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RiverCenter hosting kickoff of national tour of this powerful, popular musical

Role in “Something Rotten” helps actress turn “...a year of noes” into summer of success

Emily Kristen Morris portrays Bea in the national touring production of "Something Rotten!". The company has been at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts preparing for the tour, which has its first public performance Wednesday Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
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Emily Kristen Morris portrays Bea in the national touring production of "Something Rotten!". The company has been at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts preparing for the tour, which has its first public performance Wednesday Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

For the second consecutive year, RiverCenter will open its Broadway season with the launch of a national tour. The 20th anniversary tour of “Rent” will take the stage at 7:30 Aug. 3 for one performance only.

Written by Jonathan Larson and based on the Puccini opera “La Bohème,” “Rent” tells the story of a group of young artists struggling to survive in New York’s East Village. Regarded as a seminal musical of its day, “Rent” opened on Broadway in 1996 to critical acclaim, winning four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, six Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The show ran for 12 years, making it one of the longest-running musicals in Broadway history.

The play’s successful Broadway run led to multiple national tours and foreign productions and, in 2005, it was adapted into a motion picture.

“We are thrilled to open our 2019-20 Broadway Series with the 20th anniversary tour of ‘Rent,’ ” said RiverCenter Executive Director Norman Easterbrook. “This is a show that changed the landscape of musical theater and, 20 years later, continues to resonate with audiences across generations. We are happy to welcome the production crew and actors to RiverCenter as they rehearse and prepare for their upcoming national tour.”

Easterbrook said that during the time the cast and crew are in Columbus, they could bring an economic impact of up to $1.5 million through their use of local catering, transportation, restaurants, materials and supplies and hotel rooms.

“The production company working with us on RENT made the choice to do so after the success they experienced with us on the 2018 tour launch of “Something Rotten.” Their decision to deliver another tour launch with us is a clear sign that this partnership was beneficial to all involved.” Easterbrook said. “This type of collaboration allows us to offer an exciting, new production experience for our audience and patrons, and builds a solid foundation for future creative development that advances our venue and our region.” Currently, RiverCenter is the only theater in Georgia doing tour launches.

“Rent” is part of the TSYS Broadway on Broadway Series. The 2019-20 RiverCenter Season is sponsored by Aflac.

For additional information, contact the RiverCenter box office, 900 Broadway, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, by phone at 706-256-3612, and online at rivercenter.org.

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