YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Did you know there are 525,600 minutes in a year? If you are familiar with the rock musical “Rent,” then you’re well aware.

The Tony Award-winning musical presented by The Youngstown Playhouse explodes onto the stage at the Deyor Performing Arts Center for a four-day run starting Thursday inside Power’s Auditorium in downtown Youngstown.

The musical made its debut on January 25, 1996, in a small, off-Broadway theater and went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. Directed by Matthew Mazuroski, Rent is set at the height of the 1990s AIDS epidemic in New York City. The story follows a group of young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create.

“What’s at the heart of it are the friendships and relationships,” said Mazuroski. “It’s at the height of the AIDS crisis. Some of them are dealing with addiction. We kind of follow the journeys of these eight central characters through their journeys of love and loss.”

Joining Mazuroski is Johnny Pecano as technical director and Michael J. Moritz, Jr. Moritz is an Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner who made a name for himself on Broadway and lives in New York City. He’ll serve as a guest conductor for all of the performances.

He said when it comes to where he learned what he knows, there’s no place like home.

“Most of my theater experience much of my musical experience can be traced back to Youngstown — nearly all of it — specifically, the Youngstown Playhouse,” said Moritz. “For the last 10 years, I’ve lived in New York, and I kind of told the powers that be, you know, if there was anything I could ever help them with, let me know. And this is one of those perfect opportunities. It’s a show I can sink my teeth into.  We brought a few musicians in as well from New York with Youngstown roots.”

“Rent” opens Thursday, April 27, and runs through Sunday, April 30. For tickets and more information, call (330) 744-0264 or go online to