A scene from Rent(Photo © Joan Marcus)
A scene from Rent
(Photo © Joan Marcus)
The producers of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Rent have announced that Jeremy Kushnier will be stepping into the Broadway company of Rent as Roger Davis while current star Ryan Link is on medical leave from the show. Link made his Broadway debut in the show two months ago but has been out since November 10; he will return on January 4. Kushnier played Roger on tour, and originated the role of Ren in the Broadway production of Footloose.

According to Link, "Rent is a tough show to sing 8 times a week, twice a day on weekends. It requires a larynx of steel. Classical opera singers get triple-cast and have a couple of days to rest between shows -- and they're not rocking out like we are." Link described his health problems as including "recurrent laryngitis, hoarseness and pre-nodular edema."

The Rent company continues to experience a high rate of turnover. Original cast member Gwen Stewart, who soloed in the show's well-known "Seasons of Love" number, has returned to the Broadway production as of November 15; she appeared on Broadway earlier this season in the Roundabout Theatre Company/Deaf West production of Big River.

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In other Rent news, the show's producers have announced the beginning of an international Internet talent search called "Wanna Be In Rent?" They have also launched an associated website, www.wannabeinrent.com.

Those interested in auditioning should make a VHS tape or a Mini DV tape following the guidelines listed on this page and mail it with a postmark no later than January 2, 2004. Rent casting director Bernard Telsey will select 15 finalists whose videos will be posted on the website to be voted on by visitors. The voting period will end on January 30 at 10am; the three finalists with the most votes will be announced later that day and flown to New York for live auditions.