RENT: In Concert
Book, Music & Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Coeurage Ensemble Original Production Direction by Reena Dutt
Concert Staging by Amanda McRaven
Presented by Coeurage Ensemble
In association with the Los Angeles LGBT Center
If the price of admission is a barrier, please contact [email protected]. We are committed to making tickets accessible to everyone interested in attending.
March 18 – 19, 2023
Loosely based on Puccini’s La Bohème, Jonathan Larson’s Rent follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves, and conflicts provides the narrative thread to this groundbreaking musical. Rent began its life as a workshop production at New York Theatre Workshop in 1993. A full production opened there in early 1996 and moved to Broadway on April 29, 1996. It was nominated for 10 Tony Awards and won four, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score. Rent also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It ran on Broadway for 12 years and 5,123 performances, closing on September 7, 2008.
Coeurage’s original production of Rent, produced at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in October 2022, was staged in a reverse round, with the audience on wheeled office chairs in the middle. Director Reena Dutt sought to break out of traditional ideas about the play while keeping its heartbeat. Audience members followed the flow of the story on a “clock” formation, beautifully dressed and lit by set designer Kirk Wilson and lighting designer Azra King. Vicki Conrad designed the costumes. Reena’s staging made the play intimate in a way that most audiences had not experienced before. While this concert version will be a different experience for our audience, we are honored to bring the same heart and passion to the LA LGBT Center. Featuring our original cast and incredible musician trio of Rebecca Graul, Dan Graul, and Tom Zygmont, we’ll share this music that still gets us, all these years later, with the LA LGBT Center audience. And make sure you stay ‘til the end and sing Seasons of Love with us!
Coeurage was founded in the fall of 2009, when 12 graduates from California State University, Fullerton met in the back of a pie shop to form a theatre company. Our philosophy was simple: the cost of a ticket should never prevent anyone from seeing high quality theatre in Los Angeles. With our Pay What You Want ticketing model in place, we produced our first piece in early 2010, an original series of monologues written for an all female cast titled “Head Over Heels.” The late Steve Julian attended and wrote a widely shared article with the headline, “Six people see Head over Heels, millions show no Coeurage.” The writeup, which lauded our work while lamenting small LA theatre houses, helped put us on the map, and our attendance rose to a rare level of consistency amongst LA’s intimate theatre scene.
We would have never conceived that the work we originally produced out of garages and now- condemned buildings could ultimately lead us to acclaim in American Theatre Magazine and a slot in the mainstage season at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, where Coeurage was awarded the inaugural production of their Block Party program.
During the pandemic we were forced to pivot and create art in a different way. The Nomad Project was launched! The ongoing project currently has ten different stories based at specific coordinates around Los Angeles, using existing locations as inspiration for fully produced aural journeys. Audiences can experience them in-person, on-the-go, or from the comfort of home. You can listen here: https://www.coeurage.org/nomad-project
2 hours 30 minutes, including one intermission
Rent engages themes of drug addition, death from HIV/AIDS, and includes simulated group sex.
Masks are currently required for all performances.
Director: Reena Duft
Stage Manager: Talya Camras
Stage Manager: Pedro Armandariz
Musical Director: Rebecca Graul
Scenic Designer: Kirk Wilson
Costume Designer: Vicki Conrad
Lighting Designer: Azra King-Abadi
Choreographer: Tasheena Medina
Graphic Design: Kyle T. Hester
Mimi: Ellie Aviles
Roger: Carlos Padilla
Angel: Ricky Abilez
Collins: Mitchell Johnson
Benny: Ray Auxais
Mark: Eddie Vona
Joanne: Nicole Ledoux
Ensemble: Sean Cruz
Ensemble: Carrie Madsen
Ensemble: Nicki Monet
Ensemble: Sofia Bragar
Ensemble: Graham Kurtz
Ensemble: John “Rusty” Proctor