By Amy Warren, Publicist IMPHuntsville
Independent Musical Productions
Independent Musical Production is thrilled to provide North Alabama with another season of spectacular shows! RENT will be our first production later this month, with Pippin following in July and Nunsense! in September. The Cabaret series is scheduled to resume in March.
Loosely based on Puccini’s opera La Boheme, Jonathan Larson’s RENT takes place in the trendy Alphabet City neighborhood located in Lower Manhattan’s East Village. The story follows a group of young bohemian artists over the period of one year, as they discover how to measure the value of a life, as depicted in the popular song ‘Seasons of Love’ RENT follows the cast through relationships, political activism and living life to the fullest as they struggle to survive and create in the shadow of HIV/AIDS. The physical and emotional complications of the disease pervade the lives of Roger (Sean Kruer), Mimi (Catherine Najjar), Tom (Granville Oldham) and Angel (McKinley Harris). Maureen (Claire Johnson) deals with her chronic infidelity through performance art; her partner, Joanne (Erica Hanson), wonders if their relationship is worth the trouble. Benny (DeCorian Cobb) has sold out his Bohemian ideals in exchange for a hefty income and is on the outs with his former friends. Mark (Ryan Rorick), an aspiring filmmaker, feels like an outsider to life in general. The narrative thread to this groundbreaking musical incorporates several themes, such as fear of dying, solitude, sexual orientation and gender identity. With its unapologetic portrayals of issues such as poverty, drug addiction and alternative sexualities, RENT has played a crucial role in opening doors for inclusion and diversity in pop culture. Though technology has evolved tremendously since the musical’s inception in 1996, the social and political themes are still important and relevant today.
In 1996, RENT was nominated for numerous Tony awards, and Jonathan Larson won Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical Score. RENT also won several Drama Desk awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Jonathan Larson was unable to celebrate his achievements, however, due to his untimely death on January 25, 1996. He suffered an aneurysm on the day RENT was scheduled for its first Off-Broadway preview. Larson was 36 years old.
The production team for Independent Musical Productions’ performance of RENT includes Director Vivienne Atkins, Assistant Director P.J. Sligting and Music Director Newt Johnson. Music, lyrics and book by Jonathan Larson.
Performances will be held at the Lee High School Main Stage Theater at 2500 Meridian St North:
Thursday, February 17 @ 7:30pm
Friday, February 18 @ 7:30pm
Saturday, February 19 @ 2:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, February 20 @ 2:00pm and 7:30pm