Cast members from the original production of Rent—including Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Wilson Jermaine Heredia—will reunite for New York Theatre Workshop's upcoming virtual gala, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the late Jonathan Larson's Tony- and Pulitzer-winning musical. The event, featuring musical performances, original compositions, and more, will air March 2 at 8 PM ET and remain available to stream through March 6.
The announcement was made January 25, the same day that the musical premiered at the Off-Broadway venue in 1996. Larson died early that morning after suffering an aortic dissection, though his legacy lived on in the show as it transferred to Broadway and earned four Tony Awards (including two posthumous wins for Larson) plus the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, in addition to enjoying a 12-year run at the Nederlander Theatre.
In addition to Menzel, Rapp, Pascal, Rubin-Vega, and Heredia, fellow original cast members Gilles Chiasson, Rodney Hicks, Aiko Nakasone, and Byron Utley will take part, as well as an all-star lineup that includes Sebastian Arcelus, Annaleigh Ashford, Martha Banta, The Bengsons, Adam Chanler-Berat, Linda Chapman, Nicholas Christopher, Paul Clay, Wilson Cruz, Brandon Victor Dixon, Wendy Ettinger, Stephen Graham, Michael Greif, Janet Harckham, Jeremy O. Harris, Neil Patrick Harris, Victoria Hoffman, Joe Iconis, Christopher Jackson, Julie Larson, Tamika Lawrence, The Lazours, Telly Leung, Kamilah Marshall, Kevin McCollum, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anaïs Mitchell, Shakina Nayfack, James C. Nicola, Eva Noblezada, Dael Orlandersmith, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Will Power, Councilmember Carlina Rivera, Jai Rodriguez, Jeffrey Seller, Rona Siddiqui, Leigh Silverman, Ali Stroker, Ephraim Sykes, Bernie Telsey, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Tracie Thoms, Ivo van Hove, Tom Viola, Tim Weil, Angela Wendt, and Marlies Yearby.
NYTW Artistic Director James C. Nicola says that the event will "honor Jonathan and his beloved musical, which has given so many blessings to our small theatre with big dreams." Funds raised will support the organization's 27 Artistic Investigators, as well as its continued free virtual programming during the pandemic and education and engagement initiatives.
Tickets start at $25 and are available (along with packages and sponsorships) at NYTW.org.