Singer Joey Fatone during an 'N Sync concert.
Fatone, a member of the internationally successful boy band 'N Sync, will star as Mark in the New York company of the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical. As Mark, the struggling artist who captures the events of his friends' lives on video, Fatone will have the chance to sing such Larson tunes as "Rent," "You'll See," "Tango: Maureen," "La Vie Boheme," "Halloween" and "What You Own." Fatone began rehearsals July 8 for his Rent debut, which will occur on Aug. 5. He is scheduled to star in the musical through Dec. 22. About the famed work, which is loosely based on La Bohème, Fatone told the New York Times that "it's just a cutting edge kind of thing. It's nice to have a chance to play a character, not just be myself." The rock star also explained that he has wanted to star in a Broadway musical since high school and also thought about auditioning for Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
"Hopefully, Joey is going to bring in tens of thousands of new audience members who I believe will be converted to Rent-heads, who will keep us going for the next couple years," Rent producer Jeffrey Seller told Playbill On-Line. "Girls who were eight [when Rent started] were not going to see Rent, but now they're 14 and they would go see Rent."
That 14-year-old demographic happens to be Joey Fatone's fan base.
Concerning the lives of a group of friends in New York's East Village, Rent premiered on Broadway on April 29, 1996, following the tragic death of its young composer-lyricist-librettist. The original company boasted Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Idina Menzel, Jesse Martin and Tony-winner Wilson Jermaine Heredia. The current cast comprises Manley Pope (Roger), Matt Caplan (Mark), Mark Richard Ford (Tom Collins), Jai Rodriguez (Angel), Karmine Alers (Mimi) and Maggie Benjamin (Maureen).
Joseph Anthony Fatone Jr. was born in Brooklyn, NY, in January 1977. The young singer worked at Universal Studios before joining the now world famous band 'N Sync, whose albums include "'N Sync," "The Winter Album," "Home for Christmas" and "No Strings Attached." Also an actor, Fatone currently stars as Angelo in the film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." His other film credits include "On the Line" and "Longshot."
Rent plays the Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st Street. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, (212) 307-4100.
—By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones