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A night at the opera, rocking Puccini NY style

Rent, Belgrade Theatre, May 9-13

Remember how West Side Story is an updated version of Romeo and Juliet....with added music?

Well Rent, the landmark rock opera that first took New York by storm 21 years ago, is an updated version of the nineteenth-century classic, La Boheme.

Puccini might not have much cared for Rent but the New York critics loved this 20th century version which went on pick up not only a Tony Award but a Pulitzer Prize.

As well as playing for 12 years on Broadway, the show wowed audiences at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, and was turned into a film in 2005.

Now the Welsh theatre company Clwyd Theatr Cymru, is bringing a brand new production to the Belgrade in Coventry from May 9 to 13 as part of a UK tour.

Tickets are already going fast as the show celebrates the 21st anniversary of Rent's original New York opening. An opening that in tragic operatic style, its modern-day composer Jonathan Larson didn't live to see.

He died the night before its premiere and so never knew that it would go on to run on Broadway for the next 12 years.

As in the original story, the core of the plot centres around a group of under-nourished bohemians - only in Larson's version they are struggling to live in New York's East Village as they are forced to come face-to-face with what really matters in life.

But instead of Puccini's poignant "Your Tiny Hand Is Frozen" , as the artists gather in their garret, Larson wrote exhilarating modern-day classics like Seasons of Love, Take Me or Leave Me, What You Own, One Song Glory and I Should Tell You.

Look out for Sutton Coldfield actress Katie Bradley who was delighted to win a part in the production which stars Javar La'trial Parker as Benjamin and Philippa Stefani as Mimi.

For tickets call 024 7655 3055 or visit


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