'N Sync star puts vacation on hold to make 'Rent'

Joey Fatone cancels trip to Russia to put musical talent to work in smash Broadway musical

— It's a real bummer when getting a new job means you have to cancel your vacation plans. Just ask Joey Fatone.

The 'N Sync star was talking to his boy bandmates about an October visit to Russia � where they'd watch cohort Lance Bass blast into outer space � but then Fatone was offered a starring role in "Rent," so now his plans for a holiday are on hold.

With his role as Mark Cohen � Fatone is under contract through Dec. 22 � the popster is taking advantage of the group's lull in touring.

Fatone tried out for the role of studly Roger but soon learned the vocal range required was too high. So the producers offered him a second audition for another role.

"It wasn't like they gave me a call and asked me to do it," Fatone says. "I asked if there were any positions open and if I could audition."

If the "Rent" gig hadn't panned out, Fatone says, he had a backup plan: "I'd also really love to do 'Beauty and the Beast.' It could come next."

While prepping for his Aug. 5 debut has him a little nervous � "I don't want to screw up my cues" � Fatone knows his presence may draw screaming girls to the theater.

"The show is set in the '80s," he points out. "For a lot of 'N Sync fans, this could be a history lesson."


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