New Line Theatre Opens RENT Tonight
New Line Theatre, "the bad boy of musical theatre, " continues its 23rd season of adult, alternative musicaltheatre with an all-new, re-imagined production of the Pulitzer Prize winning contemporary classic, the iconic rock opera RENT, running tonight, March 6-29, 2014.
New Line's season continues with one of the shows that breathed new life into the American musical theatre in the 1990s (just a few years after the founding of New Line), the world-famous rock opera RENT, a contemporary rock/pop riff on Henri Murger's comic French novel, Scenes de la Vie de Bohème and to a lesser extent, on the famous Puccini opera La Bohème, but now set in New York City's East Village "at the end of the millennium." In the words of the show's creator Jonathan Larson, "In these dangerous times, where it seems the world is ripping apart at the seams, we can all learn how to survive from those who stare death squarely in the face every day and we should reach out to each other and bond as a community, rather than hide from the terrors of life at the end of the millennium." It's a show about celebrating life, anywhere we can find it, even in the face of death.
The New Line cast includes Jeremy Hyatt (Mark), Evan Fornachon (Roger), Anna Skidis (Mimi), Luke Steingruby (Angel), Marshall Jennings (Collins), Sarah Porter (Maureen), Cody LaShea (Joanne), Shawn Bowers (Benny), Kevin Corpuz, Robert Lee Davis III, Zachary Allen Farmer, Ryan Foizey, Wendy Greenwood, Melissa Harris, Nellie Mitchell, and Marcy Wiegert, with direction by Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy, scenic and lighting design by Rob Lippert, costume design by Sarah Porter and Marcy Wiegert, and sound design by Kerrie Mondy.
Artistic director Scott Miller says, "Jonathan Larson said he wanted Rent to be a Hair for the 90s, and in many ways the two shows are really closely related. As we talked about finally producing Rent, I decided that was my way into this material. New Line has producedHair three times over the years and I've written a book about the show. The more I've thought about it, the more I realize everything I learned about Hair applies equally to Rent. So our Rent will be wilder, rowdier, more visceral, and much more up-close-and-personalthan past incarnations of the show. It's not just a musical; it's a celebration."
Opening on Broadway in 1996, The New York Times called Rent an "exhilarating, landmark rock opera," and said it "shimmers with hope for the future of the American musical." Time magazine called it "the most exuberant and original American musical to come along this decade." The Wall Street Journal called it "the best new musical since the 1950s." Frank Rich, New York Times political columnist and former senior theatre critic, wrote in a Times op-ed piece, "At so divisive a time in our country's culture, Rent shows signs of revealing a large, untapped appetite for something better." Rent was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won four, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book. It won six Drama Desk Awards, three Obie Awards, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama League Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
More information about Rent is on the New Line website at http://www.newlinetheatre.com/rentpage.html.
New Line Theatre is a professional company dedicated to involving the people of the St. Louis region in the exploration and creation of daring, provocative, socially and politically relevant works of musical theatre. New Line was created back in 1991 at the vanguard of anew wave of nonprofit musical theatre just starting to take hold across the country. New Line has given birth to several world premiere musicals over the years and has brought back to life several shows that were not well served by their original New York productions. Altogether, New Line has produced 69 musicals since 1991, and the company was recently given its own entries in the Cambridge Guide to American Theatre and Theatre World. New Line receives funding from the Regional Arts Commission, the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
Rent runs March 6-29, 2014, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, at 8:00 p.m., at the Washington University South CampusTheatre (formerly CBC High School), 6501 Clayton Road, just east of Big Bend. March 6 is a preview. Tickets are on sale now through the Fox Theatre Box Office, or by calling 314-534-1111. This show contains adult content and adult language.
HIGH SCHOOL DISCOUNT: Any student with a valid school ID can get a $10 ticket at any performance, with the code word for that show, which will be posted on New Line's Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/NewLineTheatre.
New Line also continues to offer the COLLEGE FREE SEATS, ten seats put aside for every performance, free to anyone with a valid college student ID, one ticket per ID. The Free Seats will be available at the theatre box office, from 7:00 p.m. to 7:55 p.m. on performance nights only.
EDUCATORS AND MILITARY DISCOUNT: New Line offers all currently employed educators and all active duty military personnel half price tickets on any Thursday night, with work ID or other proof of employment. Not valid in connection with other discounts or offers, available only at the door, and subject to availability.
For other information, visit New Line Theatre's full-service website at www.newlinetheatre.com. All programs are subject to change.