The gritty East Village world of Rent will be getting some new residents soon when Broadway vets Justin Johnston, Emma Hunton and Josh Grisetti and newcomer Aaron Lavigne join the rock musical’s off-Broadway cast at New World Stages.
According to the show’s official Facebook page, Hunton will step into the role of performance artist Maureen (currently played by Annaleigh Ashford) on January 13. Lavigne, who will assume the role of Mr. Grey & Others from Ben Thompson, will begin performances January 7. Johnston and Grisetti will join the company as musician Roger and filmmaker Mark, taking over from Matt Shingledecker and Adam Chanler-Berat, respectively, on January 20.
Hunton is a vet of Spring Awakening on Broadway and Next to Normal's national tour. Johnston previously played Angel Schunard in Rent on Broadway and in the show's national touring company, of which Lavigne is also a veteran. Grisetti’s off-Broadway credits include Enter Laughing, Candida and After the Ball.
Written and composed by the late Jonathan Larson, Rent is the story of friends and artists struggling to make a home in the East Village in the early 1990s. Johnston and Hunton join a cast that includes Margot Bingham, Brandon Victor Dixon, Arianda Fernandez, Marcus Paul James, Tamika Sonja Lawrence, Corbin Reid, Michael Rodriguez, Ephraim Sykes, Michael Wartella and Morgan Weed.