Highway Run Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co is bringing Rent to Sydney in October. Directed by Shaun Rennie and with musical direction by Andrew Worboys, the production has an exciting cast that’s sure to bring the scrappy rock opera to roaring life.
Stephen Madsen (currently starring in Heathers at the Hayes) will play filmmaker Mark; his musician roommate Roger will be played by Lindon Furnell, who is making his Australian musical theatre debut; and Laura Bunting (Wicked) will play performance artist Maureen. Loren Hunter (King Kong) is set to play exotic dancer Mimi; Nana Matapule (Wicked) will play philosopher Collins; and Chris Scalzo (Wicked) will play drag queen Angel.
Benny, the sellout, will be played by Matthew Pearce, and Joanne, the lawyer, will be played by Australian music star Casey Donovan (The Sapphires).
Completing the cast are Denise Devlin, Josh Gardiner, Jack O’Riley, Monique Sallé, Kirsty Sturgess and Chloe Wilson.
A small musical with an intense following, the Rent phenomenon took this underdog show to a ten year run on Broadway, a film starring much of the Broadway show’s original cast, and theatre superstardom for those actors. The show’s creator, Jonathan Larson, tragically died before seeing the show’s success or touching its Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Rent, based on La Boheme, traces the lives of struggling artists in the HIV-stricken New York City of the 1990s. Love is lost and won, lives are lost and fought for, and souls are crying out for nourishment. The show explores the idea of “connection in an isolating age” and the risks and joys for living for today – all set to a blustering, infectious rock score.
Rent opens at the Hayes on October 3. For tickets and more information visit hayestheatre.com.au.