"Idol" castoff Frenchie Davis has been with Rent for many months now (since spring 2003, with some absences for other work), playing several parts, including the choice vocal role of the "Seasons of Love" soloist. Rent plays the Nederlander Theatre, and celebrates 10 years there this spring.
On Feb. 7, "Idol" runner up Diana DeGarmo joins Hairspray, playing teen Penny Pingleton, best friend of Tracy Turnblad. DeGarmo was 16 when she rose to fame on Fox TV's talent contest; she is now almost 18, and will continue in Hairspray through May 14.
Disney's new Tarzan musical (starting March 24 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre) will star Josh Strickland in the title role. Strickland has been seen as Mark and Roger in the national tour of Rent. He was a national finalist on "American Idol" and appeared on "Star Search 2004."
At the Neil Simon Theatre, DeGarmo joins the Hairspray company of Tevin Campbell as Seaweed, Shannon Durig as Tracy, Jonothan Dokuchitz as Corny, Becky Gulsvig as Amber, Michael Cunio as Brad, Lindsay Nicole Chambers as Tammy, Serge Kushnier as Fender, Leslie Goddard as Brenda, Bryan West as Sketch, Donna Vivino as Shelley, Todd Michael Smith as IQ, Anne Warren as Lou Ann, Andrew Rannells as Link Larkin, Julie Halston as Prudy Pingleton/Gym Teacher/Matron, John Pinette as Edna Turnblad, Tracy Miller as Penny, Leah Hocking as Velma Von Tussle, Kevin Meaney as Harriman F. Spritzer/Principal/Mr. Pinky/Guard, Stephen DeRosa as Wilbur Turnblad, Tyrick Wiltez Jones as Duane, Arbender J. Robinson as Gilbert, Terita R. Redd as Lorraine, Rashad Naylor as Thad, Carla J. Hargrove, Judine Somerville, Candice Marie Woods as The Dynamites, Chloe Smith as Little Inez, Darlene Love as Motormouth Mabel. Hairspray plays Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM, and Sunday at 3 PM, at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre, 250 West 52nd Street. For ticket information, phone Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100, or for group sales, phone (212) 302-7000 or (800) 677-1164.
For more information about Hairspray, visit www.hairsprayonbroadway.com.
For more information about Diana DeGarmo, visit www.dianadegarmo.com.