A return to roots as Rockdale Musical Society takes on broadway hit Rent

The artists of Alphabet City will make a splash in St George this month as part of the Rockdale Musical Society production of Rent.

Based on the Puccini opera La Bohème, Rent follows the ups and downs of a year in the life of a group of impoverished, artistic friends living in Manhattan’s East Village.

It follows the group as they face their hopes and fears of modern day life while dealing with drug addiction and the rising spectre of AIDS and HIV. 

It will be a return for the hit musical with the society previously performing it in 2005.

It will be a directorial debut for Kate Berger who said her first solo show had been a challenge.

‘’There is something really exciting about pulling a show together and working with fabulous people who are much more talented than I am,’’ she said.

‘’Rent has been a joy to direct, and a steep learning curve. Luckily, I have been gifted an amazing, professional cast who adopt most of my wacky ideas.’’

While the Rockdale productions remains true to the original there are some differences.

‘’The show has been interpreted from the 'text up' and the set, costumes and staging work together to communicate the stories that make this show so iconic,’’ she said.

‘’In the world we live in today, still plagued by racism, inequality, prejudice and bigotry, we still need stories like Rent to show us the beauty in face of hardship. This is why the show has been stripped down to its barest elements - to let the stories and talent come to the forefront.’’

This production will use a new stage configuration never seen at Rockdale Town Hall before, which will transform the large venue into a more intimate setting.  

Also on board is Marcus Hurley as Mark Cohen, Charles McComb as Roger Davis, Georgia Vella as Mimi Marquez, Talia Sigsworth as Maureen Johnson,  Sherry-Anne Hayes as Joanne Jefferson,  Haji Myrteza as Tom Collins, Arron Johnson as Angel Schunard, and Philby Mackintosh as Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III.

Rent will run from May 31 to June 4 at the Rockdale Town Hall.

For more information on the event or to book tickets go to www.rockdalemusicalsociety.com.

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