Monday, October 4, 2010

'Rent' hero to bring his own story

Broadway musical star Anthony Rapp, best known for his role in the musical “Rent,” will perform a new mono musical “Without You” at SangSang Art Hall in Daechi-dong, southern Seoul from Oct. 16 to 31. The new musical is based on Rapp’s best-selling memoir.
/ Courtesy of New Venture Entertainment

By Chung Ah-young

Broadway musical star Anthony Rapp, best known for his role in the musical “Rent,” will perform a new mono musical “Without You” based on his best-selling memoir.

The show details his turbulent life while experiencing two life-changing events — the sudden death of Jonathan Larson, writer and composer of “Rent,” and the illness and death of his mother. 

Rapp will include original songs by R.E.M. and Larson in the one-man show about grief, hope, frustration and triumph.
He began acting and singing at the age of 9. He is best known for landing the role of Mark Cohen in Larson’s Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Rent,” for which he shared an OBIE Award with the rest of the cast. 

“Without You” depicts the audition process beginning from when Rapp was working at Starbucks in New York in 1994 to rehearsals, and his emotions during the tribute performance after Larson suddenly died from a heart attack just one day before the premiere of “Rent.”

In his one-man musical, Rapp will play himself. The show features Rapp’s own lyrics and melodies, stories adapted from his memoirs, and songs from “Rent.”

In particular, the show will reveal his solitude behind a successful musical actor’s life and his suffering to form a sexual identity. He declared himself a bisexual in 1992 and has engaged in protecting the rights of lesbians, gays and bisexuals, as well as transgenders. 

Rapp starred in Chris Columbus’ film version along with other members of the original cast. The actor recently performed the role once again with original cast member Adam Pascal in the tour to Korea in 2009.

He has recently acted in “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits” directed by Don Roos, opposite Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow. 
His Broadway credits include the revival of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and John Guare’s “Six Degrees of Separation.” 

He debuted in “Precious Sons” with Judith Ivey and Ed Harris, for which he received an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk nomination. His most recent stage appearance was in Second Stage Theatre’s “Some Americans Abroad.”

Rapp has starred in numerous films such as “Adventures in Babysitting,” “School Ties,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Six Degrees of Separation,” “Man of the Century,” “David Searching,” “Road Trip,” and “A Beautiful Mind.” He has also appeared in “Winter Passing,” a film written and directed by his brother, Adam Rapp. 

On television, Rapp has appeared in “The Lazarus Man,” “The X-Files,” “The Beach Boys: An American Family,” “Kidnapped” and “Law & Order: SVU.” In 2000, he released his debut album, “Look Around.” 

“Without You,” the most anticipated musical at the 2010 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), now taking place through Oct. 17, has been sold out. 

The upcoming Seoul tour of “Without You,” right after NYMF, will be the first destination in the international tour.

The mono musical directed by Steve Maler will be on stage from Oct. 16 to 31 at SangSang Art Hall in Daechi-dong, southern Seoul. The show will run for 100 minutes without intermission. 

Tickets cost from 44,000 to 88,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1681.

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