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Award-winning rock opera comes to Merced
Rent pic
Merced Playhouse is staging the musical Rent, starring (left to right) Rachel Rodrigues as Mimi, GB Blackmon III as Roger, and Jeshamon Volkerts as Angel. - photo by Photo Submitted

“Rent,” the Tony Award winning musical about a group of bohemian artists living on the East Side of New York City, will begin a three-weekend run on the Playhouse Merced mainstage at 7:30 p.m.  Oct. 18.

“Rent” is based loosely on Puccini’s opera “La Bohème and tells the story of seven friends living in New York City, who strive to create art and music while struggling to make ends meet.  With music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, “Rent” features songs “Seasons of Love,” “La Vie Bohème,” “Light My Candle” and “Take Me or Leave Me.”   

“Rent” won four Tony Awards in 1996, including Best Musical and also a Pulitzer Prize that same year.  The show was a hit with audiences and critics alike playing for 12 years until closing in 2008.  A feature film was produced in 2005 featuring most of the original Broadway cast.

Playhouse Merced’s production is directed by Corey Strauss, musically directed by Darrel Lingenfelter and features a Central Valley cast that includes GB Blackmon III, Uriah Brown, Rachel De Vera, TaNayiah Bryels, Patti Feliciano, Sarah Jane Katen, Sergio Lopez, Alexandra Mains, Karlyn Rahmgren, Val Reyes, Rachel Rodrigues, Matthew Sanchez, Katy Uyeno, Jeshamon Volkerts and Zakkary Walls.

This show is rated M for mature subject matter, situations and language.

“Rent” opens Oct. 18, and plays three weekends through Nov. 3.  Tickets are on sale now for Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.  Tickets pricesare: Adults: $22; Seniors: $20; Students: $12; Children: $10. Purchase tickets by calling 725-8587, or visiting the box office at 452 West Main in downtown Merced, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.