Jonathan Larson’s “Rent” quickly won over the hearts of America, starting at off-Broadway New York Theatre Workshop two decades ago by a “little-known” composer, and soon after, made its way to Broadway.

This year, the production celebrates its 20th anniversary with a national tour, as it rolls into Rabobank Theater on Friday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m.

The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical takes place in New York City, following a group of friends struggling in their careers and relationships, while also tackling some heavy issues, including the AIDS epidemic in their community.

Lyndie Moe, 19 and youngest of the cast, plays Maureen Johnson in the touring production.

She originally saw the movie as a fifth-grader, and while it didn’t click with her at the time, being in the production has taught her a lot, including the character she plays.

“She speaks up for what she believes in,” Moe said.

Maureen is a feminist and is all about equal rights who is in a relationship with partner, Joanne Jefferson.

Moe has found herself being more outspoken in conversation and defending when she needs to.

Through all of the challenges the characters face, the message of hope, friendship and love remain, as with many musicals. The show’s tagline spreads the message loud and clear: “Measure your life in love.”

The friends depend on one another through their challenges.

“The only message we should be hearing is spreading love, not hate. We need to love everybody with every fiber of our being,” Moe said.

It’s something Moe thinks we can all relate to and it’s exciting to watch the stories unfold amongst the community of friends.

Moe thinks audiences will be surprised at how much the musical touches them.

“People should come! They have to see this show. I think it is life-changing,” she said.

The 20th anniversary tour will also use the same blocking as done in the original production.

Tickets are available for purchase through RabobankArena.com, by calling 888-929-7849 or visiting the Rabobank Arena box office. 

Outbrain