A cast of 16 of Newcastle’s most well loved personalities will take part in an exciting 3 week season of Broadway’s TONY Award winning rock musical RENT by Jonathan Larson. This exceptional line up of singers will perform in, what is arguably Newcastle’s favourite musical, from Friday 20th October until Saturday 4th November 2017 at Newcastle’s most popular theatrical, the Civic Playhouse.
Loosely based on Puccini’s opera La Bohème, RENT tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City’s East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
This season will be the 5th staging of the musical here in Newcastle. This season will be produced by international award winning theatre company Hunter Drama.
Directed by Daniel Stoddart, Freddie Gershon (CEO of Music Theatre International) Fellowship recipient (Junior Theatre Festival, Atlanta Georgia, USA) and founding Artistic Director of Hunter Drama Newcastle; starring members of the original Newcastle cast of RENT, Amy Vee (Evita, Jon English’s Rock Show, Grease, founding member of The Virtues, and with two subsequent solo album releases), Daniel Wilson (Musical Director Starstruck, The Last 5 Years and West Side Story) and Marissa Saroca (Disney’s High School Musical, Season 1 of The Voice Philippines and two independant original studio albums Cheaper Than Therapy and Boys Write Love Songs Too).
Marissa Saroca, Daniel Wilson and Amy Vee appeared as Maureen, Mark and Mimi respectively in the 2006, 2007 and 2011 productions of RENT. With Saroca playing Maureen from 2007 on.
Ripping across our universe for the first time in 1994, RENT became Broadway’s signature smash-hit. Now, over 20 years later, it remains a potent mix of confronting themes, belting rock anthems and universal messages that still resonate today. RENT is ultimately a story about tolerance, inclusion, compassion, love and figuring out how we fit in.
Winner of 4 Tony Awards (including Best Musical), 6 Drama Desk Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
ABOUT: Rent The Musical
RENT is a rock musical with music, lyrics and book by Jonathan Larson, loosely based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City’s East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
The musical was first seen in a workshop production at New York Theatre Workshop in 1993. This same Off-Broadway theatre was also the musical’s initial home following its official 1996 opening. The show’s creator, Jonathan Larson, died suddenly of an aortic dissection, believed to have been caused by undiagnosed Marfan syndrome, the night before the Off-Broadway premiere. The show won a Pulitzer Prize, and the production was a hit. The musical moved to Broadway’s larger Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996.
On Broadway, RENT gained critical acclaim and won a Tony Award for Best Musical among other awards. The Broadway production closed on September 7, 2008 after a 12-year run of 5,123 performances. On February 14, 2016, the musical Wicked surpassed RENT’s number of performances with a 2pm matinee, pushing RENT from the tenth- to eleventh-longest-running Broadway show. The production grossed over $280 million.
The success of the show led to several national tours and numerous foreign productions. In 2005, it was adapted into a motion picture featuring most of the original cast members.
ABOUT: Hunter Drama
Hunter Drama was established by Daniel Stoddart in 2007 as Hunter Region Drama School at a small hall in Glendale. 10 years (and a name change) later, Hunter Drama has cemented a reputation in Australia and internationally as an institution providing excellence and professionalism in the areas of young actor training and dramatic arts development. Hunter Drama offer a range of experiences, including term courses, short courses, masterclasses, productions and much more.
Hunter Drama is a multi-City of Newcastle Drama Award winning company with productions of Disney’s Little Mermaid JR., DreamWorks Shrek The Musical JR., (winning Outstanding Production and Best Ensemble respectively at the Junior Theatre Festival, USA), Roald Dahl’s The BFG, The Twits, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, James and the Giant Peach, FAME JR., Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, George Orwell’s 1984 and William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
Founding Artistic Director, Daniel Stoddart is perhaps most known as being one of the stars of the publicly acclaimed Ultra Swing Lounge. Daniel is also an AusGrid Achievement in the Arts Award winner and a recipient of the highly coveted Freddie G Fellowship scholarship award.