Vanessa Hudgens unveiled her latest tattoo on Sunday: delicate cursive words reading "Cages or Wings" on her shoulder. The actress shared three photos featuring the new ink on Instagram, thanking tattoo artist Mr. K for the work. Hudgens' friends praised the new tattoo, though interestingly, she restricted which followers were allowed to comment on the post.
Hudgens posted two black-and-white close-ups of the tattoo and one picture where she and her friends posed outside of the Bang Bang Tattoo studio in New York City. She wore a black face mask, a gray hat and a matching crop-top, standing at an angle so the new tattoo was clearly visible. The phrase "cages or wings" was likely a reference to the musical Tick, Tick... BOOM!, which Hudgens recently starred in a movie adaptation of. She seemed to confirm this by captioning the post "for JL," presumably meaning Jonathan Larson, the composer behind the play.
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Hudgens is starring in an upcoming film adaptation of Tick, Tick... BOOM! which will be released as a Netflix original film. Lin-Manuel Miranda directs the movie in his feature film directoral debut, and in addition to Hudgens, it stars Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús, Joshua Henry, Judith Light and Bradley Whitford.
Filming on Tick, Tick... BOOM! began in March of 2020, though it quickly shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Production finally resumed in October, and according to a report by The Daily Mail, it recently wrapped up. The story is considered semi-autobiographical for Larson, who wrote it about his own creative "midlife crisis" during the early 1980s.
Larson is best-known for writing and composing Rent, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize and three Tony Awards. However, Tick, Tick... BOOM! was written and performed before Larson had achieved such fame, in its earliest form. Larson passed away in 1996, so he never lived to see Tick, Tick... BOOM! achieve the level of cultural impact it now enjoys.
It makes sense that Hudgens would feel a close connection with Larson and his work, considering how large it has loomed in her own career. After gaining fame largely from the success of Disney's High School Musical, Hudgens went on to star in a theatrical production of Rent in Hollywood. At the time, critics mocked this casting decision, despite Hudgens' obvious experience with musical productions.
Hudgens returned to musical theater in 2015 for a production of Gigi, which ran on Broadway. In 2016, she starred in the televised musical Grease: Live, and in 2019 she starred in Rent: Live as well. So far, there is no release date for Tick, Tick... BOOM! yet, but fans are eager to see Hudgens back in her musical roots as soon as possible.