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Rent: Stellar Cast Announced

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Rent: Stellar Cast Announced

Revolutionary and controversial musical to open April 22. STRICTLY LIMITED SEASON Tickets on sale at The Edge (09) 357 3355 or 0800 BUY TICKETS (0800 289 842)

A STELLAR cast has been signed to present the Auckland season of RENT -- one of the world's most controversial and successful musicals - a scorchingly hot modern take on Puccini's La Boheme.

ANNIE CRUMMER -- who played the Killer Queen in the outstanding season of Queen's We Will Rock You - is Joanne Jefferson, an Ivy League-educated public interest lawyer, and a lesbian battling AIDS.

Her partner Maureen will be played by NZ's Got Talent finalist, MELISSA NORDHAUS - fresh from a season of Miss Saigon.

Central character Mimi Marquez - an exotic dancer - will be played by the beautiful REBECCA WRIGHT, star of Starlight Express.

Actor and extreme performance master KRISTIAN LAVERCOMBE plays the coveted role of filmmaker Mark Cohen. Lavercombe's experience on stage is extensive, including roles in The Rocky Horror Show, Midsummer Night's Dream, Oliver!, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Lady Windermere's Fan. His extreme live performances have included shows with Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, Barry White, The Crusty Demons, The Notting Hill Carnival, The Glastonbury Festival and a residency at Ibiza's Privilege (The world's largest club).

NZ Idol winner MICHAEL MURPHY will play Roger Davis, a songwriter and former drug addict whose girlfriend committed suicide upon discovering that they were HIV-positive.

LEAND MACADAAN - the actor who bought us Mexi-Doug on the hugely popular Instant Kiwi ads - has also joined the cast. Aside from the hilarity he has delivered to millions of fans with lines such as "Get a Perm" and "Do It Doug", Macadaan is a seasoned theatre performer. Soul singer TAMA WAIPARA will play Tom Collins, a philosophy professor and anarchist with AIDS; Golden Guitar winner CAMERON CLAYTON plays Angel, a drag queen percussionist. Cast Michael Murphy Roger Davis Kristian Lavercombe Mark Cohen Rebecca Wright Mimi Marquez Annie Crummer Joanne Jefferson Melissa Nordhaus Maureen Johnson Tama Waipara Tom Collins Cameron Clayton Angel Shunard Paul Fagamalo Benjamin Coffin III For Annie -- who's version of Another One Bites the Dust from We Will Rock You was celebrated by Queen's own Brian May and Roger Taylor and continues to enjoy airplay six years after it was recorded - Rent is a musical she holds very dear to her heart. She appeared in the Melbourne and Sydney seasons of the production, and it was her first musical role singing Seasons of Love, made famous by STEVIE WONDER.

Rent is a rock opera that tells a story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of AIDS. "Measuring their lives in love", these starving artists strive for success and acceptance while enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness and loss; all while celebrating their creative spirit, choosing to live life as if there is No Day But Today! The musical was first seen in a limited three-week workshop production at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1994. This same New York City off-Broadway theatre was also the musical's initial home following its official January 25, 1996, opening. The show's creator, Jonathan Larson, died suddenly the night before the off-Broadway premiere. The show won a Pulitzer Prize, and the production was a hit on Broadway, Rent gained critical acclaim and won a Tony Award for Best Musical among other awards. The musical is largely responsible for helping to increase the popularity of musical theatre amongst the younger generation. The Broadway production closed on September 7, 2008, after a 12-year run and 5124 performances, making it the eighth-longest-running Broadway show, and grossed over $280 million. "A raw and riveting milestone in musical theatre!" Rolling Stone magazine RENT was one of the first Broadway musicals to clearly feature gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transgender characters. It is also noted for its ethnically diverse cast, which includes many racial minorities in its ensemble and leading roles. RENT is considered revolutionary for bringing controversial topics and counterculture to a traditionally conservative medium, and is credited with increasing the popularity of musical theatre in the younger generation. Many critics have also mentioned how the show speaks to Generation X the same way that the musical HAIR spoke to the flower generation, calling it "a rock opera for our time, a 'Hair' for the 90's."

Tickets are on sale TODAY at THE EDGE®

Bookings: THE EDGE® www.buytickets.co.nz (09) 357 3355 or 0800 BUY TICKETS (0800 289 842) $30.00 - $69.90 (+ booking fee) Special group booking offer available for 10 or more www.rentauckland.co.nz www.anniecmusic.com www.anniecrummer.com

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