Printer Friendly - Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...


Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by amygbrooks 2019-01-10 10:55:06


I saw the touring production of RENT in Detroit last night and walked away so disappointed. The cast was all so young, with many having only one or two regional credits before joining this tour, and some coming direct from college. The music sounded oddly thin to me in places, like it was missing parts/instruments. Much of the singing was flat and had bad harmonies.

I used to LOVE Rent and saw it maybe seven or eight times between 2000-2006, but haven't seen it since. Am I just getting old? Is the show showing its age? Have the production values fallen? Was it always like this and I could never see it before? Was this just a particularly bad cast?

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by TotallyEffed 2019-01-10 11:06:33


Whatever you do, don't watch the movie.

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by Pashacar 2019-01-10 11:10:15


amygbrooks said: “Am I just getting old? Is the show showing its age? Have the production values fallen? Was it always like this and I could never see it before? Was this just a particularly bad cast?"

Yes.

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by sondheimfan2 2019-01-10 11:15:30


I can't speak to the RENT tour, but I felt exactly the same way when I saw the CABARET tour last year in Easton, PA. The leads appeared to be right out of college with few regional credits as well. I was surprised. I could have spent half the money and saw a college production.

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by amygbrooks 2019-01-10 11:21:20


sondheimfan2 said: "I can't speak to the RENT tour, but I felt exactly the same way when I saw the CABARET tour last year in Easton, PA. The leads appeared to be right out of college with few regional credits as well. I was surprised. I could have spent half the money and saw a college production."

YES. The friend I saw it with summed it up in a similar way; that it was more like seeing a good college or community theater production than a national tour.

 

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by AADA81 2019-01-10 13:23:53


Sounds like you saw a poor production but I must say, I saw the original show a year after its Broadway opening and loved it.  When I saw it again just before it closed 11 years later, I was surprised at how dated and corny it was and how clumsily it was staged.

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by jimmycurry01 2019-01-10 18:19:31


I have seen Rent five times on tour. I really think it depends on the cast. With the right energy it is a ton of fun, but if its lacking that energy it can be a chore to get through.

The last time I saw it was with Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal in the lead. It was cool to see them, but I think they, and the rest of the cast, were very over it at that time.

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by BenjaminNicholas2 2019-01-11 01:08:01


I mean, what do you expect from a non-eq tour that was pretty crappy when it first started a couple of years ago.  This barely bus & truck tour is running off of the 'Anniversary' angle, attempting to cash in as much as they can with a very, very young cast.

Too young.  And too under-directred.

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by antonijan 2019-01-11 05:30:31


I hope the Rent Live on Fox can have a concert tour!

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by forgetmenotnyc 2019-01-11 13:03:10


I did not really enjoy it on Bwy but DID enjoy Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway 2008 film of the final performance. & released on DVD in 2009. It is assembled from footage shot at the September 7 performance as well as a day of shooting on August 20. It includes a reprise of  "Seasons of Love" featuring both the final cast & cast members from past productions, including the original Bwy cast following the finale of the show proper. Will Chase was Roger, Eden Espinosa was Maureen & Renee Elise Goldsberry was Mimi (to name a few.)

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by jessepp 2019-01-12 10:48:03


In 1996 it moved me so much I bleached my hair platinum.  Now my hair is grey and think the show is an unfinished piece of crap.

 

  

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by Miles2Go2 2019-01-12 12:01:31


I first saw Rent when it first toured through Tulsa 15 or more years ago. When I first saw the movie with a friend after we won free tickets for preview showing, I was disappointed, but after that for a couple years it came a tradition to watch the DVD on New Years Eve or Day. That tradition didn’t hold, but I found that when I let the movie be its own thing, I enjoyed it. I haven’t watched it in years (but am home felling puny today so maybe I’ll give it a try). In regards to the current touring production, I saw it via rush when I happened to be working in Madison, WI a year ago this month. I agree that some of the performers were too young/inexperienced for their roles although I absolutely loved Aaron Alcaraz as Angel (I believe he is no longer with the tour). He was the real standout in the show. This was only my second time seeing a staged production. I went in with diminished expectations based on chatter in here and I do agree with most of the criticisms of this production and the musical itself. However, I still felt emotionally connected to what was happening on stage, most especially during 

 
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Angel’s death scene. It brought to mind all my friends who are no longer here due to AIDS. My co-worker who hadn’t been to a musical since she was a child & whose politics lean more right than left didn’t know what to do when I just started sobbing. Lol

In fact, I had a more emotionally visceral reaction to it this time than when I saw it with the superb original touring cast.  It probably didn’t hurt that our rush tix were second row center orchestra. So yes, it’s a flawed yet powerful musical. I’m guessing if Larsen had not died when he did, he might have made further revisions to the book and music, but I’m glad it exists. 

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by darquegk 2019-01-12 14:10:13


Flaws in the movie aside, the movie soundtrack is pretty great production and performance wise. I almost feel like that could be a mark agains the stage show's legacy; the BIG, visceral sound of the film soundtrack contrasts with the thin, "it's so edgy that we're doing a Broadway show with a LITTLE ROCK BAND" sound of the OBC and licensed parts.

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by jimmycurry01 2019-01-12 19:00:54


darquegk said: "Flaws in the movie aside, the movie soundtrack is pretty great production and performance wise. I almost feel like that could be a mark agains the stage show's legacy; the BIG, visceral sound of the film soundtrack contrasts with the thin, "it's so edgy that we're doing a Broadway show with a LITTLE ROCK BAND" sound of the OBC and licensed parts."

The soundtrack for the film is one of the low points of that movie for me. I feel like it is too polished and overproduced.  It lacks that raw and exciting feeling that Rent had in its prime.

Saw RENT for the first time in 12 years...
Posted by theatreguy12 2019-01-12 19:33:34


Saw this production in LA a year or so ago.  I don't know if it was the one touting itself as the anniversary version or not, but it was awful.  I felt zero emotional connection to it at all.   

I liked RENT the first and second time I saw it.  But this version just was not good.   The scene between Roger and Mimi, while moving me a bit when I first saw the show, was awful.  Looked like a high school performance.

The dude playing Angel didn't feel particularly authentic either.  Seemed more like, 'Look at me. I'm playing Angel in a national tour of RENT.  Aren't I great?'

Um, no.

Just didn't do it for me on any level.  I think had the acting been good it might have helped me to recapture the magic and emotion.  This didn't.