"Idol" Finalists Will Join Rent Tour This Fall

News   "Idol" Finalists Will Join Rent Tour This Fall
Two veterans of the "Idol" pop competition will be joining the NETworks Presentations national tour of Rent, the producers announced.

Anwar Robinson and Heinz Winckler
Anwar Robinson and Heinz Winckler

Heinz Winckler will be playing Roger Davis, and Anwar Robinson will be taking on the role of Tom Collins. Winckler was the winner of the first "South African Idol" in 2002 and the fourth place finalist in the 2003 inaugural "World Idol" competition, in which he competed against "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson. Robinson was the seventh place finalist on the fourth season of "American Idol."

Winckler played Tony in a Toronto production of West Side Story and has recorded three albums with Sony BMG, including "One Step Closer," "Come Alive" (both South African Music Award "SAMA" nominees for Best Pop Album) and "Moment of Truth." His song, "Once in a Lifetime," was a SAMA nominee for Best Single. He performed the song "Chasing Shadows" for the Walt Disney movie "Treasure Planet" and participated in the Westlife Greatest Hits Tour in South Africa. Winckler has received the People Magazine Award for Hottest Hunk, South Africa's Hottest Artist and Best Male Personality. He was also featured in Cosmopolitan's Sexy Man Calendar.

Robinson will make his stage debut in this non-Equity touring production of Rent.

American audiences will recall Robinson as the music teacher who was rocketed to television stardom on season four of the pop-culture phenomenon "American Idol." His vocal range quickly landed him a coveted spot in the "Idol" Top 10, where Paula Abdul called him "technically the best singer of the competition." He's toured the country as part of the Idols Live show. The New Jersey native recently released his debut album, "The Truth About Love."

Rent, written by composer-lyricist-librettist Jonathan Larson and directed by Michael Greif, opened at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre, on April 29, 1996, and continues to play there. It concerns the loves, losses and artistic passions of a group of bohemians living in Manhattan's East Village in the age of AIDS. The next generation of the national tour of Rent kicks off in York, PA, Oct. 15. For more information on the show, visit www.siteforrent.com.

For Winckler's official website, visit www.heinzw.co.za. Find Robinson at www.myspace.com/anwarrobinsonastomcollins.

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