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L.A. ‘RENT’ DUE IN ’97

Tuner set for Ahmanson after La Jolla stop

The Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre will kick off its 1997-98 subscription season with Jonathan Larson’s musical, “Rent.”

“Rent,” written by Larson (with additional lyrics by Billy Aronson) and directed by Michael Greif, will begin performances at the Ahmanson in September 1997, immediately following its West Coast premiere engagement at the La Jolla Playhouse. The musical will play through January 1998.

Inspired by Puccini’s “La Boheme,” the contemporary musical celebrates the community of young, creative East Villagers struggling with the realities of New York.

Cast not yet set

Casting has not been determined for the show’s West Coast run.

Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and the New York Theatre Workshop will produce the show, with musical direction by Tim Weil, choreography by Marlies Yearby, set design by Paul Clay, costume design by Angela Wendt, lighting design by Blake Burba and sound design by Kurt Fischer.

After opening at Off Broadway’s New York Theatre Workshop in February, “Rent” became an overnight sensation, garnering rave reviews and becoming the season’s hot ticket in Gotham. The show moved April 29 to Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre, where it continues to play to capacity audiences.

Larson died of an aortic aneurysm Jan. 25, only 10 days before his 36th birthday and just hours after “Rent’s” final dress rehearsal.

On the road

Last month, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning show opened its first road production at Boston’s Shubert Theater.

The Ahmanson will stage “Rent” for 16 weeks – twice the time normally allotted for a show at the L.A. theater. Tickets for the limited engagement will go on sale sometime next year. For more info, call Center Theatre Group Audience Services at (213) 628-2772.

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