INTERVIEW WITH CHOREOGRAPHER MARLIES YEARBY
Original RENT choreographer Marlies Yearby discusses early versions of the legendary musical, her collaboration with Jonathan Larson and working with original cast. RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, will play a limited engagement at Broadway In Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre (24 W. Randolph) from May 10-19.
MARLIES YEARBY BIO
A modern/postmodern choreographer, Marlies Yearby is best known for her Tony-nominated choreographic contributions to Jonathan Larson’s Broadway hit Rent (1996), a reinterpretation of Puccini’s La Boheme made relevant for the AIDS era. As a teenager in the late 1970s in Oakland, California, Yearby was a professional disco dancer. In the 1980s, she trained in modern dance at San Jose State University, supplemented by classes in Limon technique with Aaron Osborne at New Performance Gallery in San Francisco. In addition to her work for musical theater, she is founder and co-artistic director of Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater.
In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.
The show received its world premiere off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop on February 13, 1996 to ecstatic reviews and transferred to Broadway on April 29, 1996. RENT won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Based on original direction by Michael Greif (Tony and Drama Desk Nominations, RENT), Evan Ensign re-stages the 20th anniversary tour. Original Broadway creatives Marlies Yearby (Choreography), Angela Wendt (Costume Design), and Tim Weil (Music Supervision and Additional Arrangements) are joined by Jonathan Spencer (Lighting Design), Keith Caggiano (Sound Design), MiRi Park(Associate Choreographer), and Matthew E. Maraffi (adapting original scenic design by Paul Clay) to make up the creative team for the tour. Casting for the tour is by Wojcik | Seay Casting. The RENT 20th Anniversary Tour is produced by Work Light Productions, whose other touring productions include Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Something Rotten!, and the upcoming tour of the 2016 Olivier Award-winning production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Visit RentOnTour.net for more information.
Individual tickets for the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour start at $25-90 with a select number of premium tickets available. Tickets are also available for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing [email protected]. For more information, visit BroadwayInChicago.com.
ABOUT BROADWAY IN CHICAGO
Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 19 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining more than 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at the Auditorium Theatre.