April 3, 2024

Theater, Dance Students Star in MCCC’s “Rent”

STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE: The cast of the award-winning musical “Rent,” coming to Kelsey Theatre at Mercer County Community College April 5-14.

Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) theater, dance, and entertainment technology are collaborating on the Broadway show Rent, April 5-14 at the Kelsey Theatre on the college’s West Windsor campus.

Based loosely on the Puccini opera La Boheme, Jonathan Larson’s Rent follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. The physical and emotional complications of the disease pervade the lives of Roger, Mimi, Tom, and Angel, while Maureen deals with her chronic infidelity through performance art, and her partner, Joanne, wonders if their relationship is worth the trouble.

Meanwhile, Benny has sold out his bohemian ideals in exchange for a hefty income and is on the outs with his former friends, and Mark, an aspiring filmmaker, feels like an outsider to life in general. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves, and conflicts provides the narrative thread to this musical, which premiered on Broadway in 1996 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Musical. It closed after 12 years, one of the longest-running shows on Broadway.

Performances are April 5, 6, 12, and 13 at 8 p.m. and April 7 and 14 at 2 p.m. at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre on the West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. The Sunday, April 7 show features a special ASL interpreted performance. Contact the Kelsey Theatre Box Office for seating. A special after party follows the Friday, April 12 performance, sponsored by the MCCC Rainbow Alliance and the Drama Club. A donation of $8 is recommended for the Dance Party, with proceeds going to HiTOPS.

Tickets are $26-$24. Visit kelseytheatre.org.