Thoms, Stewart to join cast of ‘Rent’

Actresses reprising roles in Broadway musical

Tracie Thoms will join the cast of Broadway’s “Rent,” reprising the role she played in the 2005 movie adaptation of the tuner.

A series regular on CBS skein “Cold Case,” Thoms (“Grindhouse,” “The Devil Wears Prada”) played lawyer Joanne in the “Rent” pic. She steps into the onstage incarnation of the part July 26, appearing in the show through its final perf Sept. 7.

Also returning to “Rent” is Gwen Stewart, the original soloist for anthem “Seasons of Love.” Stewart, who began performances July 21, was in the original cast at Off Broadway’s New York Theater Workshop, where Jonathan Larson’s East Village update of “La Boheme” preemed in 1996 before it jumped to the Rialto later that year.

Engagements by both Thoms and Stewart look to stoke interest from the show’s sizable contingent of die-hard fans, aka Rentheads. Judging by sales figures from the closing weeks of past Broadway long-runners, “Rent” box office looks poised to rise during the countdown to final curtain.

Last week the musical tallied $470,225 in receipts and played to houses averaging 73% of capacity. In its 12 years on the boards, the Rialto production of “Rent” has so far grossed nearly $270 million.

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