The popular musical “Rent” is set to rock the stage at the Propsect Playhouse, starting Thursday.
Written by Jonathan Larson, “Rent” is loosely based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Boheme” and won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical and the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It has been staged across the globe in more than 15 languages.
Set in the late 1980s-early ‘90s, “Rent” follows a group of eight friends who are impoverished young artists struggling to survive in New York City’s East Village. The musical touches on topics such as drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, political unrest, social tensions, sexuality and other hardships over the period of a year. Each character faces his or her problems head-on and makes self-discoveries, ultimately realizing what really matters most in life.
Billed as an “inspiring” musical, “Rent” is directed by Sophie Gough, who trained at The Centre Performing Arts College in London. She said she chose to direct the musical because it is quirky, complicated and powerful.
“It isn’t your normal jazz-hands musical,” Gough said. “It is an emotional roller coaster that I believe audiences can relate to. It’s all about love. Love is a powerful thing. It makes the world go round. No matter what you face in life, the love around you will get you through.”
Lead roles will be played by Rory Mann, David Verhoeven, Jacoline Frank, Billie Bryan, Teri Quappe, Dominic Wheaton and director Gough. Rounding out the production team are Chuck and Barrie Quappe as musical directors; Shree Ebanks as producer; and Karen Gray-Gunderson as stage manager. The show includes a small orchestra, including popular violinist Kate Allenger, as well as the Sea N’B band.
According to Gough, the musical will appeal to all, especially those who enjoy modern rock music. She added that due to the topics explored and strong language, the Cayman Drama Society has rated the show PG-13.
Rent opens on Sept. 10 and runs through Oct. 3. It is staged every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30; $20 for students. For further information and ticket details, visit cds.ky, call 938-1998, or email [email protected].