Oct. 26, Rent will hold open auditions for the Broadway and Benny companies at the Apollo Theatre. The audition notice specifies that Rent is seeking, "hip, authentic singers...the person who loves to sing in the shower, the musician who has fronted a band but never acted, the actor who can carry a tune. No experience is necessary!" All ethnicities, early-to-mid-20s are sought. Prepare 16 bars of an upbeat authentic pop/rock/gospel song to sing without piano and absolutely no musical theatre or country western tunes! Dress is casual with no plastic pants and no midriffs. For more audition info, call the Rent hotline at (212) 479-0833.
Apparently, these casting calls work. Current Broadway Mark, Jim Poulous, was such a open call find.
In other Rent news, schools from nearby New York and New Jersey will participate in a special student matinee Oct. 28. Included in the program are a chance for students to perform their own specially written monologues on Broadway (from the stage of the Nederlander) and a four-part harmony singing lesson with the cast of the show.
Finally, October means additions to the company. Rufus Bonds, Jr., joined up Sept. 20 as the new Tom Collins. Dance recording artist Maya Days ("Fabulous"), a London and national touring Rent vet, makes her Broadway debut as Mimi Marquez. Another touring Rent-er Cristiana Fasdale became the new Maureen Johnson Oct. 8 with Danielle Lee Graves (Showboat, Sunset Boulevard) as Joanne Jefferson. In the ensemble, Kim Varhola (Goodspeed Opera's No, No, Nanette) takes the roles of Alexi Darling and others. Tickets to Rent are $80-$35 and available by calling Ticketmaster, (212) 307-4100.
-- By Christine Ehren