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Broadway’s musical ‘Rent’ plays to near sell-out crowd

By Kayloni Wyatt
Around the Campus Editor

Rent the musical came to Givens Performing Arts Center April 21, to a nearly sold-out crowd. The Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway musical was written by Jonathan Larson. It’s directed by Michael Greif.

The play attracted students, faculty, staff and community members. “We sold 1,455 tickets. The only remaining seats were on the far right side,” said Tasha Oxendine, director of Marketing.

Heinz Winckler played Roger Davis. He was the winner of the first South African “Idol” in 2002.

Anwar Robinson was seventh place on the fourth season of “American Idol.”

Rent follows a group of friends in Bohemian East Village, New York City. They all have AIDS. The main characters all go through life with the weight of the disease on their shoulders. Rent turns into a love story as the storyline follows two characters named Roger and Mimi. Mimi is a recovering drug addict and an exotic dancer with AIDS and Roger is a musician who is HIV positive.

Roger’s roommate Mark chronicles the group by video recording them. The audience applauded after every scene.

“I’ve never seen the movie, but I was interested in watching the play. I’ve avoided the whole Rent phenomena and now I can’t get the song out of my head,” said Shannon Stigall.

Many of the audience members knew the songs and sang along with the cast.

“I knew Rent was a big thing but not big enough to fill up the 95 percent of the seats,” Stigall said

The Broadway show will end its 12-year run on June 1 due to tickets sales going down.

It’s the seventh longest–running Broadway show and it’s grossed over $280 million.

The national tour of Rent on Broadway is scheduled to end in September.

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Updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2008
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