From Rent to If/Then: Anthony Rapp’s Story
In 1996, the Broadway sensation and Tony Award®-winning musical Rent debuted at an Off-Broadway theater. It soon moved to Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre and ran for 12 years and 5,123 performances, making it the 11th-longest-running show in Broadway history.
Anthony Rapp played the role of Mark Cohen, a struggling Jewish-American documentary filmmaker and narrator of the show. Rapp performed as Mark in Rent on Broadway and also starred as Mark in the show’s film adaptation in 2005. Following his performances on Broadway, Rapp played the role of Mark in the Broadway national tour of Rent in 2009-10.
Known for acute comedic timing and dedication to his roles, Rapp has become a Broadway legend. He starred opposite another Broadway legend, Idina Menzel, who originated the role of Maureen in Rent on Broadway and in the 2005 film. It was only natural for Rapp and Menzel to continue their on-stage relationship as they opened If/Then as lead characters Lucas and Elizabeth in the spring of 2014.
While Menzel accompanied the national tour of If/Then into January 2016, Rapp continues in his role of Lucas. This week on the Starlight stage, he performs alongside three other original Broadway cast members (Jackie Burns, Marc de la Cruz and Tyler McGee).
Other fun facts about If/Then:
- If/Then was written by the same team that wrote the Tony Award®-winning musical Next to Normal.
- Some have compared If/Then’s Lucas to an older version of Mark from Rent – both played by Anthony Rapp in the original Broadway casts.
- If/Then was nominated for two Tony Awards® in 2014: Best Original Score and Best Lead Actress in a Musical.
- If/Then played on Broadway for almost exactly one year, opening on March 30, 2014 and closing on March 22, 2015, with a total of 401 performances and 29 previews.
- The inspiration for the music of If/Then comes from the story and the setting. It’s about characters who are searching for things making decisions in their lives, so the music guides the characters through the story.
- If/Then was nominated for nine broadway.com Audience Choice Awards 2014, and won six of them including Favorite New Song and Favorite New Musical.
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