Currently on a UK tour that premiered at Theatr Clywd, Wales last year, the show is now preparing to celebrate its 21st anniversary since opening on Broadway on 29 April, 1996.
The cast includes Javar La’trial Parker (Showboat at the New London Theatre) as Benjamin Coffin III and Joshua Dever and Ross Hunter as Roger Davis, Billy Cullum as Mark Cohen, Ryan O’Gorman as Tom Collins, Shanay Holmes as Joanne Jefferson, Layton Williams as Angel Schunard, Philippa Stefani as Mimi Marquez and Christine Modestou as Maureen Johnson, with Harrison Clark, Raffaello Covino, Kevin Yates, Jordan Laviniere, Bobbie Little, Jenny O’Leary and Katie Bradley.
Jonathan Larson’s musical, inspired by Puccini’s opera La Bohème, won four Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1996. Ben Brantley’s New York Times review was a love letter to the show, calling RENT an “exhilarating, landmark rock opera”.
RENT ran on Broadway for 12 years, from 1996 to 2008, making it the eleventh longest running Broadway show of all time. The show premiered in London’s West End in 1998 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, where it ran for 18 months and went on to be adapted for the big screen in 2005.
Larson’s world is inhabited by a group of bohemian artists who struggle to maintain their friendships and their non-conformist ideals in New York’s East Village. Facing their problems head on, they make personal self-discoveries and find what really matters most in life.
The poignancy of the story was heightened when Jonathan Larson died of an aortic dissection on 25 January 1996, the night before the show’s first off-Broadway performance at New York Theatre Workshop.
The much-loved score features songs such as Seasons of Love, Take Me or Leave Me, What You Own, One Song Glory, La Vie Bohème, Without You, I’ll Cover You, Out Tonight and I Should Tell You.
The new production of RENT will have Choreography by Lee Proud, Musical Direction by Phil Cornwell, Set Design by Olivier Award-winner Anna Fleischle, Costume Design by Loren Elstein, Lighting Design by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rick Fisher, Sound Design by Olivier Award-winner Mike Walker, Video Design by Andrzej Goulding and Casting by Will Burton Casting.
RENT has Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson, Musical Arrangements by Steve Skinner, Original Concept and Additional Lyrics by Billy Aronson, Music Supervision and Additional Arrangements by Tim Weil, and Dramaturg is Lynn Thomson. RENT was originally produced in New York by New York Theatre Workshop and on Broadway by Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Alan S. Gordon and New York Theatre Workshop.
Watch the trailer Here
RENT runs on the Main Stage at the Belgrade Theatre from Tues 9 to Sat 13 May. Tickets are available now priced from £22.50 by calling the Belgrade Box Office team on 024 7655 3055 or visit www.belgrade.co.uk.