The Tony and Pulitzer Prize award-winning musical "Rent" will be performed in September and October by members of the Colorado Mesa University Theatre Department.Based loosely on Giacomo Puccini's opera "La Bohme," the modern story is about a group of friends and artists who struggle to survive in New York City's East Village during the early 1990s. The musical debuted on Broadway in 1996.Composed by Jonathan Larson, "Rent" tackles serious subject matters such as addiction, poverty, AIDS, as well as love. The musical is rated R for strong language, adult subject matter, drug abuse and sexual situations. "La Bohme," which premiered in 1896, 100 years before "Rent," was also about the lives of poor young artists. "La Bohme," like "Rent" also dealt with a plague at the time - tuberculosis.Director and music director Jeremy Franklin said he chose "Rent" because it had been three years since the university's music theatre department had produced a rock opera. Franklin, who is also director of CMU's music theater department, attended a Broadway performance of "Rent" in New York City. The musical is now being performed off-Broadway. In 2005, "Rent" was adapted into a movie that featured most of the original cast members."It's perfect at telling the story through music," Franklin said. "It marries story and music together so well."The roughly two-and-a-half hour production will be sung "from top to bottom," he said. "There are three monologues the entire show.""The cast has thoroughly fallen in love with the show and are committed to it. It's going to be a magnificent performance." Tickets are available by calling the box office at 970-248-1604, or online at coloradomesa.edu/moss/theatretickets.html.