"American Idol" Finalist Anwar Robinson in "Rent"

February 14, 2008 11:59:06 AM PST
Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning show "Rent" is back in Chicago this week at the Cadillac Palace Theater. This national touring production features Heinz Winckler as Roger Davis and Anwar Robinson as Tom Collins. This production of RENT marks Robinson's stage debut. American audiences will recall Robinson as the music teacher who was rocketed to television stardom on season four of the pop culture phenomenon American Idol. His vocal range quickly landed him a coveted spot in Idol's Top 10, where Judge Paula Abdul touted him as "technically the best singer of the competition." Robinson has toured the country as part of the Idols Live show. The New Jersey native has worked and appeared with a number of music icons, including Clive Davis, Patti Labelle, Kelly Price, Byron Cage and Pastor Donnie McClurkin. Robinson recently released his debut album, The Truth About Love. Heinz Winckler was the winner of the first South African Idol in 2002 and the 4th place finalist in the 2003 inaugural World Idol competition, in which he competed against American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. On stage, Winckler played Tony in the Toronto production of West Side Story. He has also recorded three hit albums with Sony BMG, including: One Step Closer, Come Alive(both South African Music Award "SAMA" nominees for "best pop album") and Moment of Truth. His song, "Once in a Lifetime," was a "SAMA" nominee for "best single." He performed the song "Chasing Shadows" for the Walt Disney movie, Treasure Planet, and participated in the Westlife Greatest Hits Tour in South Africa. Winckler has received the People Magazine Award for "Hottest Hunk," "South Africa's Hottest Artist" and "Best Male Personality." He was also featured in Cosmopolitan's "Sexy Man Calendar."

Written by Jonathan Larson and directed by Michael Greif, RENT is more than a show, it's a phenomenon. This smash-hit theatrical experience transformed how a generation feels about musicals, changed Broadway forever, and inspired a major motion picture. Set in the East Village of New York City, Rent is about being young and learning to survive, falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. RENT has made a lasting mark on Broadway with songs that rock and a story that truly resonates. RENT received its world premiere off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop on February 13, 1996 to ecstatic reviews. It rapidly became a sold-out hit. The show transferred to Broadway on April 29, 1996 where it continues to play at The Nederlander Theatre. RENT is now the 7th longest running show in Broadway history.

For more information, visit www.broadwayinChicago.com or www.myspace.com/anwarrobinsonastomcollins For tickets, call the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (312) 902-1400, visit any Ticketmaster Retail Location or go online at ticketmaster.com.