Marquez in the Broadway production of Rent. For her performance, she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Following Rent, Rubin-Vega went on to star in the Off-Broadway production of Gum in 1999, the Off-Broadway production of Two Sisters and a Piano in 2000, the Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Show in 2000, the Off-Broadway production of Free to Be... You and Me in 2002, and the Off-Broadway production of F-ing A in 2003.

In 2003, Rubin-Vega originated the role of Conchita in the Broadway production of Anna in the Tropics, earning a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play. In 2004 she starred in the Off-Broadway production of Chef's Theater: A Musical Feast, and the Off-Broadway production of Between Us. In 2006, Rubin-Vega starred alongside Phylicia Rashad Lincoln Center's production of Bernarda Alba. That same year she starred in the Off-Broadway production of Everythings Turning Into Beautiful.

In 2006, Rubin-Vega starred as Fantine in the 2006 Broadway revival of Les Miserables. In 2007, Rubin-Vega starred in the Off-Broadway production of Jack Goes Boating. In 2011, she starred in The New Group's Off-Broadway production of Blood From a Stone. In 2012, Rubin-Vega returned to Broadway to star as Stella Kowalski in the Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. In 2013, she starred in the Classic Stage Company Off-Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet. In 2014, she starred in the Off-Broadway Spanish-language Revival of The Vagina Monologues, entitled Los Monologos de la Vagina. In 2016, she starred in Signature Theatre's World Premiere Production of Daphne's Dive. In 2017 Rubin-Vega starred in Gingold Theatrical Group's Project Shaw Production of Super Shaw Women. In 2018, she starred in the New York premiere of Miss You Like Hell at The Public Theater. In 2019, she appeared in Rent: Live. In 2021, Rubin-Vega starred as salon owner Daniela in the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights.

Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin originated the role of Tom Collins in the Broadway production of Rent. He reprised his role in the 1998 West End production of Rent. Following Rent, Martin appeared on the television shows Ally McBeal, and The X-Files. From 1999 to 2008, he played Detective Edward "Ed" Green on Law & Order, making him the fifth-longest serving cast member on the show. In 2005, he starred alongside original Rent cast members Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Idina Menzel, and Taye Diggs in the film adaptation. Martin returned to NBC in 2009 to star in the show The Philanthropist.

In 2010, Martin returned to the stage, performing in the productions of The Merchant of Venice and The Winter's Tale as a part of The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. When the Merchant of Venice later transferred to Broadway to the Broadhurst Theater for a limited engagement, Martin reprised his role as Gratiano.

In 2012, Martin joined the cast of Smash for season two as Scott Nichols, the artistic director of the Manhattan Theatre Workshop. In 2019, he appeared in Rent: Live. Martin currently portrays Joe West in the superhero series The Flash.

Wilson Jermaine Heredia

Wilson Jermaine Heredia originated the role of Angel Dumott Schunard in the Broadway production of Rent, for which he won the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Actor in a musical. Heredia reprised his role in the West End production of Rent. In 2001 he starred in the Off-Broadway production of Eli's Comin'. Heredia starred in the 1999 film Flawless alongside Rent castmate Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Heredia also appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Heredia reprised his role as Angel Dumott Schunard in the 2005 film adaptation of Rent, alongside original cast members Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Idina Menzel, Jesse L. Martin and Taye Diggs. Heredia went on to appear on the TV shows Medium and Without a Trace. Heredia starred in the 2010 Off-Broadway production of Tales from the Tunnel, and made his return to Broadway in La Cage aux Folles in 2011 in the role of Jacob (replacing Robin de Jesus). In 2019, Heredia starred as Tony in Authentic Community Theatre's production of West Side Story. That same year he appeared in Rent: Live.

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel originated the role of Maureen Johnson in Rent, a performance which earned her a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Following Rent, Menzel starred in the Off-Broadway production of Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party, earning a Drama Desk Award nomination. Menzel then joined the Broadway cast of Aida as a replacement for Amneris, starring alongside Rent co-star Adam Pascal. In 2003, Idina Menzel originated the role of Elphaba in Wicked, a performance which earned her the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. After leaving the Broadway production of Wicked in 2005, she reprised the role in its West End production until 2006. In 2005, Menzel reprised her role as Maureen Johnson in Rent for the film adaptation of the stage musical. In 2007, Menzel starred on screen as Nancy Tremaine in the musical film Enchanted. In 2008, she released her solo album 'I Stand', which debuted at number 58 on the Billboard 200. From 2010-2013, she starred as Shelby Corcoran in the TV show Glee.

In 2013, Menzel lent her voice to the character Elsa, in Disney's Frozen, one of the highest grossing Disney films of all time. The song 'Let it Go', voiced by Menzel, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, making Menzel the first Tony Award-winning actor to have a top-10 song on the Billboard chart.

In 2014, Menzel starred in the original Broadway musical 'If/Then', receiving a Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. That same year, Menzel released her holiday album Holiday Wishes, which peaked at number 10 on the Billboard 200. In 2015, she released her self-titled album 'idina', which debuted at number 29 on the US Billboard 200. That same year Menzel sang The Star-Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XLIX.

In 2017, Menzel starred as C.C. Bloom in the Lifetime TV movie remake of the film Beaches. In 2018, she returned to the stage to star in the Off-Broadway play Skintight. In 2019, Menzel once again voiced the character of Else in Frozen II. That same year she starred opposite Adam Sandler in the acclaimed film Uncut Gems, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and released her second holiday album 'Christmas: A Season of Love', which debuted at number 2 on Billboard's US Top Holiday Albums. Menzel appeared in Rent: Live in 2019.

Menzel most recently starred opposite Camila Cabello in Kay Cannon's film adaptation of Cinderella, as the stepmother. Menzel will be reprising her role as Nancy Tremaine in the sequel to Enchanted, 'Disenchanted'.

Fredi Walker

Fredi Walker originated the role of Joanne Jefferson in the Broadway production of Rent. Following Rent, Walker went on to have a a recurring guest spot on the Showtime series The Big C. She is the founder and president of Big Spoon Productions, which produces and directs screenplays and teleplays. She is currently a voice instructor at the Music and Art Academy in Matawan, New Jersey. She also appeared on screen in Law and Order, as well as Rent: Live.

Taye Diggs

Taye Diggs originated the role of Benny in the Broadway production of Rent. Following Rent, Diggs appeared as Mr. Black in Andrew Lippa's off-Broadway production of The Wild Party at Manhattan Theatre Club. In 1998, he made his film debut in How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The following year he appeared in Doug Liman's Go, The Wood alongside Omar Epps and Malcolm D. Lee's The Best Man. He also starred in the 1999 remake of William Castle's House on Haunted Hill. Diggs appeared on Ally McBeal in 2001. In 2002, he starred as The Bandleader in the film version of Chicago. From 2004-2005 Diggs starred in the TV show Kevin Hill.

In 2005, he reprised the role of Benny for the film adaptation of Rent film, and appeared in Second Stage Theatre's production of A Soldier's Play. From 2007 to 2013, Diggs starred as Sam Bennett opposite Kate Walsh in Private Practice, the spin-off of Grey's Anatomy, which ran for six seasons. From 2014 until 2016, Diggs starred in the TNT serial crime drama Murder in the First. In 2015, Diggs starred as Hedwig in the Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Diggs is the author of four children's books, Mixed Me! (2015), Chocolate Me (2015), I Love You More Than... (2018), and My Friend! (2021).

Diggs currently stars as Billy Baker in The CW's All American.

Diggs' additional on screen credits include: Brown Sugar, Equilibrium, The Best Man Holiday, New Girl, The Good Wife, Rosewood, Rent: Live, and many more.


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