"Rent" to be Performed at UB Feb. 22-23

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: February 1, 2005

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning landmark American musical "Rent," written by Jonathan Larson and directed by Michael Greif, is coming to the Mainstage theater at the Center for the Arts on the University at Buffalo North (Amherst) Campus for two performances at 8 p.m. on Feb. 22 and 23.

Inspired by Puccini's La Boheme, "Rent" is a joyous, breathtaking and often bittersweet musical that celebrates a community of artists as they struggle with the soaring hopes and tough realities of today's world.

"Rent," considered by many the most exuberant and original American musical to come along in a decade, has single-handedly reinvigorated Broadway and is taking the country by storm. Sweeping all major theater awards, including the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, "Rent" captures the heart and spirit of a generation.

The show received its world premiere off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop on Feb. 13, 1996, to ecstatic reviews. It rapidly became a sold-out hit. The show transferred to Broadway on April 29, 1996, and continues to play to standing room only audiences. On Feb. 10, 2004, "Rent" surpassed "Fiddler on the Roof" to become the 10th-longest running show in Broadway history.

The most honored musical since "A Chorus Line" in 1976, "Rent" is only the fifth musical to ever win both the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award.

The success of "Rent" is always tempered by the death of its creator, Jonathan Larson. Larson died unexpectedly of an aortic aneurysm on the morning of Jan. 25, 1996, just hours after the musical's final dress rehearsal off-Broadway, and 10 days before his 36th birthday.

"Rent" features musical direction by Tim Weil, choreography by Marlies Yearby, set design by Paul Clay, costume design by Angela Wendt and lighting design by Blake Burba.

Tickets for "Rent" are $49, $43, and $37. Tickets are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Center for the Arts Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations, including Kaufmann's. To charge tickets, call 852-5000; in Canada, call 1-416-870-8000. For group sales, call 645-6771. For more information, call 645-ARTS. The Center for the Arts is a Ticketfast location.

Additional show information can be found at http://www.rentthetour.com.