Vanessa Hudgens Takes HIV-Positive Junkie Stripper Role in ‘Rent’

Vanessa Hudgens is ready to give the world another song-and-dance routine. But this one is going to run a little darker and deeper than the typical Disney joint.

The High School Musical sweetheart has signed on for a production of the Tony Award-winning musical Rent, which will run August 6-8 at the legendary Hollywood Bowl and will be directed by How I Met Your Mother star/awards-show standby Neil Patrick Harris.

In a bold new career turn, Hudgie Bear will play HIV-positive, drug-addicted S&M dancer Mimi Marquez.

While it remains to be seen how Hudgens will fare in the role, Harris gushed over her talents in a statement, noting,

“She came in for a work session, and I must say, Vanessa really impressed. She looks amazing, has great vocal chops and seems really committed to honoring the somewhat iconic role of Mimi. I look forward to audiences seeing a dark, edgy and very different side of Vanessa Hudgens this August.”

Do you think the world is ready for a whole new Vanessa Hudgens? Share your predictions in the comments section.