New York Theatre Workshop to present ‘Rent’ 25th anniversary gala

The Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical began life at New York Theatre Workshop.

Photo credit: Rent 25th anniversary gala (Photo courtesy of New York Theatre Workshop)

UPDATE: New performers taking part added 8 February. 

The first performance of Rent was staged at New York Theatre Workshop on Jan. 25, 1996. On the musical’s 25th anniversary, a virtual gala has been announced by New York Theatre Workshop which will celebrate Rent , featuring original cast members and over 55 special guests. The Rent gala will be held on March 2 and will be available to stream through to March 6, with tickets and an exclusive lottery available on TodayTix.

Inspired by Puccini’s opera La Boheme, Rent follows a group of young artists living in New York’s City East Village during the HIV/AIDS crisis. Rent features a book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, with songs including “Seasons of Love”, “One Song Glory” and “Take Me Or Leave Me”.

After workshops at New York Theatre Workshop, Rent premiered in January 1996, subsequently transferring to the Nederlander Theatre in April 1996. The musical ran for 12 years, winning four Tony Awards including Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

For the Rent gala, original cast members will take part, including Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Wilson Jermaine Heredia and Idina Menzel, who all appeared in the Broadway production. Gilles Chiasson, Rodney Hicks, Kristen Lee Kelly, Jesse L. Martin, Aiko Nakasone, Byron Utley and Fredi Walker Brown will also star as well as Tracie Thoms, who played Joanne in the Rent film adaptation.

There'll also be guest appearances from the following: Sebastian Arcelus, Annaleigh Ashford, Martha Banta, Adam Chanler-Berat, Linda Chapman, Nicholas Christopher, Paul Clay, Wilson Cruz, Brandon Victor Dixon, Wendy Ettinger, Stephen Graham, Michael Greif, Janet Harckham, Jeremy O. Harris, Neil Patrick Harris, Victoria Hoffman, Christopher Jackson, Julie Larson, Tamika Lawrence, Telly Leung, Kamilah Marshall, Kevin McCollum, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anaïs Mitchell, Shakina Nayfack, James C. Nicola, Eva Noblezada, Dael Orlandersmith, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Will Power, Councilmember Carlina Rivera, Jai Rodriguez, Jeffrey Seller, Leigh Silverman, Ali Stroker, Ephraim Sykes, Bernie Telsey, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Ivo van Hove, Tom Viola, Tim Weil, Angela Wendt and Marlies Yearby. 

The evening will feature a sengment compiling over 130 Rent alumni from worldwide productions. Jordan Fisher, Josh Grisetti, Brennin Hunt, Amber Iman, Amy Spanger, Taylor Trensch, Mike Wartella will take part. 

There will also be original compositions from Dear Evan Hansen's Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, as well as The Bengsons, Joe Iconis, The Lazours and Rona Siddiqui. 

The New York Theatre Workshop Rent 25th anniversary gala will take place on March 2, and is available to stream through March 6. An exclusive Rent ticket lottery as well as tickets are available on TodayTix.

More information on the Rent 25th anniversary gala can be found here

Photo credit: Rent 25th anniversary gala (Photo courtesy of New York Theatre Workshop)