‘RENT’ the controversy continues

Photo courtesy of Theater Artists United

When it first officially opened at the off-Broadway theater “New York Theater Workshop” back on Jan. 25, 1996 the musical “RENT” received much the same reaction that it receives today, either you love it, or you hate it.
Starting March 30 “Theater Artists United” of Anchorage in collaboration with the Alaska center for the Performing Arts, is proud to bring you the ever so controversial and stunning “RENT.”

“It’s a beautiful show, it’s one of those where you see it and your hooked; or your not, it’s love or hate with this show,” said actress Regina Macdonald (playing “Mimi Marquez”). “The characters are so relatable in this show.”

Theater Artists United or “TAU” as they are more commonly referred to by the theater crowd, is an “Alaska-based theater production company that is dedicated to bringing high caliber theater and musical theater to the city of Anchorage.”

“This is the highest caliber of musical theater in all of Anchorage,” said producer/actress Ali de Guzman. “This is how a show should be, it is very organic; the chemistry between the actors and directors, it’s just how it should be.”

“RENT” is a complex story set in New Yorks Lower East Side in the very Bohemian Alphabet City; it is about identity, artistic expression, friendship and sexual orientation in the midst of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

An impressive rock musical that strikes an emotional chord and raises it’s own brand of controversy as it moves seamlessly between heartfelt duets and seedy dance numbers, the cast does an remarkable job of reincarnating the mixed feelings of the times.

“This is a dream show to do because I was in my twenties when this came out,” said actress Shelly Wozniak (who plays “Joanne Jefferson”). “So to be able to have lived through the aids crisis of the nineties, and kind of pay tribute to them by doing this show is a very special thing.”

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And though the story line is enough to keep you talking, the music is what keeps people coming back for more.

“The music is stunning, even in rehearsal when I am hearing people sing; at a point where it is not at performance level yet, I am moved emotionally,” said Executive producer and music director Steven Alvarez. “I get goose bumps when I hear these people singing. It was the musical of that generation.”

The “preview/pay what you can” performance will be Thursday March 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Sydney Laurence Theater. “RENT” will run March 30, -April 7, 2012.

For show times and tickets visit www.alaskapac.centertix.net