PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – RENT, a farewell tour dedicated to the 25th anniversary, is coming to Kimel Cultural Campus on Friday.

This is an important moment for fans who have been watching the award-winning groundbreaking show for a quarter of a century.

This is also a pretty important moment for northwestern Philadelphia Shafiq Hicksstarring in his first major role.

“To be in that role at this age, to do what I do with my background, it’s really amazing that I’m here,” Hicks says. “I feel like I’m definitely living a dream.”

Hicks graduated from the High School of Creative and Performing Arts in Philadelphia and is a former Kimmel Education student.

For him, this is a very complete circle.

Hicks is a voice acting major at Temple University, and he spent a year starring Tom Collins in the film RENT.

He was blessed by Jesse L. Martin, who performed the role on Broadway 25 years ago

“He kind of gave me his seal of approval. “We had to sing ‘Santa Fe’ in his living room together,” he recalls. “It was just a beautiful, beautiful moment.”

The RENT farewell tour opens at the Merriam Theater on Friday and continues through Sunday.

The tour was here back in 2019.

Hicks says he can’t wait to bring the show home, see his family and friends in the audience and grab a cheesecake.

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