Rehearsals are underway for Community Players' production of the musical Rent, Jonathan Larson's 20th century take on Puccini's La bohème. Players' Rent, directed by Brett Cottone, is due to open November 6 with a pay-what-you-can preview, followed by performances through the 23rd. I think that means we are somewhere in the neighborhood of 37,631 minutes before it opens, as opposed to the 525,600 minutes in the lyrics to Seasons of Love, the breakout hit from Rent. But who's counting?
For Community Players, Sean Stevens and Samantha Bettis will play Roger and Mimi, the star-crossed lovers -- he's a musician and she's a dancer and stripper -- who are both HIV positive; Aaron Wiessing will step behind the camera as Mark Cohen, the videographer who acts as the show's narrator; Breeann Dawson is set to portray Maureen, Mark's ex, who is now in a relationship with Joanne; Felicia Jiardina will take on lawyer Joanne; Tony Gannaway will play Tom Collins, an activist professor with AIDS; Chris Stanford will put on the pumps to play Angel, Tom's drag queen boyfriend who also has AIDS; and Matthew Henry completes the main cast as Benny, their former friend and current landlord. Yes, landlord. Remember, it's about rent. Or not paying rent because they are more concerned with making art than making money.
Making up the rest of the ensemble and filling in the A to Z of the show's Alphabet City setting will be Nick Benson Kallie Bundy, Latrisha Green, Ben Hauck, Kyle Holliday, Aimee Kerber, Missy Montefalco, Jake Rathman, Tony Smith. Chris Terven Austin Travis, Allyson Troyanovich, Becca Williams, Kristin Woodard and Isaiah Young.
Director Brett Cottone's team includes assistant director Bridgette Richard, musical director Rusty Russell, choreographer Wendy Baugh, producer and costume designer Alan Wilson, lighting designer Tony Meizelis, sound designers Rich Plotkin and Eli Mundy, and properties masters Dorothy Mundy and Carol Plotkin.
Click here to see all the details or here to buy tickets to Community Players' Rent.