Pulitzer Prize-Winning Rock Musical Rent Takes Center Stage at Chance Theater

Jun 16, 2023
Rent at Chance Theater

The Chance Theater, recognized as Anaheim's official resident theater company, has announce Pulitzer Prize-winning musical "Rent" will be gracing the stage as the season's fourth production. The musical, a magnum opus with music, book, and lyrics by the late Jonathan Larson, will be under the astute direction of Matthew McCray. The much-awaited rock musical extravaganza will have preview shows from July 21 to July 28, with the regular performances commencing on July 29 and running until August 20. The venue for this theatrical spectacle is the Cripe Stage at Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken theater arts Center.

Situated in New York City's vibrant East Village, "Rent" delves into the themes of love, self-discovery, and seizing the day. The musical has been embraced by the pop culture fabric, owing to its electrifying tunes and a poignant narrative that transcends generations. "Rent" is a loose adaptation of Puccini's "La Boheme", chronicling a year in the lives of young struggling artists and musicians, battling poverty and the looming specter of HIV/AIDS in New York's Lower East Side. This masterful creation epitomizes theater with its exuberance, fervor, and ecstasy.

"I have a fond place in my heart for RENT," expressed director Matthew McCray, whose previous acclaimed directorial stint was Next to Normal at the Chance in 2022. "The show was very important to me in college because its message resonated so loudly to a college kid in the 90s. I'm thrilled to direct RENT this year because the show's themes of love and compassion are needed more than ever, it seems. Our production of RENT will be unique because it will make use of modern video technologies that were not around in the 90s when it opened on Broadway."

"Rent" initially took form in 1993 as a workshop production at the New York Theatre Workshop. The same Off-Broadway theater became the cradle for its momentous official debut in 1996. In an unfortunate twist of fate, Jonathan Larson, the genius behind the musical, passed away unexpectedly on the eve of its Off-Broadway premiere, unaware of the monumental impact his creation would have on theater.

The sensational success of "Rent" catapulted it to Broadway's prestigious Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996. There, it earned a shower of accolades, including the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Musical. After an illustrious run of 12 years, the Broadway production came to a close on September 7, 2008, cementing its legacy as one of Broadway's longest-running shows. The musical's triumph further manifested in various national tours, international productions, and a 2005 film adaptation featuring several original cast members.