Posts Tagged ‘Rent’

If you’ve ever been to a Broadway show around the holidays, you’re sure to have heard the actors post-show asking for donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. If Broadway stars kindly asking isn’t enough to get you to cough up some change, sometimes there’s even giveaways with the donations. Last year I got a signed poster by the whole cast of “Phantom of the Opera.”

The Actor’s Equity Association and the Producer’s Group separately started Equity Fights Aids and Broadway Cares in response to the growing AIDS crisis (well, besides the production of “RENT,” but that wasn’t until 1993) back in 1987 and 1988, respectively. In 1992, the two groups merged to form the charity that still exists today.

Every fall, the charity puts on the “Gypsy of the Year” competition, spurring those familiar requests for donations. Whichever Broadway or off-Broadway show raises the most money is dubbed “Gypsy of the Year”. Last year the competition raised over $3 million for the organization.

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Prepare yourself, musical theater lovers, because the Syracuse Stage is about to put on its first musical of the 2011-2012 season, just in time for the holidays. While the stage isn’t showcasing a classic musical, like last year’s “Cabaret” or “Rent,” it is a classic story, with the musical element as an added twist.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” is a classic book by C.S. Lewis and more recently has been adapted as a popular Disney movie. The book is part of a series called the “Chronicles of Narnia,” but let’s face it, no one ever read any of those.

Set in World War II England, four siblings find an entrance to a magical world in the back of a wardrobe (a closet, for us Americans). Of course, the siblings are faced with a wicked witch who they must fight with the help of a talking lion. Lewis must have had a hard time coming up with an original title for this one.

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Who doesn’t love Taye Diggs? He’s successful on the screen (“Chicago,” “Private Practice”) and on the stage (original Broadway cast of “RENT”), and he’s got a voice that makes you turn to butter (speaking AND singing, he always, ALWAYS sounds sexy). And he’s married to Idina Menzel, making them the best Broadway power couple since Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sarah Brightman (still mourning their divorce).

And to top it all off, Diggs is an SU alum, a musical theater major of the class of 1993. Besides just the fact that he once graced our campus, he’s a giving, generous alum, one who comes back to campus and shares his gifts with aspiring actors–and just plain old obsessive fans, like myself.


Diggs will be at the SU bookstore in Schine Student Center on today from 2:30-3:30 p.m., signing copies of his new book, “Chocolate Me!” Along with Diggs, ’92 alum Shane Evans, illustrator of the book, will be signing as well.

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No Day but July 14th

Posted: March 4, 2011 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives
Tags: ,

So, color me skeptic but RENT is returning to Times Square… this time though it will be off-Broadway at New World Stages (joining it’s buddy who also recently went from on to off, Avenue Q.) Apparently the producers (same as the 1996 original ones) are reconceptualizing the whole thing.
Being the token die-hard RENT fan amongst many groups of friends I have constantly been asked what I think of this upcoming production. My answer is [drum roll please] I don’t know. RENT closing was tough for me along with anyone else who was part of that little sub-culture that spent many-a-weekend on 41st street at the Nederlander Theater between 1996 and 2008. Three years just seems like a little soon to re-open the show. I love that they’re getting fresh faces into the production (I plan on auditioning because well, why not?) and I love that RENT will be available to go see whenever I need it (and let’s be real here, RENT is totally a drug—but a good drug.) . I don’t think I’m alone though in my suspicious that this is another producer-endorsed-money-guzzling-scheme.
Was that a little harsh? Sorry, it’s seems like the past half-decade has been RENT this, RENT that. Maybe it would be more powerful if it re-opened for a younger generation who didn’t have the opportunity to see the show the first time around instead of packing this poor off-Broadway theatre with crazy born-again RENTheads who wear Angel costumes to the show and moo before Maureen even asks them too!

– Amelia Bienstock

I’m going to start by saying that if you have never seen RENT (on stage that is, the Chris Columbus 2006 movie version does not count) run, don’t walk, or at least take the connective corridor to the Syracuse Stage and get tickets to see it. It’s selling out fast and it’s something anyone who has at least some interest in the theatre should see at least once. If you have been living under a straight, white, measure-your-life-in-love-less rock since 1996 and haven’t heard of RENT, do yourself a favor and learn about it here. (more…)