Although Rubin-Vega is best known for originating the role of Mimi Marquez in the original Broadway production of "Rent" (1996-97), she was replaced by Rosario Dawson in the 2005 film version because of a pending pregnancy. In 2010, Rubin-Vega earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for reprising her stage role in Jack Goes Boating, a relationship-driven character study that also marked co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman's directorial debut.
Rubin-Vega's other notable theater credits include "Anna in the Tropics," "The House of Bernarda Alba" and "Les Misérables." She also appears briefly in Sex and the City: The Movie (2008).
When guidance counselor Sam Lombardo rejects the advances of teen socialite Kelly Van Ryan, she accuses him of rape. In short order, Sam is suspended by the school, rejected by the country club and fighting to get his life back.