Today’s young professionals and some who are decades away from that season of life might relate to a group of friends struggling with love, finances and illness.

Richmond Civic Theatre offers eight performances of the rock musical “Rent” from Nov. 2-5 and 9-12.

“Rent” follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. 

Audiences watch the young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves and conflicts in the musical loosely based on Puccini’s opera “La Boheme.”

Its song “Seasons of Love” became widely known for encouraging listeners to consider how they measure the value of a year’s 525,600 minutes and to measure it in love.

Before her added fame for voicing Elsa for Disney’s “Frozen” movies, Idina Menzel made her Broadway debut in 1996 as Maureen in “Rent” and earned a Tony nomination. She reprised her role in the 2005 film version of “Rent” before recording a cover of “Seasons of Love” for her 2019 album.

Sadly, writer, composer and lyricist for “Rent” Jonathon Larson died unexpectedly of an aortic dissection on the night before the show’s off-Broadway premiere.

“Rent” soon made it to Broadway and continued for 12 years. It was one of the longest-running shows on the Great White Way.

Parental discretion is advised. The theater version is rated R for strong language, sexual situations and drugs, but theater staff said nothing included is more adult-oriented than anything seen on today’s network TV. RCT is contractually obligated to perform the materials as written.

If you go

What: “Rent” musical

When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2-4 and 9-11; 2 p.m. Nov. 5 and 12

Where: Richmond Civic Theatre, 1003 E. Main St., Richmond.

Cost: Pre-sale/online: Adults, $20; students and seniors 65-plus, $17. Day of show: $22 for adults and $18 for students/seniors. All upper balcony tickets are $10. Thursday tickets are buy-one-get-one with BOGO code online.

Show sponsors: Earlham College and Indiana University East. RCT’s Main Stage Series is sponsored by First Bank Richmond, Reid Health and Health Alliance Medicare.

Info: 765-962-1816 or

Cast: Marty Hoelscher, Barton Teeters, Colie Erdosy, Cassidy Ballin, Jaclyn Bartlemay, April Walker, Norman Moxley II, Marty Hancock, CaiEaiisha Andrews, Phil Baisley, Archer Bunner, Teresa Davis, Carrie Debenham, Lark Green, Jonathan Hampton, Katara Harper, Rae Hunter, Samantha Manlove, Skyler Miller, Julie Pickett, Kimber Robinson, Emily Smith, Austin Snyder

Production team: Robyn Zitnick, Mark Simmons, Karen Duhai, Kimberly Shipley, Traci McCollum, Marty Hoelscher; Phil Baisley, Ruthanne Munger, Jules Pickett, John Oberle, Erica Kretchman, Rick Funk, Aaron Clarke

Crew: Aaron Martin, Timothy Emery, John Oberle, Erica Kretchman, David Marsee, Becca Oberle, Ella Oberle, Elise Kretchman, Angi Wilson, Rick Funk, Jessica Raposo, Sunshine Rankin,Angel Chhoeuy, Halie Scott, Benjamin Guard, Olivia Wambo, Jennifer Brokamp, Joe Swanson, Nicole Andreas, Jason Yingst, Travis Templeton, Marissa Brim, Marty Hoelscher, Mickey White, Barton Teeters, Aaron Clarke, Amy Decker, Timothy Emery

Orchestra: Mark Simmons, Genevieve Baird, Jenny Williams, Charles Ramsey, Rex Bailey, Mike Mustin, Sajen Hernandez

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A version of this article appeared in the November 1 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.