Never did I ever think I would refer to a member of The Pussycat Dolls as "brilliant." However, after catching Nicole Scherzinger far exceed and then blow out of the water any expectations in the Neil Patrick Harris-directed Rent at the Hollywood Bowl, I can't think of any other way to articulate my opinion of this unexpected talent.
Yes, Scherzinger is beautiful and carries the air of pop star that seems an unlikely fit for a show like Rent or a part like Maureen. Yet her rendition of 'Over the Moon,' originated on Broadway by the seemingly incomparable Idina Menzel, was, dare I say, a revelation. She took an iconic character, immortalized by a beloved and Tony-winning actress and made the part fresh and very much her own. In fact, Scherzinger was one of the few who seemed to transcend the unconventional setting of the Hollywood Bowl - perhaps the only one of the ensemble I could envision playing this very part on Broadway. To put it simply, she killed it.
I'll repeat it: Nicole Scherzinger is brilliant. Her performance was such a delightful surprise. Sure, the other players were good - Wayne Brady was another unexpected talent, and even though Vanessa Hudgens was inconsistent, she wasn't terrible and at times really delivered - but ultimately, it is Scherzinger's performance that resonates long after the show is over. I genuinely hope that those with the power to recognize and employ such talent, despite any preconceived expectations, were in attendance this past weekend - someone needs to snap up this girl quick.