The Paper Mill Playhouse production of the late Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Rent officially opens at the New Jersey venue June 11 following previews that began June 7. Performances continue through July 2.
Directed by Zi Alikhan and choreographed by Steph Paul, the cast features Jordan Barrow (Wicked) as Benjamin Coffin III, Leana Rae Concepcion (Merrily We Roll Along) as Joanne Jefferson, Terrance Johnson (Dreamgirls tour) as Tom Collins, Olivia Lux (RuPaul’s Drag Race) as Angel Schunard, Mackenzie Meadows as Maureen Johnson, Alisa Melendez (Almost Famous) as Mimi Marquez, Zachary Noah Piser (Dear Evan Hansen) as Mark Cohen, and Matt Rodin (Beau) as Roger Davis.
The ensemble includes Rickens Anantua, Andrew Faria, Lauryn Alexandria Hobbs, Sami Ma, Adriana Medina Santiago, Liam Pearce, Michael Schimmele, Hannah T. Skokan, and Donté Wilder.
Directed by Michael Greif, Rent opened at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre April 29, 1996, following previews that began April 16. The musical received 10 1996 Tony nominations, subsequently winning four, including Best Musical. Larson's work also won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. After 16 previews and 5,123 regular performances, the production played its final show September 7, 2008.
Set in Manhattan in the 1990s and inspired by Puccini’s opera La Bohème, the hit musical follows a group of young East Village artists, performers, and philosophers as they struggle through the hardships of poverty, societal discord, and the AIDS epidemic in the search for life, love and art.
The Paper Mill production also has music direction by Amanda Morton, scenic design by Chika Shimizu, costume design by Rodrigo Muñoz, lighting design by Cha See, sound design by Matt Kraus, projection design by Nicholas Hussong and Jamie Godwin, and fight and intimacy direction by Alex Might.