Earle Page College Musical Society’s production of the rock opera Rent, being staged this week at the University of New England, is the Society’s 36th annual production.
Rent – Jonathon Larson’s masterpiece – is a poignant modernisation of Puccini’s opera La Boheme. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians living in New York’s Lower East Side in the 1980s under the shadow of AIDS. The show opened in New York in January 1996, gained popular and critical acclaim, and won a Pulitzer Prize and other awards including a Tony Award for Best Musical.
The Earle Page College Musical Society production has a cast of more than 60 College residents and a live rock band. The performances – in UNE’s A1 Arts Theatre – will be on Thursday and Saturday evenings (the 13th and 15th of August) at 7.30 pm and on Friday the 14th of August at 11 am. Tickets for the Thursday evening and Friday matinee performances are still on sale at Dymocks Book Store (phone 6771 4558) and at the College office (phone 6773 5300), and are selling fast.
Tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for concession holders – including students. Groups of 10 or more students will qualify for a discounted price of $10 per person.
The Master of Earle Page College, David Ward, said that Rent was a departure from the usual style of College musical. “I enjoyed the preview,” Mr Ward said. “The production demonstrates the insight of the producer, Christopher Curcuruto, and the director, Alex Robson, into the value of the show. And the excellent band reflects the level of musical talent attracted by Earle Page College.”
“The annual musical is a highlight of life at the College,” he added. “Students enjoy contributing to it in a variety of ways – both on and off stage.”