Bridge Players Theatre Company Presents the South Jersey Community Theatre Premiere of Jonathan Larson’s RENT

by Patricia Bradford

BURLINGTON CITY – Bridge Players Theatre Company, the Burlington City-based community theatre group, proudly announces its production of RENT, the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical renowned and revered throughout the world. Bridge Players is the first South Jersey community theater company to present the full show in this area.

Written by the late Jonathan Larson and set in New York City’s East Village, RENT is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, Larson’s RENT follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in the widening shadow of the HIV/AIDS outbreak. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves and conflicts provides the narrative thread to this ground-breaking musical. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, RENT has become a pop-culture phenomenon, with songs that rock and a story that will resonate with audiences.

Director Chris Focarile notes that RENT is the show that “changed how he felt about Broadway.” He has spent the last two years laying the groundwork for this production: “I was determined to bring RENT, the real RENT, to Burlington…I want the audience to not only feel what I did that first night [I saw RENT], but to live it.”

RENT features a talented cast from throughout the area. Matt Dotzman (Moorestown) plays Mark Cohen, an aspiring filmmaker, Roger’s best friend, and the show’s narrator. Mike Reisman (Cherry Hill) portrays Roger, a struggling, HIV+ musician who falls in love with Mimi, portrayed by Leilah Murphy (Edgewater Park). Mimi is an exotic dancer, also HIV+, who wrestles with addiction and also with her feelings for Roger.

Mike Wemer (Mount Holly) plays Tom Collins, a computer genius and anarchist in love with street percussionist and drag queen Angel, portrayed by Jonathan Mosesku (Maple Shade). Zac Treusch (Burlington City) plays Benjamin Coffin III, Mark and Roger’s landlord and former roommate. Kiara Rodriguez (Delran) portrays Joanne Jefferson, a lawyer in love with Mark’s ex-girlfriend, performance artist Maureen Johnson, played by Amanda Frederickson (Cinnaminson).

Appearing throughout the show in a variety of roles are Amber Stolarski and Brian Rothman (both Philadelphia), Toni Walker-Stanley (Lawrenceville), Dennis Tolentino (Manalapan), Gina Petti (Beverly) and Kori Rife (Riverside).

The cast and crew recently welcomed actress Krysten Cummings, who originated the role of Mimi in RENT in both Canada and London’s West End. Cummings, a Pennsauken, NJ native, spent a rehearsal with Bridge Players’ cast, sharing her RENT experience and discussing characterizations with Bridge’s cast.

All performances are at the Broad Street United Methodist Church, 36 E. Broad St. in Burlington, NJ. Performance times are February 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m., and February 8 & 15 at 3 p.m. The performance on Friday, February 20 will be sign-interpreted, and Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) will be available for all performances February 20 and 21. Tickets are $20; a group rate is available.

Please note: RENT is recommended for mature audiences only. The show contains strong language and adult subject matter.

For tickets or more information, please call (856) 303-7620, e-mail or visit

# # # # #

Theater/Organization Bridge Players Theatre Cimpany
Theater/Organization Website:

Theater/Organization Address: Broad Street United Methodist Church 36 E. Broad St. Burlington, New Jersey 08016 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (856)303-7620

You may also like

Leave a Reply