'Rent' opens new season at Rochester Civic Theatre

The new season will burst out of the blocks when Rochester Civic Theatrepresents "Rent,"the hit musical that rocked Broadway in the 1990s.

"It's certainly a show that goes," said Greg Miller, who is directing "Rent."

Good thing, then, that he's got an energetic, youthful cast to keep up with the fast pace.

"They have to be moving around a lot," Miller said. "And because it's almost entirely sung, you have to have people with Herculean lungsto do it. I think they're up to the task."

"Rent," which won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical,ran for 12 years on Broadway. The show is about a group of young artists attempting to survive on the streets of New York City.


The attraction for audiences and actors alike is the music. Songs include "Seasons of Love," "One Song Glory," "Light My Candle"and "Rent."

"You talk to people, and everybody will pick a different song that's their favorite," Miller said.

The play is based in large part on "La Boheme,"but you don't need to know that particular opera to enjoy "Rent," Miller said.

"You really don't," he said. "That's kind of an added bonus for people who know it. They can draw the parallels. But it's almost better if you're not an opera fan because this isn't opera."

In addition, Miller said, "There's another misconception that this is a show all about AIDS. Certainly that's part of the show, but it's not really what the show is about."

Miller's cast features Laura Fierro, Bryar Hansen, Katie Hawley, Cody Jensen, Dylon Starr, Laura Vanelli, Jayke Workmanand Jordan Wyldein lead roles, with Mitchel Gibson, Samantha Gibson, Jennifer Giese, Sean Lundberg, Lisa Modry, Tommy Rinkoskiand Allison Schulzin the ensemble.

"The ensemble, as always in most musicals, are the busiest people on stage," Miller said. "When they're not street people, they're cops, or moms and dads."

Music director Doug Pettyhas assembled a five-piece rock band. Choreography is by Mallory McKay.


This is a musical with the emphasis on music.

"You can tell these are people who grew up with this show," Miller said of his cast. "This was their favorite, and they know all the songs."


If you go

What: "Rent"

When: Friday through Oct. 4. Shows at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Rochester Civic Theatre, 20 Civic Center Drive S.E.

Tickets: $29 adults, $24 senior citizens, $19 students; 507-282-8481


Not recommended for audiences younger than age 16.

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