No Day But Today: London Rent Revival Closes Feb. 2

News   No Day But Today: London Rent Revival Closes Feb. 2 The London revival of Rent, entitled Rent Remixed, takes its final bow at the West End's Duke of York's Theatre Feb. 2.

Siobhan Donaghy as Mimi and Luke Evans as Roger in London's Rent revival.
Siobhan Donaghy as Mimi and Luke Evans as Roger in London's Rent revival. Photo by Alastair Muir

The updated version of Jonathan Larson's La Boheme-based rock musical opened on Oct. 15, 2007, starring Denise Van Outen and Sugarbabe Siobhan Donagh.

The musical had been booking until April 2008, but in December producers announced that the show would close early.

The re-orchestrated, reworked and redesigned production of Rent was given a contemporary makeover by director William Baker and music supervisor Steve Anderson, the creative team behind pop diva Kylie Minogue.

The show's spokesperson told Playbill.com that producers Ambassador Theater Group, Tulbart Productions and Michael Brenn are considering a possible life for the show on tour in Europe.

In the hope of making the show more accessible to London audiences, Baker reworked Larson's book, turning three of the central characters into English expatriates. Meanwhile, the original New York production recently announced that it too will close on June 1. After an acclaimed run Off-Broadway, Rent opened on April 29, 1996, at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre where the musical continues to run.

With book, music and lyrics by the late Jonathan Larson, the original cast included Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Idina Menzel, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Wilson Jermaine Heredia and Jesse L. Martin. Michael Greif directed with choreography by Marlies Yearby. Larson's score features such songs as "Rent," "I'll Cover You," "Seasons of Love" and "One Song Glory."

In London Rent will be replaced by the acclaimed version of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute by South African company Isango/Portobello. The show premiered at the Young Vic last December as one of the theatre's seasonal offerings and will begin preview performances at the Duke of York's Feb. 11.

Speaking to Playbill.com, producer Eric Abraham described The Magic Flute as part-opera-part-musical. "It is The Magic Flute," said Abraham, "but it has very clever variations that weaves in African rhythms, without unbalancing Mozart. (The conductor) Simon Rattle came to see it in Cape Town, and he said Mozart would have loved it. I said, 'Can I quote you?'"

For more information on The Magic Flute, call (0)870 060 6623.

(l.-r.) Luke Evans as Roger, Craig Stein as Benny and Oliver Thornton as Mark in London's <i>Rent</i> revival.
(l.-r.) Luke Evans as Roger, Craig Stein as Benny and Oliver Thornton as Mark in London's Rent revival. Photo by Alastair Muir
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