In My Life Refugee Hanke Will Be Rent's New Mark Aug. 7

News   In My Life Refugee Hanke Will Be Rent's New Mark Aug. 7
Christopher J. Hanke, the big-voiced actor who played the fresh-faced hero in the much-talked-about 2005 Broadway musical In My Life, will join the cast of Rent Aug. 7.

Hanke replaces Matt Caplan in the role of filmmaker Mark Cohen in Jonathan Larson's rock musical at the Nederlander Theatre.

Marking his Broadway debut, Hanke played J.T., the romantic-lead songwriter stricken with multiple health issues in In My Life, by composer-lyricist-librettist-director-producer Joseph Brooks. The show was considered one of the more bizarre original musicals to ever play Broadway. Theatrical novice (and former jingle writer) Brooks populated the show with a glam rock guardian angel, a baseball-cap-wearing (jingle-singing) God-like figure, a dead little girl making her way through a heaven that resembled an IRS storage facility and an opera-singing (dead) mother. At one point in the show, Hanke flew on wires wearing a hospital gown. It was not clear to some viewers if his character lived or died in the end.

Few disputed the actor's obvious talent in the strange musical. He and the company around him (including David Turner, Roberta Gumbel, Michael Halling and Jessica Boevers) had performance chops, even if the tale was hard to navigate.

Hanke's credits include playing Nick Piazza in Fame, Roberto Aguirre Sacasa's Golden Age, Lincoln Center Theater's reading of A.R. Gurney's Indian Blood, the national tour of Deaf West's Big River, the tour of The Full Monty (as Ethan) and Barnaby in Ford's Theater's The Matchmaker.

For more information about the smash run of Rent on Broadway, visit

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