BWW Interviews: Utah Rep's Production of RENT is Timeless Yet New

I'm sure I don't have to tell you (or at least I hope I don't have to tell you) that Rent is a musical that spoke to a new generation of theatergoers in the 90's which went on to win every major musical award, including the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize. Now, nearly twenty years later, Rent and its message proves its relevance by withstanding the test of time.

Yet, "director William Cooper Howell's vision is incredibly refreshing, and makes the show feel like new. It isn't simply a scene-by-scene remake of the Broadway original, it is very much its own piece, with its own life," says actor Austin Archer who plays Mark Cohen (pictured below) in Utah Repertory's upcoming production of Rent. Actor Karli Rose Lowry (Maureen) goes onto say "Our version of Rent is quite different than those that have come before." So, even if you're a die hard Renthead or you've never seen the show before, it sounds like Utah Rep's production has something to offer everyone. Austin Archer (<a data-cke-saved-href=

A celebration of life and the heroic struggle to survive, Rent is the story of seven friends struggling to survive in New York's Lower East Side. However, Rent is more than just the story of seven friends. It's the universal story of love and staying Karli Rose Lowry (Maureen) true to yourself. Archer puts into words what so many patrons feel after attending the show. "It allows me to reconnect with that younger version of myself that really believed in love, art, truth, and personal freedom above all else. Too often I find myself bogged down by cynicism and the toils of trying to get by in the real world...Rent is a show that reminds me why."

And props to Derek Gregerson (picture to the right below) who has a newfound admiration for women after playing the role of drag queen Angel "I have so much respect for women and what they have to go through when it comes to wearing Derek Gregerson (Angel Schunard)makeup and bras and shaving and don't even get me started with wearing heels." He adds on a serious note that "There is so much amazing talent in Salt Lake City but I think what sets this show apart is the cast and the overall message of and everyone involved has embodied that message and fully committed to sharing it." Oh yeah, "Also the space is amazing. Rent in a giant warehouse, what's not to love?!" Archer adds as a reason we should see this show.

If that isn't enough to convince you, check out the amazing promo video for their upcoming production.

Performances are Sept. 20-Oct. 6 on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 7:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. matinees Saturday, Sept. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 6. The Project is located at 258 West 700 South, Salt Lake City.

Tickets are $18-$15 at Utah Rep or $20-$17 at the door. A Utah Rep tradition, Pay What You May special pricing will be Thursday, Sept. 26.

Rent Cast Photo Credit: Jaron Hermansen / Underground Creative

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From This Author Megan Pedersen

Megan B. Gutierrez is a member of the American Theater Critics Association and is a theater lover from a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. (read more...)

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