Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens is going from Disney sweetheart to tragic exotic dancer — on stage.

The 21-year-old High School Musical star will play Mimi, an HIV-positive club dancer, in Neil Patrick Harris' staging of Rent, TVGuide.com has confirmed. The role of Mimi was originated by Daphne Rubin-Vega on Broadway and assumed by Rosario Dawson in the film version.

Check out videos of Vanessa Hudgens

"She came in for a work session, and I must say, Vanessa really impressed," Harris said in a statement. "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."

The Tony Award-winning show will run Aug. 6-8 at the Hollywood Bowl.