From "High School" sweetheart to floozy exotic dancer with HIV: such is the linear career of Vanessa Hudgens.

The "High School Musical" star is headed to the stage in another musical, "Rent," to be directed by Broadway and small screen sweetheart Neil Patrick Harris. She will play Mimi.

The production will run Aug. 6-8 at the Hollywood Bowl in L.A.

"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."

Emmy Award-nominated Harris played Mark Cohen in the 1997 production and national tour of "Rent."

Hudgens trotted out her singing talents in last year's "Bandslam" and will be starring alongside Alex Pettyfer in forthcoming "Beastly," out July 30.