The Off Broadway revival of “Rent” will close on September 9, producers announced recently.
At the that time, the production will have run for a little over a year, and will have played 450 regular performances in addition to 32 previews. The revival is held at New World Stages, and is presented by lead producer Jeffrey Seller.
When the New World Stages production opened on August 11 of last year, the Broadway version had been closed for just about three years following a 12-year run at the Nederlander Theater. The Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning production updated Puccini’s opera “La Boheme.” “Rent” is one of only eight musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
“Rent” featured a book music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, who died in 1996 just before the show opened on Broadway. Larson died unexpectedly on the day before the play began its original Off Broadway run at the New York Theatre Workshop before moving to Broadway. He was 35. The Broadway version played more than 5,100 performances, making it the ninth longest running show in Broadway history.
The musical tells the story of a group of struggling artists and friends living in New York’s East Village in the early 1990s. As they struggle to find success, they also must deal with illness, poverty and the era of AIDS.
The New Worlds Stages production is directed by Michael Grief, who also was the original director of the Broadway version. The musical was significantly reworked and scaled down from the Broadway version. This follows a recent trend of successful Broadway shows being performed in Off Broadway theaters that are much less expensive. Another example of this is “Avenue Q,” which is also produced by Jeffrey Seller.
In 2005, “Rent” was adapted into a film version and featured many members of the original Broadway cast.