RENT Returns Home to Wagner College Theatre
No Day But Today. Once in a lifetime, a musical comes along that absolutely changes everything everyone knows. It reflects on our past and looks towards our future. It didn’t take people long to realize RENT was one of these theatre shows. While Wagner College Theatre realized this before anyone else ever did, tonight RENT returns home to Wagner College making it’s stage debut. Tonight, Wagner College Theatre officially opens RENT on the Wagner College Main Stage.
RENT is a musical that features a book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson. The musical is a rock muscial based on La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini. RENT tells the story of a group of young artists and musicians living in the Lower East Side of New York City. The story takes place in the neighborhoods thriving days under the shadow of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
RENT originally debuted at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1994. After a sold out run Off-Broadway, RENT moved to Broadway opening in 1996 at the Nederlander Theater. It received much critical acclaim, a strong word of mouth popularity and went on to be nominated for 10 Tony Awards. The show won four including the triple crown of musical theatre which includes Best Book, Best Original Score and Best Musical. The musical has been performed in over 30 countries around the world and 24 different languages. Pictured above is the cast with original Broadway director Michael Greif at New York Theatre Workshop.
RENT’s debut at Wagner College is also a homecoming of sorts. Before the production was ever produced professionally or went on to win any major awards, RENT won The Stanley Drama Award administered by Wagner College Theatre back in 1993. Billy Bly, director of the Stanley Drama Award at that time, told Staten Island Advance arts editor Michael Fressola in 1996 when talking about choosing RENT as the winner;
“It just jumped right out. My impression at the time was that the script needed a little more work, but there was no question. It was just as obvious”
The cast includes Robby Haltiwanger, Alex Boniello, Melanie Brook, Jenny Kelly, Dave Resultan, Anthony Colasuonno, Olivia Puckett, Justin Stevens, Liza Colpa, Timmy McMillan, Rhea Francani, Seth Price, Jeff Mills, J.R. Goodman, Concetta Raineri, Paige Howell and Caitlin Beckman.
The production is directed by Wagner College Theater’s Tony Award winning professor Michele Pawk. The production features choreography by alum Ashley Burger and is musically directed by Brandon Sturiale. The rest of the creative team includes a scenic design by Anthony Freitas, a lighting design by Vicki Neal, a sound design by Richard A. Kroth and a costume design by Alan Michael Smith. The show is stage managed by KT Sanders.
Luner on Theatre is happy to announce we will be reviewing this production of Wagner College Theater’s!
RENT officially opens tonightat Wagner College in the historic Main Hall Theater kicking off the department’s third production of the Main Stage Season and opening the second semester! RENT will run from February 27th to March 3rd with a second week running from March 6th to March 10th. All performances begin at 8:00 PM. March 2nd & 9th have 2:00 PM matinees in addition to the 8:00 PM show. The March 10th closing performance is at 2:00 PM. For tickets, call (718)-390-3259. For more information, check out Wagner College Theatre’s Official Website. Be sure to check Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know!