The producers of the Off-Broadway revival of “Rent” announced on July 3, that the musical will close on September 9, 2012. The production will have played 32 previews and 450 performances upon closing at New World Stages. The revival of “Rent” opened on August 11, 2011 Off-Broadway in order to save on production costs. With “Rent’s” success it was able to attract crowds to Off-Broadway and it will continue the show until the end of the summer tourist season.
The original “Rent” ran for 12 years on Broadway and won every major musical award, including the Tony Award, New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, and the Outer Critics Circle Award. “Rent” also won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, which makes it one of eight musicals to ever win. In all it won four Tony Awards, two Theatre World Awards, six Drama Desk Awards, and Obie Awards for the writer, director, and the whole cast, according to Broadwayworld.com.
“Rent” is a musical about young artists and musicians struggling to survive on the East Village of New York’s seedy Alphabet City in the early 1990s. The play follows impoverished friends over the course of one year as they fall in love, strive for success, and live in the moment, all while under poverty and AIDS/HIV. The original rock musical’s lyrics, book, and music was written by Jonathan Larson and directed by Michael Greif. “Rent” was based off of Giacomo Puccini’s opera La bohème.
The original production first opened on February 13, 1996 at the New York Theatre Workshop. After history making sold out shows at the New York Theatre Workshop, it transferred over to Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996. It played 5,124 performances and 16 previews before closing on September 7, 2008.
As the ninth longest running show on Broadway, “Rent” also toured across the nation since 1996. “Rent” has been translated and performed in several countries including Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, and Spain, among others. In 2005, “Rent” was adapted into a movie with most of the original cast members, according to Broadwayworld.com.
“Rent” currently features Justin Johnson as Roger, Arianda Fernandez as Mimi, Josh Grisetti as Mark, MJ Rodriguez as Angel, Emma Hutton as Maureen, Rashad Naylor as Benny, Nicholas Christopher as Collins, and Shaleah Adkisson as Joanne,among others.. On July 11, Anthony Fedorov and Natalie Wachen joined the cast as Roger and Mimi, according to Broadway.com.
The revival production of “Rent” offers performances Monday and Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 7:30 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. The New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. For more information about performances and tickets visit siteforrent.com.