By Susan Farese
The award-winning, professional San Diego Musical Theatre (SDMT) will present the critically-acclaimed Broadway rock opera “Rent” June 22-July 8 at its new home, the beautifully restored Birch North Park Theatre. Actress Gwen Stewart, from the original Broadway and touring
productions of “Rent,” will reprise the role she created, Mrs. Jefferson, introducing the solo vocals for the musical’s central theme song, “Seasons of Love.”
“Rent,” which ran for 12 years on Broadway and is currently playing Off-Broadway, is based loosely on Puccini’s La Bohème. “Rent” was written by the late playwright-composer Jonathan Larsen, who at 35 in 1996, tragically died after the last dress rehearsal the day before “Rent” premiered Off-Broadway. His death from an aortic dissection was believed to be caused by an undiagnosed case of Marfan’s Syndrome. “Rent” garnered three posthumous Tony Awards (best musical, book of a musical and original score) and a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and Drama Desk Outstanding Musical and Book. According to the Off-Broadway website, “Rent tells the unforgettable story of a group of young artists learning to survive, falling in love, finding their voices and living for today while exploring topics relevant to communities today.”
Director Ron Kellum said, “This amazing cast will touch and inspire you! A great opportunity to experience ‘Rent’ with this talented ensemble.”
Single tickets for SDMT’s production of RENT are $26, $32, $42 and $52. Children 12 and under are half price. There are discounts for seniors, military and students. Equity may purchase up to two tickets at half price. Group discounts for parties of 10 or more are available. Call 858-560-5740 or visit SDMT online at www.sdmt.org. “Rent” is recommended for mature audiences — adult themes and language. Readers are invited to “Like” San Diego Musical Theatre on Facebook and “Follow” it on Twitter (@sdmtmusicals).