She was announced to start April 16, but on doctors' orders sat out April 16-18. Inflamed vocal chords were the issue, producer Jeffrey Seller said.
The sexy singer — who also goes by Mel B — will play the love-and-action-starved Mimi in the rock musical at the Nederlander Theatre.
Pop stars aren't new to the long-running smashzilla by lyricist-librettist-composer Jonathan Larson: Joey Fatone stepped into the show for a time, playing Mark, and "American Idol" refugee Frenchie Davis played various roles in the show, soloing on the Act II opener, "Seasons of Love."
A spokesman told Playbill On-Line Davis will return to the Broadway run of Rent in July. Later in the summer she'll plays Effie in the Pittsburgh CLO revival of Dreamgirls.
Drew Lachey, the pop star of the group 98 Degrees, is expected to join Broadway's Rent in the role of Mark at the end of September, a spokesman confirmed. Melanie Brown gained international fame as Scary Spice, one of five members of the pop music sensation, Spice Girls, which emerged on the pop scene in 1996 when they released their first single, "Wannabe," a No. 1 on the U.K. charts for seven weeks. The song later reached the top of the U.S. music charts and the album on which it appeared, "Spice," sold over seven million units in the U.S. alone, making it the year's No. 1 album here (as it was in the U.K.).
The album spawned three Top 10 hits. The group's second album, "Spice World," released in 1997, sold over four million units here and its first single, "Spice Up Your Life," debuted at No. 1. In 2000, the group made British music history when its single, "Holler," from the album "Forever," hit No. 1, making Spice Girls the first all-female group to have nine number one singles in Britain. They received numerous awards, including three 1998 American Music Awards and an MTV Video Music Award, and their movie, "Spice World," was released in 1997.
Brown's stage credits include The Vagina Monologues in London's West End and in Manchester. She has appeared in the films "LD50" and "Fish" and in the upcoming "Seat Filler," and has made numerous television appearances, as both actress and performer.
Rent is inspired by Puccini's La Bohème and won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Score, Best Book and Best Musical, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The company also includes Jeremy Kushnier, Matt Caplan, Mark Richard Ford, D'Monroe, Danielle Lee Greaves, Andy Señor, Maggie Benjamin, Kristen Lee Kelly, Destan Owens, Catrice Joseph, Colin Hanlon, Justin A. Johnston, Enrico Rodriguez, Mayumi Ando and Krystal L. Washington.