New Jersey Stage

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Surflight Theatre Premiere of Landmark Rock Musical RENT May 28 – June 19

(BEACH HAVEN, NJ)  -– Celebrating its 62nd Season of Broadway at the Beach, Surflight Theatre, under the leadership of Producer and Surflight alum Roy Miller, proudly presents RENT, Jonathan Larson’s landmark rock musical from May 28 through June 19.  Opening Night is scheduled for Saturday, May 28 at 8:00pm.



RENT stars Broadway and American Idol’s Justin Guarini (as Roger), Drew Gasparini as Mark, Katrina Dideriksen as Mimi, Chelsea Lovett as Maureen, Dean-Carlo Grant as Collins, Joshua Cruz as Angel, and Carla Stewart as Joanne.  Shayla Benoit, Jake Boyd, Angela Birchett, Tim Ehrlich, Jeremy Gaston, Samia Mounts, Deon Oliviero, and Xavier Rice complete the cast.



Directed and choreographed by Jen Bender (Resident Director for Broadway’s The Lion King), Surflight Theatre’s production of RENT features music direction by Jeremy Randall, scenic design by Charlie Smith, costume design by Caitlin Reed, lighting design by Marcie Green, and sound design by Nevin Steinberg.  Kelly McGrath is production stage manager.



Winner of the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the pop culture phenomenon RENT forever changed the Broadway musical.  Set in NYC's East Village RENT is a modern take on the classic Puccini opera, La Boheme. It tells the unforgettable story of a group of young artists learning to survive, falling in love, finding their voices and living for today.



Justin Guarini made his Broadway debut this season in Lincoln Center Theatre’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown as Carlos and recently joined the cast of American Idiot in the role of Will.  Other theatre credits include: Once on This Island (Daniel), The Little Prince (Prince). Solo albums: Justin Guarini (RCA Records), Stranger Things Have Happened. Film: Fast Girl (Darryl), From Justin to Kelly (Justin). TV: "American Idol” season one runner-up (Fox), "Run of the House” (Fox), "Film Fakers” (AMC), "Gone Country” (CMT season three), TV Guide Network host/correspondent, "Live With Regis & Kelly” (guest host, ABC). Other: Disney World’s The American Idol Experience, virtual host.



Director/Choreographer Jen Bender’s Broadway credits include: Resident Director of Disney’s The Lion King; Avenue Q; The Wedding Singer, and Steel Magnolias (Assistant Director). Regional: Avenue Q at the Wynn Las Vegas, Kander and Ebb’s The Visit (Goodman Theatre). National tour: Wonderful Town. Other: City Center Encores!, Roundabout, Birdland, Carnegie Hall. Jen is a founder of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.



Surflight Theatre, 201 Engleside Avenue, is located in historic Beach Haven, New Jersey on Long Beach Island.  RENT performances are Tuesday at 2:00pm and 8:00pm; Wednesday at 2:00pm; Thursday at 2:00pm and 8:00pm; Friday at 8:00pm; Saturday at 8:00pm, and Sunday at 2:00pm.  Please note that Memorial Day Weekend performances are Saturday, May 28 at 2pm and 8pm and Sunday May 29 at 2pm and 8pm.  Tickets are $31- $49 plus fees.  Season subscriptions are still available.  Tickets are available online at www.surflight.org.  Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Surflight Theatre box office, or by phone at 609-492-9477.  For groups (15 or more) call: 609-492-9477 x201.