The 20th Anniversary production of Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical RENT is the fastest selling show in the history of the St. James Theatre, having sold the most tickets not only in a 24-hour period after on-sale, but also in the first week of an on-sale period. RENT also breaks the record for the most amount of money taken on the first day of sales, beating the theatre’s previous fastest selling show record-holders, Sideways and The Pianist of Willesden Lane.
Producer Robert Mackintosh said, “I am delighted that the reaction to the 20th Anniversary production of RENT, by way of ticket sales, has been so strong, especially for my first venture with co-producers Ingrid Sutej and Miguel Esteban.”
RENT will play the St. James Theatre in London from 8 December 2016 to 28 January 2017, with a press night on Tuesday 13 December, following a limited run at Theatr Clwyd and a three-week tour. 2017 tour dates are to be announced.
The cast includes 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 Lucie Jones as Maureen Johnson, with Katie Bradley, Jordan Laviniere, Bobbie Little, Christina Modestou, Jenny O’Leary and Kevin Yates. Casting for the role of Benjamin Coffin III will be announced shortly.
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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. The show premiered in London’s West End in 1998 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, where it ran for 18 months. It was adapted into a film 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, One Song Glory, La Vie Bohème, Without You, I’ll Cover You, Out Tonight, I Should Tell You and the title song.
RENT is produced by Robert Mackintosh and Idili Theatricals Limited, in association with Theatr Clwyd and Wales Millennium Centre.
The new production will be directed by Bruce Guthrie with Choreography by Lee Proud, Set Design by Olivier Award-winner Anna Fleischle and Costume Design by Loren Elstein, with Lighting Design by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rick Fisher, Sound Design by Olivier Award-winner Mike Walker, Video Design by Andrzej Goulding, Musical Supervision and Direction by Phil Cornwell 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.
RENT is presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Ltd.