Jonathan Larson's musical Rent will have its Dutch language premiere tonight at the Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Unlike previous international productions, the Dutch Rent will not copy the original production, which opened at New York Theatre Workshop on February 13, 1996 and subsequently transferred to Broadway's Nederlander Theatre on 41st Street, where it opened on April 29, 1996. Michael Greif directed the original production of Rent.
Rent is directed by Belgian director Ivo van Hove, director of the Dutch theatre company Het Zuidelijk Toneel and artistic director of the Holland Festival. He has directed numerous plays and operas, but Rent marks his debut as a director of a musical. For New York Theatre Workshop he directed controversial revivals of More Stately Mansions (for which he received an Obie Award) and A Streetcar Named Desire.
Set and lighting for Rent design is by van Hove's longtime partner Jan Versweyfeld, with costumedesigns by Veerle van den Wouwer and choreography by Koen Augustijnen. Musical director is Eelco Claassen. New York video artists Tal Tarden and Patricia Fox have also created work for this production. The Dutch translation is by Daniel Cohen.
The cast of Rent consists of Tom van Landuyt as Mark Cohen, Jim de Groot as Roger Davis, Nurlaila Karim as Mimi Marquez, Stefan Swinkels as Angel, Edwin Jonker as Tom Collins, Ellis van Laarhoven as Maureen Johnson, Casey Francisco as Joanne Jefferson, and Gino Emnes as Benjamin Coffin III. Other roles are played by Tino Bos, Loraine Kammeron, Saskia Kikkert, Kok-Hwa Lie, Karina Mertens, Jurgen Stein, Stephen Stephanou, Hannah van Meurs and Tom Van den Broeck. Besides the Nederlander Theatre in New York and the current North American tour, Rent can also be seen in Ireland, Italy and South Korea. Rent was also presented in the London West End, Canada, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Spain and the Philippines. Future productions are planned for Greece, Portugal, Argentina, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, as well as a tour throughout the United Kingdom.
Rent will tour The Netherlands and Belgium until 27 May 2001 and will play more than 50 different theatres. The show is produced in The Netherlands by Joop van den Ende Theaterproducties, a subsidiary of Stage Holding, which currently co-produces The Music Man on Broadway. More information about the Dutch production of Rent can be found on the Dutch language site: www.musicals.nl.