Tuesday, July 5, 2011

In the Wings: Rent. Meet Chris Allen.

Chris Allen is in the ensemble of RENT, the first production of the 2011-2012 season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The book, music and lyrics are by Jonathan Larson, based on Giacomo Puccini's La bohème.

Question: Why did you want to be part of RENT?
Chris Allen: I saw the movie when it came out in 2005; I was 14, I think. I instantly fell in love with the show. Two or three years later I saw it in Chicago when it was touring and I fell in love with the show over again. I knew that Civic was going to do it and I decided, "The heck with it. I'm going to audition." My style of voice is not Broadway so much as stylized, and RENT is a rock opera and very stylized. I had the vocal ability for it and I just wanted to be on stage and go crazy.

Q: Who do you play in RENT?
C.A.: I'm the Squeegieman in one scene, cleaning the windows of New York cars. I'm the second soloist in the song "Seasons of Love." I'm also Troy, the leader of the support group. I'm also a party boy in "La Vie Bohème" and a priest in another scene.

Q: What do you think an audience will most remember about a performance of RENT?
C.A.: First, the story and theme of the show. I believe so much in what Jonathan Larson said in "No day but today" - living your life with no regrets, doing everything you've dreamed of doing and achieving those dreams. If you worry about what is going to happen in the future or the past, you're going to live a life of worry that you don’t want to live. Live for today and what you want to do. Also, they'll remember the music. And third, the cast is just phenomenal.

RENT will open Thursday, July 14 and run through July 16 at the Tippecanoe County Amphitheater, 4449 ST RD 43 N, West Lafayette. Sunday, July 17 has been scheduled as a performance date if there are any rain outs. Performances begin at 9:00 p.m.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call Civic Theatre's office at 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre's website.

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