"Rent" Screening on Nov. 22 to Benefit Friends in Deed | Playbill

News "Rent" Screening on Nov. 22 to Benefit Friends in Deed
On Nov. 22 — one day before the eagerly awaited "Rent" film opens at theatres across the country — Friends in Deed will host a benefit screening of the movie based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name.

The 7 PM screening will be held at Symphony Space's Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. A question-and-answer session will follow the Chris Columbus-directed film. Those scheduled to take part in the post-film discussion include "Rent" co-stars Anthony Rapp, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Jesse L. Martin, Adam Pascal and Tracie Thoms.

A silent auction will also be part of the one-night-only event. From 6:30-7 PM, those interested can bid on a variety of items, including a "Rent" film poster autographed by its eight principal players.

The "Rent" film, which is due for a national release Nov. 23, boasts many of the stars of the original Broadway production. Those reprising their roles for the film, which features a screenplay by director Columbus and Stephen Chbosky, include Taye Diggs (as Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III), Wilson Jermaine Heredia (as Angel Schunard), Jesse L. Martin (as Thomas B. "Thom" Collins), Idina Menzel (as Maureen Johnson), Adam Pascal (as Roger Davis) and Anthony Rapp (as Mark Cohen). Newcomers include Rosario Dawson as Mimi with Tracie Thoms as Joanne Jefferson. The roles of Mimi and Joanne were created on Broadway by, respectively, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Fredi Walker.

Rent updates Puccini's La Boheme to the East Village of the late 1990's, with artists and lovers struggling to connect in a world that is chaotic, shallow and tinged with disease. The late Jonathan Larson wrote Rent's book, music and lyrics. The 1996 Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning musical continues at the Nederlander Theatre in New York City.

Tickets, priced $20-$75, are available by calling (212) 864-5400 or by visiting www.symphonyspace.org. Symphony Space is located in Manhattan at 2537 Broadway at 95th Street. *

Friends in Deed is a non-profit organization that provides "emotional support for anyone diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening physical illnesses… for the caregivers, family and friends of those who are ill… and for those dealing with grief & bereavement." Visit www.friendsindeed.org for more information.

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