SLAMS Music Theatre Company brings with it a wonderfully successful history of productions that dates back to their humble beginnings with Oliver! in 1988. Now fully engaged in bringing quality entertainment to the masses, and helmed by the very able and talented Tyson Legg, they are gearing up, getting ready, and preparing to open RENT.
What is inspiring about SLAMS is that even today, some 25 years on, many of the original members are still active within the company, in a variety of categories, and the company has always provided a friendly, family atmosphere in which to present their work.
More recently, SLAMS have been very active, presenting a minimum of two major productions each year, and in 2012 garnered a staggering 19 Lyrebird Nominations for their Productions of Hairspray and the Variety show Jukebox.
What makes RENT special is the show’s history. Based on Puccini’s opera La Bohème, and created and composed by Jonathan Larson in 1994 after years of development, the show ﬁnally opened off-Broadway on January 25, 1996. Sadly, Jonathan Larson himself was never able to see the success of his labour and he passed away early that morning from an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm. The ﬁrst preview was cancelled and instead a small gathering of friends and family made their way to the theatre where the actors performed a dynamic sing-through of the Production in Larson’s memory. For this reason, the heart and soul of RENT is very much about living for now, and not wasting a single day.
The show primarily centres around a core group of friends who struggle to live their lives and live up to the integrity of their artistic desires over the course of a year in Bohemia Avenue City, New York.
Through thought-provoking, confronting, and at times soulful rock music, the lives of these individuals intertwine and develop into a wonderful tapestry of artist stereotypes, shadowed by the very real threat of HIV/AIDS.
Filmmaker Mark just wants to tell everyone's story, even it means sacriﬁcing the integrity of his own. Songwriter Roger, diagnosed with HIV, struggles to ﬁnd that one hit song to leave as his legacy. Dramatic Artist Maureen strives to give purpose to the homeless through protest, which puts her at odds with Benny, who wants to develop an arts studio – and sell out for some coin on the side.
Hard-hitting, lively and very, very catchy, RENT is a musical that has captured the hearts of millions of audience members around the globe, and continues to inspire today, seventeen years after it's initial Broadway run began. While not necessarily suitable for younger patrons, there is something in this show that everyone will be able to identify with, be it romance, loss, change or even hope.
If you are yet to experience RENT, you won't be disappointed. If you have seen it before, then you've probably already got your tickets. And with SLAMS track record to date, this will be yet another spectacular production.
There’s no day but today.
RENT will open at the Knox Community Arts Centre, (cnr Scoresby Road and Mountain Hwy, Bayswater) on Friday 2 August, and run until Saturday 17 August. Tickets are from $28. Bookings on 9720 3205 or at www.trybooking.com/DBUE