RENT 20th Anniversary Tour | Austin October 13-15

by Hannah Hepfer on October 4, 2017 in Austin, Theatre,

The RENT 20th Anniversary Tour plays Bass Concert Hall October 13 –15, 2017 • Show at 8pm • Get tickets here

The New York Times called it a “character-driven story for the stage with wildly affecting success.” 20 years later, the gritty musical “RENT” returns for a multi-city anniversary tour. Austinites have the chance to see it with five performances running from October 13-15 at Bass Concert Hall.

When the show premiered on Broadway in 1996, it riveted crowds and critics with its rock-era song styles and portrayal of seven struggling artists in New York. The script, inspired by Puccini’s La Bohème and set in the late ’90s, follows the characters over the course of a year as they grapple with relationships, AIDs and near poverty.

(L to R) Jasmine Easler, Katie LaMark are part of RENT’s 20th Anniversary Tour. Photo by Carol Rosegg, 2016

It went on to run for 5,123 performances, making it the 11th-longest-running show in Broadway history. The musical also claimed a Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and is one of only six musicals to win both awards. Two decades later, the energetic show still affects viewers, according to cast member Jasmine Easler, who plays one of the main character’s,  Joanne Jefferson.

“[Rent] has timeless subject matter,” Easler says.

Other cast members of the anniversary tour include Sammy Ferber as Mark, Kaleb Wells as Roger, Skyler Volpe as Mimi, Aaron Harrington as Tom Collins, Aaron Alcaraz as Angel Dumott Schunard, Lyndie Moe as Maureen Johnson, and Marcus John as Benny Coffin III. Audiences familiar with the score will recognize now-popular songs like “Seasons of Love,” “Out Tonight” and “Light my Candle.”

The current cast is aware of the talented precedent set by the original cast. “We’ve been given some big shoes to fill, but the beauty has been in finding out how we uniquely fit into them,” says Easler. “I feel like we keep the show fresh every night by bringing ourselves to the roles that we play.”

Evan Ensign restages the tour based on the original direction of Michael Greif (Tony and Drama Desk Nominations, RENT) and Marlies Yearby (Tony Nomination, RENT) choreographed the show. The tour is produced by Work Light Productions, whose other credits include Cinderella, MAMMA MIA!, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Vocalosity, and Crazy For You.

The show has maintained consistency night after night, tweaking it just once based on location. “The only adjustment we’ve ever made was last year in Tokyo. We sang some of “Seasons of Love” in Japanese as a special gesture of gratitude,” says Easler. “Aside from that, the show that we have is the same show that we’re bringing to everyone around the world.”

Do not miss the opportunity to see this iconic production in Austin! Buy tickets for the 20th anniversary tour of RENT at Bass Concert Hall October 13-15, 2017 today.