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Theatrical Philanthropy: RENT

RENT

Fallen Rock Productions is a socially-conscious theatre company that combines philanthropy with the performing arts. Every year, the company produces a large-scale musical to raise funds and awareness for a charitable organization. Fallen Rock musicals are a great option for Torontonians looking for high caliber musical theatre without the sky-high ticket prices of Mirvish productions. This June, Fallen Rock will grace the Bathurst Street Theatre stage with its highly-anticipated production of RENT.

RENT, a rock opera inspired by Puccini’s La Boheme, tells the story of a group of friends living in East Village New York during the 1980s AIDS crisis. The show tackles several hot-button topics such as homosexuality, AIDS awareness, drug addiction, and homelessness.  Under the bold direction of Jason Spetter and featuring original choreography by Miranda Abbott, Fallen Rock presents a refreshingly unique take on the well-known musical.

 

The cast of RENT in rehearsal

In addition to showcasing some of the city’s finest talent, a large part of Fallen Rock’s mandate is its commitment to benefiting important causes. Over the past 9 years the Toronto-based theatre company has raised more than $350,000 for various charitable organizations. All profits from RENT will benefit the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO), a group with whom Fallen Rock has formed an intimate bond. POGO works to ensure all Ontario children living with cancer have equal access to state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment and ancillary services. Fallen Rock’s synergetic partnerships with groups like POGO allow the company to explore the arts while giving back to the community in a substantial way.

 

Cast members performing at the 2011 POGO Gala

 As opening night draws nearer, the buzz surrounding the show has definitely increased. The company has recently released rehearsal footage and select cast interviews on their YouTube channel. The channel serves as a sort of burlesque performance for the company: it offers brief glimpses of the real deal, leaving viewers yearning for more. Fallen Rock has certainly mastered the art of the tease as the hype surrounding RENT is near-deafening. 

The show runs from June 14 to 18 at the Bathurst Street Theatre in downtown Toronto. Tickets range from $25 to $55 and can be purchased online (uofttix.ca), over the phone 416.978.8849, or in-person at the UofTtix Box Office in Hart House. If you are looking for a showtune fix that you can feel good about, definitely check out this show.

 

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