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Central Bucks High School West Harlequin Club presents “Rent School Edition”


The Central Bucks High School West Harlequin Club presents “Rent School Edition” Nov. 17-20.

“Rent School Edition,” with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, opened off-Broadway in January 1996 and three months later went to Broadway for the start of its 12-year run. Tragically, Larson died the night before “Rent” premiered off Broadway so was never able to see the show’s success and how its themes of love, acceptance, and living in the moment resonated with audiences.

Based loosely on the opera La Bohème, Larson spent six years working on the musical that would encapsulate a specific era of young artists in the East Village of New York City. Dealing with the issues of the day such as the AIDS epidemic, homelessness, and drug addiction, ”Rent” has been called a love letter to Larson’s generation.

Jessica Bostock, the show’s director, remarked, “It is a privilege and joy to work on Larson’s material now, focusing on his message of hope in a time unfortunately full of division, lack of acceptance, and strife.”

“Rent School Edition” tells the story of a group of friends living the bohemian life (La Vie Bohème) in the East village, New York City, in 1989.

This group consists of Mark Cohen, played by Senior Riley Malone, the filmmaker and narrator of the story, his roommate, Rodger Davis, played by Junior Jackson Manning, Mark’s ex-girlfriend and outgoing performer, Maureen Johnson, played by Senior Anna Shea Safran, Maureen’s girlfriend, Joanne Jefferson, played by Sophomore Alyssa Cooke, dancer, Mimi Marquez, played by Junior Ella Patras, professor Tom Collins played by Sophomore Brian File, drag queen Angel Dumott Schunard played by Junior Evan Carroll, and former member of the group, now landlord opposite of everything the group stands for, Benjamin Coffin III, played by Sophomore Jordan Blaszczyk.

When asked about the experience of working on this show with high school students Bostock responded, “We have loved every moment, and you will see that on stage and in all of our faces!”

“Rent School Edition” is playing at Central Bucks High School West, 375 W. Court St., Doylestown, Nov. 17-20. Curtain time is 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and there is a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. The ticket link can be found at Adults $15. Children/Seniors $10. Cash or check only at the door.