Rent, Jonathan Larson's Tony- and Pulitzer-winning rock musical, opens tonight, Sept. 28, at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.
This production had its West Coast premiere this summer at La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, CA, where director Michael Greif is artistic director.
This musical retelling of La Boheme relocates the story to the 1990s East Village, where a group of aspiring young artists of many persuasions try to stay true to their art and to each other as they are stalked by pennilessness and AIDS.
The musical debuted in winter of 1996 at Off-Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop, won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, then moved to Broadway where it won the Tony Award as Best Musical. Its composer/lyricist/librettist, Jonathan Larson, died of an aortic aneurym the night after the show's final dress rehearsal.
The cast of the West Coast Rent includes: Neil Patrick Harris (Mark) -- best known for playing Doogie Howser M.D. on TV, he also starred Off-Broadway in James Lapine's Luck, Pluck & Virtue.
Sharon Brown (soloist on "Seasons Of Love") -- played Effie in Dreamgirls on Broadway.
Also Wilson Cruz (Angel) -- played Ricky on TV's "My So-Called Life."
D'Monroe (Benny) -- played in the Boston company of Rent.
Also in the cast are Carla Bianco, Kevyn Brackett, Hallie Bulliet, Monique Daniels, Laura Days, Leigh Hetherington (Maureen), Sala Iwamatsu, Leroy Jackson, Owen Johnston II, Christan Mena (Roger) Christopher Patric, Kenna Ramsey (Joanne), Julia Santana (Mimi), Andy Senor, Curt Skinner, Paul Oakley Stovall and Brent Davin Vance.
Director Michael Greif's entire New York design team -- set designer Paul Clay, costumer Angela Wendt, lighting designer Blake Burba and sound designer Kurt Fischer -- recreated their work at La Jolla.
Tickets to Rent in Los Angeles, call (213) 628-2772.
The West Coast production of Rent continues the tradition begun on Broadway and continued in the La Jolla, CA West Coast premiere, offering discount tickets to persistent early-birds. Seats in the first two rows of the theatre will be on sale for only $20, the day of the performance. Regular tickets in Los Angeles are $32.50-$70.