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Brandeis student performs in community production of “Rent”

By Leah Ruth

Section: Arts

November 20, 2009

Open Fields Community Theater will be performing “Rent” at Regis College over the next two weekends, with Brandeis student Nick Maletta ’13 as Collins, a philosopher and anarchist.

Maletta, originally from Sherborn, Mass., became involved with the theatre at the end of his junior year of high school and returned to the stage for “Rent” this year.

“It’s exciting to finally be able to do this show with such a great cast, after overcoming so many obstacles,” Maletta said during a recent interview with The Hoot.

The obstacles he’s referring to almost prevented the show from being performed at all. The original date was April 2009, but the group was unable to get the rights to perform because the “Rent” touring cast was performing in Boston.

“After that delay, we were unable to find a place to perform. We were finally blessed by the help of Adam Kantor,” said Open Fields founder and director Keith Greenfield.

Kantor, who played Mark Cohen in the final Broadway cast of “Rent,” was introduced to Greenfield and later helped Open Fields get the rights to perform the show.

In addition, he helped the cast prepare for the show in various ways, including working on lines and exploring their characters and the themes of the show.

Performances will be held at The Casey Theatre at Regis College in Weston on November 22nd at 2:00 p.m., and November 27th and 28th at 2:00 and 7:30.

At the performances, college students with ID will be sold tickets in the first two rows of the theater for $10 on a first-come basis. This is in honor of a long-standing tradition that started with Jonathan Larson, the creator, who felt that it was important to enable the young, artistic community about which “Rent” was written to afford to attend performances.

All other tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and are available at www.open-fields.org

“Rent” is a popular rock musical written by Jonathan Larson that tells the story of young bohemian artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York, based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Bohème.” “Rent” is also the seventh longest-running musical on Broadway, where it was performed from 1996 to 2008.

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