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Hundreds of Aspiring Stars Line Up to Audition for Rock Opera

San Fernando Valley

January 18, 1997

No stars were going to be made Friday. But they lined up anyway--singers and actors, students and bankers.

Carrying sheet music, resumes and the occasional guitar, hundreds of twentysomethings lined up in Burbank for the first of two days of auditions for "Rent," the rock opera that took Broadway by storm last year. Inspired by Puccini's "La Boheme," but set among aspiring artists in the East Village, "Rent" won Tony awards for best musical, book and score.

Casting director Bernie Telsey says he is looking for raw rock 'n' roll talent, those people with great voices and matching looks. He has 15 roles to fill for the third "Rent" cast, which will present the show in its West Coast premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in July, then move to the Ahmanson Theatre in September.

Anthony Elizondo and Jeanie McKelvey left Fresno shortly after midnight and arrived at a Burbank studio before dawn Friday.

They were the only ones there, and kept warm in their car until others started to arrive about 6:30 a.m.

"We made the trip because this is the show of our generation. We're performers and we couldn't miss the opportunity to be here," said Elizondo, 27, who called in sick to his bank job. "I would pull curtains for this show."

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