The Muny Announces the Starring Cast for The Muny Premiere of Rent
ST. LOUIS (May 18, 2023) – The Muny announced today that Lincoln Clauss, Vincent Kempski, Ashley De La Rosa, Tré Frazier, Adrian Villegas, Evan Tyrone Martin, Anastacia McCleskey and Lindsay Heather Pearce will star in the cultural phenomenon, Rent, August 4 - 10, 2023. The Pulitzer-Prize-winning musical is led by director Lili-Anne Brown, choreographer Breon Arzell, associate choreographer Carollette Phillips, with music direction by Jermaine Hill. Rent is proudly sponsored by Commerce Bank.
“This extraordinary company promises ‘No Day Like Today,’” said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson, “Rent is a landmark musical, and it promises true Muny history.”
LINCOLN CLAUSS (Mark Cohen) is thrilled to return to The Muny after playing Tobias in last season’s Sweeney Todd. New York: Bat Out of Hell (New York City Center). Regional credits: Cabaret (Asolo Rep), Fly (La Jolla Playhouse), Burn All Night (American Repertory Theater), Evocation to Visible Appearance (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival of New Plays), Peter Pan (Laguna Playhouse). TV: Batwoman (CW). Proud alum of Ball State University.
VINCENT KEMPSKI (Roger Davis) was most recently seen in Kinky Boots (Charlie Price, Olney Theatre Center) in his hometown of Washington D.C. Other select regional credits include Assassins (John Wilkes Booth, Helen Hayes nomination), Rent (Roger Davis), Into the Woods (Cinderella's Prince), A Chorus Line (Al DeLuca), Gypsy (Tulsa), Spring Awakening (Melchior Gabor), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chip Tolentino). Film/TV: A Capitol Fourth.
ASHLEY DE LA ROSA (Mimi Marquez) is a multi-hyphenate artist working in theatre, television and music. She was in the original company of Mean Girls on Broadway and the closing company of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical as Janelle Woods. National tours: Hamilton: An American Musical (Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds) and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (swing). TV: Apple TV’s Dear Edward (Sienna) and the third season of HBO’s The Other Two (Natalie). But before all of that, her first professional theatre gig was as a swing and understudy in Rent: The 20th Anniversary Tour, so she’s ecstatic to return to this show again after six years. Ashley’s original music is available for streaming on all digital music platforms.
TRÉ FRAZIER (Benjamin Coffin III) Credits include Hamilton (Principal Standby in the Peggy, Eliza and Angelica touring companies), Sister Act (TJ) for Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and Kansas City Starlight, Mamma Mia! and Pride and Prejudice (Ensemble) forIdaho Shakespeare Festival and Great Lakes Theater and The Nolan Williams Project (Ensemble) for Cleveland Playhouse. Graduate of Baldwin Wallace University in Music Theatre (2018). Originally from Hartford, Connecticut. Proud AEA member.
ADRIAN VILLEGAS (Angel Schunard) is a passionate up-and-coming Puerto Rican and Colombian artist who is absolutely honored to be making their debut at The Muny! Regional credits: Grease (La Mirada Theatre), Evita (The REV). Adrian graduated from Hussian College In Studio in 2021 majoring in Contemporary Musical Theatre and Film. They also had the honor of being a two-time Jimmy Award nominee at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in 2016 and 2017.
EVAN TYRONE MARTIN (Tom Collins) is so excited to return to The Muny after playing Mister in The Color Purple! Other select credits: Grease (Teen Angel) at Drury Lane, Blues in the Night (Man in Saloon, Black Theatre Alliance Award) at Porchlight Music Theatre, Queer Eye: The Musical Parody (Karamo) at Second City, The Black Clown (Ensemble) at American Repertory Theater and Lincoln Center's 2019 Mostly Mozart Festival, Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus, BTAA nomination) at Paramount Theatre, Dreamgirls (Curtis), Far From Heaven (Raymond, Jefferson nomination) at Porchlight and Disney’s The Little Mermaid at Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Martin also toured with the hit one-man revue An Unforgettable Nat King Cole Christmas and stars in his one-man show Let’s Fall In Love, celebrating the music of Cole and other iconic performers of his time.
ANASTACIA MCCLESKEY (Joanne Jefferson) starred last summer as Celie in The Color Purple (St. Louis Theater Circle Award). She recently starred as muse Thalia in Disney's Hercules at Paper Mill Playhouse, Dotty in the Broadway revival of Caroline, or Change; and Nurse Norma in the Broadway production of Waitress. Other Broadway: Violet, The Book of Mormon, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Hair, Tarzan. Favorite select credits include Hairspray (first national tour), Close to You (London’s West End), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Barrington Stage), world premieres of The Secret Life of Bees, Afterwords and The Tattooed Ladies, and Murder Ballad (Helen Hayes nomination). TV: Annie Live! (NBC), New Amsterdam (NBC), The Good Fight (CBS).
LINDSAY HEATHER PEARCE (Maureen Johnson) is honored to be making her Muny debut with this special show. Broadway: Wicked (Elphaba). First national tour: Mean Girls (Janis Sarkisian). Regional: American Idiot, Spring Awakening, Bare. TV/Film: The Glee Project, Glee, Recovery Road, Grey’s Anatomy, Drop Dead Diva.
About the show:
Strength, revolution, survival. 1980s East Village NYC was a place of struggle and angst for impoverished artists living through the AIDS epidemic. They persevered through love and acceptance. The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical taught us to measure our life in love. The Jonathan Larson rock musical that defined a generation features the iconic “Seasons of Love,” along with “Light My Candle,” “One Song Glory” and “La Vie Bohème.”
The Telsey Office is the official casting partner for The Muny. Full casting will be announced at a later date.
For headshots and show logo, please click HERE.
The Muny’s 2023 Season includes Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (June 12-18), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (June 22-30), Chess (July 5-11), West Side Story (July 15-21), Little Shop of Horrors (July 25-31), Rent (August 4-10) and Sister Act (August 14-20).
Season tickets are currently on sale. Single tickets will be available beginning May 22. Muny gift cards for the 105th season are now available online and at The Muny Box Office. For more information, visit muny.org or call (314) 361-1900.