Friday, July 8, 2011

In the Wings: Rent. Meet Elizabeth Russell.


Elizabeth Russell plays Mimi in 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?
Elizabeth Russell: I absolutely love the rock awesomeness that is RENT. There was a singing competition that my college group auditioned for with RENT songs. I remembered having a lot of fun doing it and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to do it again.

Q: How would you describe Mimi?
E.R.: Mimi is on the Struggle Bus as we like to say. She wants, like everyone in the show, to be in love. She wants somebody to be there for her. She has had difficulty finding that and so drugs took over and kind of filled that void for a long enough time that it became a dependency. When she finds Roger and the opportunity for love, she struggles with picking one over the other. One she really wants and the other she can't give up because she's addicted.

Q: What is it like working with the cast?
E.R.: I love these peeps! They're fun. Everyone in this show absolutely loves RENT. They love the music and they're having fun with it. They want to do it well because they love it and it's well known in pop culture.

Q: What do you think an audience will most remember about a performance of RENT?
E.R.: On the surface I hope they think, "Wow, that was a fun show. You could tell people on stage were having fun with it, that they put a lot of time into it because they wanted it to be awesome." On a deeper level, I hope they take home the message about love and acceptance.

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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