“Rent” Back Off-Broadway After 15 Years

Rent, one of the most successful musicals of all-time, has returned to its off-Broadway roots. After a 12-year Broadway run from 1996 to 2008, national tours, foreign adaptations and a feature film, the show’s revival began previews last week and will officially open at New York City’s New World Stages August 11.

“I got a call about a year ago from (co-producer Jeffrey Seller) asking if I was interested in doing the show off-Broadway,” said Rent director Michael Greif, who’s other stage successes include Angels in America and Next to Normal. “I said I would participate if we could re-examine the physical production.”

The show, which actually debuted at New York Theatre Workshop in 1994, focuses on a group of impoverished young friends eking out a living in the East Village.
“It’s a wonderful story,” said Greif. “It has an urgency. It’s about life and death. Young people see themselves in the characters, and it reminds the rest of us of ourselves when we were young. It’s about a community of people taking care of one another, which is tremendously appealing.”

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