Thursday, September 14, 2006

Excerpts from "Rent"

Without You: A Tribute to Jonathan Larson and the music of RENT

Presented by Dewayne Hambrick’s Graffitti Playground

Jonathan Larson’s dream was to change the face of American Musical Theatre, to bring the MTV crowd and Broadway together. He worked very hard for 15 years to became an “overnight success.” He truly lived the starving artist life that he wrote about. He worked at a diner on weekends to pay the bills, then dedicated eight hours a day five days a week to work on his music that we know today as RENT. Jonathan wanted to immortalize his friends in his work, friends affected by the times, the late eighties, when the AIDS epidemic, homelessness and poverty raged out of control. Jonathan was able to address these social issues in a way that made others want to listen. His work embraced the universal themes of love, courage, commitment, acceptance, tolerance, community, aids awareness, and overcoming adversity in a musical style which incorporated ballads, rock and roll, gospel and R&B. This musical touched a nerve in all who saw and heard it. While Jonathan never lived to see the show open (he died alone in his apartment after the shows off Broadway dress rehearsal of undetected Marfan’s Syndrome), RENT went on to win the Tony for best musical, the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical and Jonathan later received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. RENT has played all around the world and continues to be relevant and touch others in a deep and meaningful way, reminding us NO DAY BUT TODAY.

Jonathan , each year had a peasants feast with friends and artists to celebrate all that had been accomplished that year in their lives.

In Mr. Larson’s honor, Dewayne Hambrick proudly presents this musical review with some of Memphis’ most talented young artists performing 20 of RENT’s popular and well-loved selections in an unforgettable musical interactive theater experience. Set in a Bohemian coffee shop venue, much like the Life Café in the East Village of New York where Mr. Larson composed much of RENT, this gives the Memphis theater lover a new and unique theater experience. In addition, local chefs and culinary artists will serve their own version of the Peasants Feast at each performance. All proceeds benefiting the Graffitti Playground Performing Arts Center. (For more information see

Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson. Directed by Dewayne Hambrick. Musical Direction by Vernon Harris

SHOWTIMES: 7PM Sept.22 (PREVIEW- sold out), 23, 30(SOLD OUT) Oct. 7, 14

TICKETS: $50 (includes the Peasants Feast) , Students $35 (with id)

$5 off tickets purchased before Sept. 20. THE COFFEE HOUSE (gmc) 1015 S. Cooper, corner of Cooper and Walker in Cooper/Young District. TICKET OFFICE: 289-0160.

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