Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rent --- The Theatrical Experience that Changed Broadway Forever

Featuring South African Idol Winner Heinz Winckler and American Idol
Finalist Anwar Robinson in the National Tour of RENT

The 2007-2008 national touring production of RENT features Heinz Winckler as Roger Davis and Anwar Robinson as Tom Collins. The Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway musical RENT, written by Jonathan Larson and directed by Michael Greif, is coming to The Fox Theatre in Atlanta for 5 performances from April 25 – April 27, 2008. Tickets are available through authorized agents at The Fox Theatre Box Office, participating Publix and other Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone: 404-817-8700. For group information, please contact 404-881-2000.

Winckler was the winner of the first South African Idol in 2002 and the 4th place finalist in the 2003 inaugural World Idol competition, in which he competed against American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Robinson was the 7th place finalist on the 4th season of American Idol.
On stage, Winckler played Tony in the Toronto production of West Side Story. Winckler has recorded three hit albums with Sony BMG, including: One Step Closer, Come Alive (both South African Music Award “SAMA” nominees for “best pop album”) and Moment of Truth. His song, “Once in a Lifetime,” was a “SAMA” nominee for “best single.” He performed the song “Chasing Shadows” for the Walt Disney movie, Treasure Planet, and participated in the Westlife Greatest Hits Tour in South Africa. Winckler has received the People Magazine Award for “Hottest Hunk,” “South Africa’s Hottest Artist” and “Best Male Personality.” He was also featured in Cosmopolitan’s “Sexy Man Calendar.”

Robinson will make his stage debut in this touring production of RENT. American audiences will recall Robinson as the Music Teacher who was rocketed to television stardom on season four of the pop-culture phenomenon American Idol. His vocal range quickly landed him a coveted spot in Idol’s Top 10, where Judge Paula Abdul touted him as “technically the best singer of the competition.” Robinson has toured the country as part of the Idols Live show. The New Jersey native has worked and appeared with a number of music icons, including Clive Davis, Patti Labelle, Kelly Price, Byron Cage and Pastor Donnie McClurkin. Robinson recently released his debut album, The Truth About Love.

Critics have called RENT “the best thing that has happened to the Broadway musical in a long time,” and have said that RENT “justifies every bit of attention that has been lavished on this phenomenal musical.” “It shimmers with hope for the future of the American musical.” The New York Times.

RENT is the theatrical experience that transformed how a generation feels about musicals, changed Broadway forever, and inspired a major motion picture. Set in the East Village of New York City, Rent is about being young and learning to survive, falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. RENT has made a lasting mark on Broadway with songs that rock and a story that really resonates.

The show received its world premiere off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop on February 13, 1996 to ecstatic reviews. It rapidly became a sold-out hit. The show transferred to Broadway on April 29, 1996 where it continues to play at The Nederlander Theatre. RENT is now the 7th longest running show in Broadway history.

The success of RENT is always tempered by the death of its creator, Jonathan Larson. Larson died unexpectedly of an aortic aneurysm on the morning of January 25, 1996, just hours after Rent’s final dress rehearsal off-Broadway, and ten days before his 36th birthday.
RENT features musical direction by Tim Weil, choreography by Marlies Yearby, set design by Paul Clay, costume design by Angela Wendt and lighting design by Blake Burba.

Tickets are available through authorized agents at The Fox Theatre Box Office, participating Publix and other Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone: 404-817-8700.

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