Bristol Riverside Theatre to Conclude 25th Anniversary Season With RENT


Bristol Riverside Theatre concludes its 25th Anniversary Season with the Broadway mega-hit Rent by Jonathan Larsonplaying at Bristol Riverside Theatre on May 8-June 3.  Directed by Jose Zayas, the cast features Julian Alvarez, Mark Willis Borum, Tracie Franklin, James LaRosa, Meera Mohan, Brendan Norton, Tyrone Roberson, Jamila Sabares-Klemm, Tara Tagliaferro, Brit West, and Nadine Zahr with local actors Michael Hogan, Joseph Michael O'Brien, and Carl Nathaniel Smith.

Previews begin Tuesday, May 8 with opening night on Thursday, May 10.  Performances run Wednesday through Sunday until June 3.  Tickets are available from $30-$50, with discounts for students, military and groups.  Tickets are available by or calling the BRT Box Office at 215-785-0100.  Bristol Riverside Theatre is located at 120 Radcliffe Street in Bristol, PA.

Winner of the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award and the Pulitzer Prize, Rent endures as one of the longest running shows in Broadway history, defining a generation coming of age in the era of AIDS.  Rent is a rock musical based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème.  With such hit songs as La Vie Boheme, Seasons of Love, One Song Glory, and Light my CandleRent tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

Rent was first seen in a limited three-week workshop production at New York Theatre Workshop in 1994. The musical then moved to Broadway where it won 4 Tony Awards and ran for 12 years.

"Rent is one of the most iconic shows in musical theater history. It defined a generation, shaped the lives of countless people, gave voice to many who were not being heard and spoke of hope in a moment in time when healing was so necessary,"  said BRT's Artistic Director Keith Baker who is serving as Music Director for the production.  We are very excited to be introducing these extraordinarily talented actors to our audience.  Their spirit and energy reflect the vitality and youth of the characters in Rent."

 Continued Director Jose Zayas: "I am moved by Rent's still beautiful and urgent message of looking at the small moments in life to understand the larger ones, its kinetic and panoramic view of community and family.  I hope to capture the energy, the joy, the anger, the madness, the grime, grit and outrageousness of the world Jonathan Larson was so vividly documenting and to create a production that inspires a new generation to live and love to the fullest."

Jose Zayas has directed at Virginia Stage Company, American Repertory Theatre, and several productions at both Ensemble Studio Theatre and Repetorio Espanol.  He is the recipient of 22 ACE Awards, 13 HOLA Awards, 5 Ovation Awards and the Peter Sellars Direction Award from Harvard University.  He is currently a guest faculty member at Scranton University.

Rent brings together the creative team of set designer Jason Simms, lighting designer Ryan O'Gara, costume designer Carla Bellisio, and choreographer Stephen Casey.

Since 1986, BRT has brought consistently acclaimed professional theatre to Bucks County and maintained a long-term commitment to finding and developing new plays. The theatre is the recipient of over 66 Barrymore Award nominations for Excellence in Theatre, given annually by the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. In addition to its mainstage productions, the theatre serves as a cultural hub for the community, with such programs as children's theatre, community concerts and exhibitions of local visual arts. Currently under the direction of Artistic Director Keith Baker, Founding Director Susan D. Atkinson, and Managing Director, Amy Kaissar, BRT is celebrating its 25th anniversary season.  For information, visit

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