Frenchie Davis, Idled American Idol, Is New Soloist in Broadway's Rent, May 16

News   Frenchie Davis, Idled American Idol, Is New Soloist in Broadway's Rent, May 16 Frenchie Davis, the big-voiced singer who was ousted from TV's "American Idol" pop competition earlier this year makes her Broadway debut as the "Seasons of Love" soloist in Rent, starting May 16.

Frenchie Davis performs in Rent.
Frenchie Davis performs in Rent. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Davis will be the soaring soloist in the Act Two opener of the Broadway smash, and will play ensemble roles.

Davis, a hefty actress-singer with short-cropped hair and a rich belt, was seen as a favorite to win the Fox TV talent contest until producers kicked her out in February because she had appeared on an adult website.

Originally from Los Angeles, Davis is currently a senior at Howard University majoring in musical theatre. In addition to numerous university productions including Ain't Misbehavin', Timbuktu!, and a musical revue, Black Broadway, Davis has performed professionally in German productions of Little Shop of Horrors and Jesus Christ Superstar. She was selected as one of the semi-finalists on "American Idol" in January and quickly became an audience favorite. Her performances of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" and "Band of Gold" on the show are remembered by fans.

Jonathan Larson penned book, music and lyrics for Rent, the La Bohème-inspired rock musical that tells the story of East Village friends and lovers in the age of AIDS. Larson won the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize, posthumously. He died of an aortic aneurysm on the eve of the show's Off-Broadway run.

The Michael Greif-directed company of Rent includes Krystal L. Washington (who joins the cast May 16, playing Mimi), Mayumi Ando, Sebastian Arcelus (Roger), Matt Caplan (Mark), Cristina L. Fadale (Maureen), Mark Richard Ford (Collins), Stu James (Benny), Justin A.Johnston, Kendra Kassebaum, Darryl Ordell, Todd E. Pettiford, Kenna J. Ramsey (Joanne) and Andy Senor (Angel). On July 11, Rent will play its 3,000th performance at the Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.Tickets range $35-$90. For information, call (212) 307-4100.

*

Beginning July 6, the performance schedule will be 8 PM Monday-Saturday, 2 PM Wednesday and Saturday.

(L-R) Colin Hanlon, Kenna J. Ramsey, Frenchie Davis, Sebastian Arcelus, Mark Richard Ford in <i>Rent</i>.
(L-R) Colin Hanlon, Kenna J. Ramsey, Frenchie Davis, Sebastian Arcelus, Mark Richard Ford in Rent. (Photo by Joan Marcus)