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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 3, 2006

'Rent' Returns To UI Hancher Auditorium Oct. 21 & 22

"Rent," the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical that set sales records when it made its first visit to the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium, will return for three performances, at 2 & 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22.

"Rent," now in its 10th season, is about being young in New York, being brave and being scared, being in love and being in trouble, and living with courage and hope. Inspired by Puccini's "starving-artist" opera "La Boheme," "Rent" is both joyous and bittersweet as it portrays a community of New York lower-east-side artists as they struggle with soaring dreams and tough realities.

"Rent," considered by many to be the most exuberant and original American musical to come along in many years, reinvigorated Broadway and took the country by storm. Sweeping all major theater awards, including the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, "Rent" was hailed as capturing the heart and spirit of a generation.

The show received its world premiere off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop on Feb. 13, 1996, to ecstatic reviews. It rapidly became a sold-out hit. The show transferred to Broadway on April 29, 1996, playing to standing-room-only audiences.

The critical and popular conquest of "Rent" continued when the show first visited the UI in February 1999. Ticket revenues broke the Hancher sales record set by "Les Miserables." and the show returned for eight more performances the next season.

"When we ask UI students what they'd like to see at Hancher, the answer almost always includes 'Rent,'" says Charles Swanson, Hancher's executive director. "So I'm delighted that this season we were able satisfy those requests by booking the show for a third Hancher run. It is great to see the auditorium full of UI students."

The most honored musical since "A Chorus Line" in 1976, "Rent" is only the fifth musical to ever win both the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award.

Newsweek magazine critic Jack Kroll described "Rent" as "The breakthrough musical for the '90s . . . A moving, funny, thrilling musical with an irresistibly singable score, performed by a youthful cast with explosive talent and staggering energy."

Richard Zoglin of Time magazine called "Rent" "the most exuberant and original American musical to come along this decade." Ben Brantley proclaimed that the show "shimmers with hope for the future of the American musical." And Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press hailed "Rent" as "a full-fledged theatrical event that, for once, actually lives up to the hype."

"Rent" contains mature subject matter and language. The show is not recommended for children under the age of 13.

"Rent" in Hancher is supported by Gerry Ambrose and Kristin Hardy, and Marriott Hotels & Resorts, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Remaining tickets are $49/42, UI student and youth $44.10/37.80. All remaining tickets are in the upper balcony.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website: <>.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <>.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073; cell: 310-430-1013;

PHOTOS are available at