By Nicole Garrett Metzger
High Desert Daily Arts Critic
(Victorville) — Thursday is opening night for RENT, the award wining musical that has swept the nation, at the High Desert Center for the Arts. Presented by Creative Arts Theater, the first theatre company in the High Desert to present the full stage version of Jonathan Larson’s hit musical, RENT, and featuring a highly talented cast of actors, this production arrives among critical acclaim and a 12 year run on Broadway.
It will not fail to deliver.
An East Village rock version of Puccini’s opera “La Bohème,” this story is about disenfranchised youth living on the edge of society. It is a touching tale of love, loss, friendship, betrayal and temptation. Add in a score of songs that remain amongst the most musically memorable in recent Broadway history and there are plenty of reasons to relish in RENT.
The large ensemble cast of angry bohemians includes aspiring songwriter Roger (Keith Glisson); Roger’s roommate and wannabe filmmaker Mark (John Paul Vargas); computer genius Tom (portrayed by Robert K. Blomker II); Tom’s cross-dressing lover Angel (Kenneth Veal); and Benny (Charles “Chaz” Feuerstine), who betrayed his friends when he married their landlord’s daughter and is now threatening the group with eviction from their loft apartments.
Rachel Tonyan is Mimi Marquez; a sexy HIV-positive stripper and dancer who is also a heroin junkie and Roger’s love interest. Erica Varela plays a spunky performance artist Maureen Johnson, who is Mark’s ex-girlfriend and current girlfriend of Joanne Jefferson, a tough, headstrong Harvard-educated lawyer played by Theodora (Tedi) Wilson.
Rounding out the cast is: Miss High Desert 2011 Adriana Beaton, Andrew Caravella, Carleton Jackson, Grace McManus, Shane Churchill, Stephanie Roberts, Rachel Russell, Tammy Austin and Cherie Glisson.
Creative Arts Theater is presenting the full, uncut version of RENT July 14th-17th and 21st-24th, Thursday – Saturday 7:30am and Sunday 2:30pm.
Recommended for Mature Audiences, RENT contains adult language and situations.
High Desert Daily will publish a review of opening night as well as video.
High Desert Center for the Arts, 15615 8th St, Victorville. For Tickets call 760-963-3236.