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Local

Broadway stars of 'Rent' to be part of BHS production

BATAVIA – Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, the originators of the roles of Roger and Mark, respectively, from the Broadway production of "Rent," will make a one-night appearance in conjunction with the Batavia High School production of the musical April 29.

Set in the East Village of New York City, "Rent" won the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The high school performance will begin at 6 p.m. April 29, followed by a 60-minute show by Pascal and Rapp titled "Acoustically Speaking: 20 Years of Friendship." At the conclusion, the cast will join the veteran professionals on stage for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, according to a news release.

“We are glad to be able to present this valuable and pertinent piece of literature; it is one of the most brilliant shows to come from Broadway in the past two decades," Director Dominic Cattero stated in the release. "This will be an incredible experience for students to have two of the original Broadway performers take part in this journey with us, and to be able to experience the stage with them is going to be something that most people in their professional life would only dream of.”

In the 45-member BHS cast is Ian Samsami, a senior who has the role of Mark.

“It’s nerve-wracking," he said of the opportunity to meet and work with Rapp and Pascal. "But I’m so excited to hear their input on what we have been working on, how we have been putting our own stamp on these characters. I hope we can put a new spin on it to make it our own. To actually be meeting the person that originated the role is kind of insane. Not many get this kind of an incredible opportunity.”

Sophomore JD Rodriguez will portray Roger.

“It’s going to be a flashback for me, because when I performed on Broadway in 2011-12, I found myself being around people that do what I love and want to do," Rodriguez said. "It will be amazing to work with Pascal to compare how I portray this role compared to how he did it both on Broadway and in the movie.”

Tickets to the special performance with Rapp and Pascal cost $30 to $42, and are available online at BataviaFineArtsCentre.org and at the box office by calling 630-937-8930. Tickets for performances at 7:30 p.m. April 27 and 28 and at 2 p.m. April 30 cost $10 to $16. The Batavia Fine Arts Centre is on the high school campus.

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