October normally means cool weather, but this month, it's a hot time for Rent. The Broadway company of the Tony Award-winning hit will be keeping busy with a special La Boheme/Rent panel Oct. 15, open auditions Oct. 26 and the first Rent special student matinee Oct. 28. The cast is also welcoming a slew of newcomers to the show, including dance music recording artist Maya Days, Rufus Bonds, Jr (Parade and Danielle Lee Graves (Showboat, Sunset Boulevard).
A discussion of Rent and its original source material, Giacomo Puccini's La Boheme, will be held Oct. 15 at Lincoln Center's New York State Theatre. The New York Times' opera critic Anthony Tommasini will moderate a discussion between New York City Opera director of education Paul L. King and New York Theatre Workshop artistic director James C. Nicola on the two works. Performances of "Musetta's Waltz" and "Take Me Or Leave Me" will accompany the panel. The $15 tickets, once available by calling (212) 496-0600, are sold out.
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.
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 the Ticketmaster (212) 307-4100.