Presented last December to sold out houses at Sheridan College's Oakville campus, Theatre Sheridan will transfer its production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical RENT to Toronto's Panasonic Theatre, where it opens May 16 and runs through to May 27 (preview May 15). Tickets go on sale TODAY through mirvish.com or call TicketKing at 416.872.1212.
Theatre Sheridan makes its Toronto debut with 32 performers from the graduating class of Sheridan's prestigious Music Theatre Performance Program, who worked with top theatre professionals to create this original production.
David Mirvish of Mirvish Productions notes, "RENT is this generation's best musical about the struggle young people face in finding their way in the world. It's also about creativity, love and joy. Having a new generation of talent from Sheridan College's acclaimed musical theatre program perform RENT is perfect casting. I am delighted they have chosen the Panasonic Theatre in which to present their production. I look forward to seeing it."
Jonathan Larson's groundbreaking RENT reinvented musicals when it opened in 1996. Set in New York City's East Village, RENT is a modern take on the classic Puccini opera, La Boheme and tells the unforgettable tale of a group of young friends and artists learning to survive, falling in love, finding their voices and living for today. An inspiring story, RENT tackles addiction, poverty, AIDS and most of all, love. Not only did it win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Musical, it also won Tonys for Best Book and Best Score and New York Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Book.
The original artistic team for Theatre Sheridan's RENT included some of Canada's leading theatrical practitioners:
Director Lezlie Wade - three seasons at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, assistant director for Jesus Christ Superstar (Stratford, La Jolla and Broadway), director of Dog Sees God (M. Rubinoff), Elegies and A Man of No Importance (Acting Up Stage) and resident director for the Canadian premiere of Love, Loss, and What I Wore (M. Rubinoff/Daryl Roth);
Musical Director Bob Foster - Billy Elliot, Rock of Ages, Hairspray, Dirty Dancing, Boys in the Photograph (Mirvish Productions);
Choreographer Marc Kimelman - The Wizard of Oz (Ross Petty Productions), assistant choreographer for Jesus Christ Superstar (Stratford, La Jolla and Broadway);
Costume and Set Designer Brandon Kleiman - Assistant Designer on Jesus Christ Superstar, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, The Pirates of Penzance (Stratford Festival);
Lighting Designer Kevin Fraser - 25 seasons at Stratford Festival (including Evita, Peter Pan, Forum, West Side Story, The Importance of Being Earnest);
Sound Designer Todd Charlton - Stratford Festival (Twelfth Night, The Grapes of Wrath), Shaw Festival (Hedda Gabler).
"Sheridan students gave stellar performances in Theatre Sheridan's production of RENT and are thrilled to be making their debut in Toronto," said Sheridan President Jeff Zabudsky. "Like the characters in RENT, our students have dreams of success and this run in Toronto provides a truly special opportunity, propelling them to a Toronto stage, just as they are set to begin their life in the theatre."
"We are excited to share the exceptional talent of our most recent graduates with a larger audience," said Associate Dean for Performing Arts and Theatre Sheridan Producer Michael Rubinoff. "This new production of RENT, created by some of Canada's leading theatre artists, is an opportunity for theatre-goers to launch the careers of Canada's next generation of performers."
Long recognized for excellence in music theatre performance and technical theatre production, Sheridan College offers an innovative learning environment celebrated for academic excellence, applied research and creativity. Alumni perform on stages and work backstage in theatres across the world including on Broadway, in London's West End and at the Stratford Shakespeare and Shaw Festivals. Theatre Sheridan presents six musicals a year at the Trafalgar Road campus in Oakville. Visit theatre.sheridancollege.ca for more information.