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'Rent' musical to hold auditions for Philippine production

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Sep 07, 2023 7:12 pm

Know what's more memorable than watching the famous Broadway musical Rent? Taking part in the play as it runs on the Philippine stage.

9 Works Theatrical on Sept. 5 opened the auditions for their upcoming musical production Rent, which is coming to the Philippines in 2024.

In a post on social media, the local performing arts company announced that it is looking for four males and a female to play Rent's lead characters, namely Roger, Mark, Mimi, Angel, and Benny.

For the roles of Mark, Benny, and Roger, 9 Works Theatrical is looking for a male with a tenor voice. The actor playing Roger should also know how to play the guitar.

Those auditioning for the role of Angle could either be a male or transgender dancer with a tenor voice. Mimi, meanwhile, should be a female dancer with a mezzo-soprano voice.

All applicants should be 22 years old and above, 9 Works Theatrical noted.

Further details about the audition, such as its date and venue, are yet to be announced on the performing arts company's social media pages.

Rent is a rock musical written by Jonathan Larson inspired by the 1896 opera La bohème by Giacomo Puccini, Luigi Illica, and Giuseppe Giacosa. The story revolves around a group of friends struggling in the Lower East Side of New York, with themes including drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, and social tensions.

It premiered in the off-Broadway theater New York Theatre Workshop on Jan. 26, 1996, a night after Larson's untimely demise.

The musical gained much popularity and moved to Broadway's larger Nederlander Theater on April 29 that year. It ran for 12 long years until its final curtain call on Sept. 7, 2008. It has then become one of the longest-running shows on Broadway, grossing over $280 million in sales.

Rent won several awards, including Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1996 and four Tony Awards in the same year: Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score and Best Performance by a Featured Actor. In 2005, the musical was adapted into a movie directed Chris Colombus.

One of the songs Rent made famous is Larsons' Seasons of Love, which not only became a cult favorite across generations but is also often associated with World AIDS Day.

Rent's success has led to several productions all over the globe.

(With reports from Jasmine Manuel)