March 11, 2015:
BOCA RATON, FL: Slow Burn Theatre Company’s spring production is a perfect example of their continuing commitment to present ‘high quality, daring, contemporary and intelligent works of musical theatre’. Jonathan Larson’s Rent meets those qualifications on every level. The ground-breaking musical – the regional professional premiere – will run at the West Boca Performing Arts Theatre at West Boca High School from April 9th through April 26th.
Based on Puccini’s La Bohème, Rent first ran Off-Broadway, and transferred to Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre in April 1996. It won numerous Tony (including Best Musical), and Drama Desk Awards, as well as the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play is set in a low rent loft apartment in New York’s East Village, and depicts “young … artists struggling to celebrate life in the shadow of drugs, poverty and AIDS,” Jonathan Wiederhorn wrote in Rolling Stone. Larson’s score blends pop, dance, dance, salsa, rhythm and blues, gospel, and rock music, while his characters update those of Puccini: Rodolfo, the lovelorn poet, is resurrected in punk-rocker Roger; Marcello the painter becomes Mark the videographer; Mimi trades tuberculosis for HIV. “In both productions,” Wiederhorn noted, “the main characters are threatened with eviction and burn their written work to stay warm.” Larson, however, leavens the lost dreams and lives with his show’s “emphasis on love, friendship, and survival.” Sadly, Jonathan Larson did not live to see his work’s success; he died the morning of Rent’s first preview Off-Broadway performance.
Rent has become an iconic piece of theatre since its 1996 debut – devotees of the play call themselves ‘Rentheads’, and boast of seeing the show multiple times. Director Patrick Fitzwater is aware of the phenomenon and promises although Slow Burn’s Rent will definitely be a contemporary version, it will equally please the plays most zealous fans.
“We’re so excited to breathe fresh new life into this classic musical of love, friendship and community; it’s the kind of show Slow Burn Theatre is in existence to produce”, says Patrick Fitzwater, Slow Burn’s Artistic Director. “I look forward to re-examining this piece with fresh eyes and ears and to present Rent to a new generation, as well as remind the ‘Renthead Generation’ why they fell in love with this show, and help them discover something new.”
The cast of Slow Burn Theatre’s Rent includes: Bruno Faria (Roger Davis), Mike Westrich (AEA) (Mark Cohen), Darrick Penny (Tom Collins), Rayner Garranchan (Benny), Christina Alexander (Joanne Jefferson), Bruno Vida (Angel), Abby Perkins (Mimi), Amy Miller Brennan (AEA) (Maureen) and an ensemble featuring: Erin Pittleman, Kayla Fast, Elisa Dannielle, Alexander Zenoz, Bradley Mack, Michael Friedman and Ross Parris.
The production will be directed and choreographed by Carbonell Award Winning Director Patrick Fitzwater (next to normal). Musical Direction is by Caryl Fantel, costumes by Rick Peña, scenic design by Sean McClelland , lighting design by Lance Blank, and sound design by Danny Butler.
Slow Burn Theatre Company is an award winning locally based professional theatre group providing South Florida’s diverse population with opportunities to experience high quality, daring, contemporary and intelligent works of musical theatre. Shows are selected that educate and provoke thought as well as entertain.
Rent will run for 12 performances – from April 9th through April 26th – at the West Boca Performing Arts Theater on the campus of West Boca Raton High School on Glades Road in Boca Raton. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets can be purchased at slowburntheatre.org ,or by calling 866-811-4111.
For more information about Rent or Slow Burn Theatre Company, please visit slowburntheatre.org or contact Matthew Korinko at firstname.lastname@example.org /954-323-7884 or Carol Kassie (email@example.com / 561-445-9244).
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
April 9 – 26
Thurs-Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm
Tickets: $25 – $40
For Tickets: 866-811-4111 / slowburntheatre.org
West Boca Performing Arts Theatre
at West Boca High School
12811 Glades Road
Boca Raton, 33498
3.5 miles west of 441 on Glades Road
“The breakthrough musical of the 90’s” ~ Newsweek
“A landmark rock opera!” ~ The New York Times
“The first original breakthrough rock musical since Hair.” ~ Newsday