Vanessa Hudgens Earns Rave Reviews for Stand-Out 'Rent: Live' Performance as Maureen

Rent: Live got off to a disappointing start for some fans, but Vanessa Hudgens woke everyone up with a show-stopping solo performance of "Over The Moon" at the halfway mark.

The former High School Musical star played Maureen Johnson, the performance artist originally played by Idina Menzel on Broadway. Some viewers even suggested Hudgens single-handedly saved the show before "La Vie Boheme A" was performed.

"Seems like Vanessa Hudgens was the only one ready to hit her notes," one person wrote.

"Dammmmn Vanessa Hudgens literally rode in on a motorcycle and saved the show thank you gurl thank youuuu," another viewer wrote.

Rent: Live began on the wrong foot with a title card announcing it was "previously recorded." FOX ended up airing Saturday's dress rehearsal instead of a live broadcast because star Brennin Hunt injured his ankle and could not perform Sunday night. Before the first commercial break began, the cast said only the last act would be performed live, with the help of members from the original Broadway cast.

Hudges was one of two stars from FOX's Grease: Live broadcast to return in Rent: Live. Jordan Fisher also appeared in both.

Before the broadcast, Hudgens said she sees links between Maureen and her Grease character, Rizzo.

“I think that they are both strong, independent women who tend to put on a face in the fear of vulnerability, but they are very, very different women at very different times,” Hudgens told Us Weekly. “They are both very strong; they are just who they are, which also inspires me to live that way in my own personal life. They are both forward thinking.”

Hudgens said she hopes to appear in more musicals in the future.

“It’s my favorite thing to do. I told myself this year, ‘If I do a musical a year then I consider my career a success,’” the actress said. “It’s my happy place. It’s where I feel the most at home, the most free, the most creative. I just love it.”


Hudgens will be seen in Bad Boys For Life on Jan. 17, 2020, opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

Photo credit: FOX