`Rent’ is, apparently, still due

Rent returns2
Anthony Rapp (left) is Mark, Lexi Lawson (center) is Mimi and Adam Pascal is Roger in the latest national touring company of the rock musical Rent, coming to San Francisco’s Curran Theatre in October. Photo by Joan Marcus

You’re never too old to play a Bohemian 20something who can’t pay the rent.

At least that’s the theory behind the latest tour of Rent, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical once again criss-crossing the country under the rubric Rent: The Broadway Tour. Original cast members Adam Pascal (Roger), Anthony Rapp (Mark) and Gwen Stewart (that amazing voice in the song “Seasons of Love”) are starring the show that made them stars when the acclaimed rock musical made its Broadway debut in 1996.

According to Wikipedia, Pascal is 38, Rapp is 37 and Stewart is 45.

Rent runs Oct. 6 through 18 at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre. Tickets go on sale May 29. The show is presented as a special attraction of the 2008-2009 Citibank Best of Broadway series season under the direction of Carole Shorenstein Hays.

Also in the cast are Nicolette Hart (Maureen Johnson), Justin Johnston (Angel Schunard), Lexi Lawson (Mimi Marquez), Michael McElroy (Tom Collins), Jacques C. Smith (Benjamin Coffin III) and Haneefah Wood (Joanne Jefferson). The ensemble is rounded out by Karmine Alers, Toby Blackwell, Adam Halpin, Trisha Jeffrey, Joshua Kobak, Telly Leung, Jed Resnick, Andy Señor, Caren Tackett, Yuka Takara and John Watson.

Pascal, Rapp and Stewart originated the roles of Roger Davis, Mark Cohen and “Seasons of Love” soloist, respectively, at the New York Theatre Workshop and on Broadway. Justin Johnston, Michael McElroy, Telly Leung and Stewart were all members of the final company of Rent, which played its last performance on Broadway on Sept. 7, 2008.

San Francisco’s relationship with Rent began in March 1999 when the musical opened and played an extended six-month engagement at the Golden Gate Theatre through September 1999. The show returned to San Francisco for engagements in 2001, 2002 and 2006. When it came time to make the movie in 2005, San Francisco-based director Chris Columbus chose to shoot most of it here on soundstages at Treasure Island and in the SOMA district neighborhood.


Rent: The Broadway Tour tickets range from $30 to $99. Call 415-512-7770 or visit www.shnsf.com. The Curran Theatre is at Geary St., San Francisco.

Here’s rehearsal footage of Rapp and Pascal rehearsing “What You Own.”

One thought on “`Rent’ is, apparently, still due

  1. Just to let you know, Telly Leung was part of the final Broadway cast as well.

    Also, no part of the show says that Mark and Rodger are 20somethings. The only character with a defined age is Mimi (she’s 19). Anthony Rapp has pointed out that Larson was living this bohemian life throughout his thirties (he didn’t even write the show until he was 31), so it’s definitely still relevant to people Pascal and Rapp’s age.

    Additionally, it’s not unusual for an actor to play a character much younger than that actor is him or herself, so there really isn’t any significance to their age at all–especially since they still rock that stage.

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