Boasting an all-South African cast, RENT is soon to be staged at the newly restored and refurbished 550-seat Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein, opening on Tuesday, 17th of July 2007 followed by a limited season in Cape Town, at the Artscape Theatre from the end of October 2007. Combine the attributes of youth, talent and boundless energy together with drive, enthusiasm and passion for the theatre and you’ve got a ‘sensational’ 22-member RENT cast comprising of 17 performers and 5 band members.
The eight principal roles are filled by seven highly talented young performers; DUANE ALEXANDER (Cats – local production and international tour; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat; Chicago, Jesus Christ Superstar – Johannesburg and Cape Town 2006 and Athens, Greece in 2007), SEAN V (“Oh Boy, “Nataniel & Friends” at the Royal Albert Hall, London, Hi-5, We Will Rock You, Rock me Amadeus), TALIA KODESH (Sound of Music, Cats, Born in the RSA, We Will Rock You, Egoli, Jozi Streets), SIVAN RAPHAELY (We Will Rock You, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Jo’burg Follies 2000), AUBREY POO (Annie, Far From the Maddening Crowd, Aladdin, Soweto Story and television programmes Muvhango, Zero Tolerance, Nomzamo, SABC TV’s All You Need is Love), ZANE GILLION (Fangs, Villa Rosa, Komplex, Best of the Boys – Calendar Boys) and THOKOZANI NZIMA (Soweto Story, Rock Me Amadeus, Rock On, Kings & Queens of Music, Strictly Come Dancing), who share the stage with the experienced singer, award-winning stage and screen actress, ILSE KLINK (Fiddler on the Roof, The Fantasticks, Beehive, Scribble, Snoopy, Showboat, Big Band Blast, Chicago, Menopause – The Musical and Isidingo).
Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, RENT is a modernised story that follows the lives of a group of Bohemians living in New York City’s East Village over the course of a year as they struggle with relationships, drugs, loss, love, creativity, AIDS and paying their ‘rent’.
RENT is considered revolutionary for bringing controversial topics and counters culture to a traditionally conservative medium, and is credited with increasing the popularity of musical theatre in the younger generation. Although written in the early 1990’s, RENT’s contemporary story line is relevant to today’s South African society. The story is timeless and very much resonates with youth around the world.