RENT tonight

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luvtheEmcee
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joined:12/9/03
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RENT tonight#0
Posted: 10/15/04 at 12:20am
A year and a half. That's how long had gone by since I last stepped into the Nederlander before this evening. Please, guys, don't ever let me go that long without seeing this show. I missed it terribly; I didn't realize how much I really did miss it until I was sitting there watching. It was so nice to get back into that atmosphere that the Nederlander has, and to absorb all of it again. It was strange; this was the first musical I've seen since I saw AIDA close, and the entire time I was in this mindframe that made me think this was going to be goodbye, too. *shrugs* Strange, random. Just sharing...

Anyway...

In the past year and a half, I've learned a lot more about the show: about its history, about Jonathan.... and I had the musical theatre experience of a lifetime on Sunday. Because of things like that, the show meant so much more to me tonight than it ever has before. In the past year and a half I've been exposed to the reality of the show, to Jonathan's life, to his other work. The first time I saw the show I had never heard the music. The second time I saw the show I had only heard the "Best Of" CD... so this was the first time I went into the show really having really developed knowledge of the music and the story... maybe a bit past "knowledge," but you can figure out what I mean. Tonight when I went into the theatre, I was able to look at the stage and the sets and truly appreciate the story and all of the history behind them. Tonight it hit me that THIS was the stage on which the original cast performed, and after witnessing Sunday's divine event, that meant so, so much more to me that it ever used to.

Alright, emotional spillage done for the moment... the show itself. I feel like there was a lot of good stuff, but that it was overshadowed by some serious problems... or vice versa, depending on how you like to see things. Even though the individual performances were good, I felt like the show was lacking that sense of community that RENT should have. The beginning seemed to be kind of lackluster with the cast as a whole, but as the show progressed that feeling came and went. At least it was there, though. The bare bones of the show are still the same as they always were, but it's clear that it's very, very slowly losing its spark. It just seems like it's a show that completely runs itself on autopilot, and that's really sad to see. I hate to say this, but it seems like a show that's just running for the sake of staying open. That's depressing. In any case, no matter how sparkless the show gets, it still has that same old ability to tear out your heart and make you think. It still, no matter how tired it gets, speaks to incredibly serious, important powerful issues, and I think that always has the ability to make it amazing, even when the particular performance says otherwise. At those moments where the show really pulls at your heartstrings, I was able to forget about all of the problems. I think it says a lot for the material itself that that can happen.

This is getting obnoxiously long, so I'll touch on the important performances really quickly:

Matt - I went into this really wanting to like Matt, and I did, don't get me wrong. I do think I liked Chad better, though. Matt has a great voice, I think, but he seemed almost too dorky and goofy. His comedic antics often seemed to get in the way of Mark's emotions, and made it kind of difficult to have any sympathy for the character. One thing that I enjoyed a lot about Matt was that I could sense a very strong connection between he and Jeremy. I think that's really important.

Jeremy - Okay. Jeremy. Let me just take a moment to express my love for Jeremy. The first two times I saw RENT I was a fan of Adam's, but nowhere near as hardcore as I am now, so it never bothered me TOO much when I heard someone's voice that wasn't Adam's. Now, with my expanded fan-dom and my feelings of elitism after seeing Adam and Daphne sing these songs on Sunday, it was a lot harder for me to hear those songs and those words from someone else's voice. It took me a good few numbers to warm up to Jeremy, but wow. His acting was right on... he played a very angry, damaged Roger, which is the way I always thought it should be, but he also showed a really wonderful, broad range of emotions. His voice is really strong... I mean, he's not Adam, but I definitely enjoyed his singing for the most part. Roger is my favorite character, and I'm terribly partial, so props to Jeremy!

Justin Johnson - I'd seen him play Angel once before, and just as I was then, I was very impressed tonight. That boy can dance!!

Kelly Karbacz - the pleasant surprise of the evening. Her Maureen reminded me a lot of Idina's. Her Over the Moon was hysterical, and she played a very cute, quirky, fun Maureen. Great voice, too.

Krystal Washington - I'd seen her play Mimi once before, too. I think I liked her better the second time; she has a great stage presence, but her voice sounded kind of raspy and tired tonight.

Destan Owens - Collins... awesome. Fantastic range, played the part very well. I cried for him during the reprise of I'll Cover You.

Other than that... solid performances all around, I think.

So this is horribly long. I doubt anyone is even still reading. If you are, much thanks....


No day but today....
A work of art is an invitation to love.
Updated On: 10/15/04 at 12:20 AM
insomniak
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re: RENT tonight#1
Posted: 10/15/04 at 12:26am
Thank you for your thoughts. I really do appreciate reading a Rent review that touches on more than who played who.

I agree about the spark and light of it, that's gone now. And the comment on the lack of a 'community feeling' was putting a finger on what I have been thinking for a while. The thing about the OBC was that they all had flaws in their individual performances, but they were so responsive and connected to each other that those things faded. It's a shame it's lost its spirit.

About Jeremy- I disagree. His Roger felt very flat to me. *goes off to dig up the full spiel* (I've typed it too many times to rehash, sorry!)
broadwayguy2
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re: RENT tonight#2
Posted: 10/15/04 at 12:27am
Joshua Kobak is the best Roger I have seen. LOVE him.
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luvtheEmcee
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re: RENT tonight#3
Posted: 10/15/04 at 12:27am
haha, I've seen it, insomniak. I don't know... I enjoyed him.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
Updated On: 10/15/04 at 12:27 AM
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Type_A_Tiff
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re: RENT tonight#4
Posted: 10/15/04 at 12:27am
Cool. I wasn't a big Matt Caplan fan when I saw him either. I don't know if it was his fault - the entire cast seemed to be lacking energy that day. (Sunday matinee blahs?) It was like he was phoning in the show. There were a few technical errors and the cast had no problem breaking character. (And not in a Wicked-type 'charming' attempt at breaking character. They just didn't care.) It seemed like they knew/felt that the majority of the audience were Rentheads so there wasn't any need to actually TRY. I was a bit turned off by Matt's goofiness. Ironically, a lot of people say the current Mark on the RENT tour is very Caplan-esque, which I think is untrue. In a good way.

Glad you had a good time! Are you slowly getting over Aida? re: RENT tonight
"It's not always about you!!!" (But if you think I'm referring to you anyway, then I probably am.)

"Good luck returning my ass!" - Wilhemina Slater

"This is my breakfast, lunch and f***ing dinner right here. I'm not even f***in' joking." - Colin Farrell
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luvtheEmcee
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re: RENT tonight#5
Posted: 10/15/04 at 12:29am
Slowly. This was kind of like that first date after a bad breakup, I guess. It was nice to see something else that makes me almost as happy.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
insomniak
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re: RENT tonight#6
Posted: 10/15/04 at 12:30am
Aw. You aren't really 'dumping' Aida, though.
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amasis
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re: RENT tonight#7
Posted: 10/15/04 at 12:37am
I'd be interested to hear how Jeremy might have changed his approach from when he did the tour vs. now. I liked him even in the tour, but working with a different cast/director must have led to some changes in his way of playing the role?
Updated On: 10/15/04 at 12:37 AM
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CATSNYrevival
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re: RENT tonight#8
Posted: 10/15/04 at 12:44am
I really like Dan Rosenbaum as Roger in the current tour. I saw him five times. I love, love LOVE his voice and he's incredibly hot so it's great. I have a picture of him in my fan photos. In fact, if you want the community feeling... SEE THE TOUR. It's sooo there. They're all great and work off of each other very well. I camped out with some die hards and a lot of them were saying it's the best cast they've seen since the original and some said better than the original... I'd never say better than the original but, even I, an Adam fan myself, listen to the CD kind of in a mind frame of "Adam is great, but it's not Dan..."

Andy and Dan at the stage door...
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Type_A_Tiff
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re: RENT tonight#9
Posted: 10/15/04 at 12:46am
You just wanted an excuse to show off your cast photos. re: RENT tonight

(PS. Care to defend your favorite tour on the "national tour reviews" thread?)
"It's not always about you!!!" (But if you think I'm referring to you anyway, then I probably am.)

"Good luck returning my ass!" - Wilhemina Slater

"This is my breakfast, lunch and f***ing dinner right here. I'm not even f***in' joking." - Colin Farrell
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CATSNYrevival
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re: RENT tonight#10
Posted: 10/15/04 at 12:55am
Haha! You know it! Although I do have it a lot worse for Danny Calvert than I do Dan. I just didn't get a picture of Danny... re: RENT tonight
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mywonderwa11
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re: RENT tonight#11
Posted: 10/15/04 at 1:40am
i saw the original cast of RENT 8 years ago when i was in the 6th grade and it is to this day, still the most amazing thing i have seen on a broadway stage ever! the chemistry between adam adn anthony and adam and daphne, i mean wow! i will never forget my experience sitting there watching idina, taye, anthony, adam, daphne, etc...creating roles that are still alive! i'm seeing RENT again in december for the 5th time and i'm interested to see how Drew Lachey does...but i hold a much higher standard for every cast i see since i saw the original cast. but RENT is an amazing show that still speaks to people of all ages and still has a strong fan base and i'm glad that it's still on broadway.
"Somethin's comin', I don't know what it is but it is gonna be great!"
kates
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joined:10/12/04
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re: RENT tonight#12
Posted: 10/15/04 at 1:47am
I'm new here, what was the general concensus of Lachey's performance?
"Commit a little mortal sin, its good for the soul"
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Type_A_Tiff
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re: RENT tonight#13
Posted: 10/15/04 at 1:48am
I believe it's been mixed, but veering towards the "not too bad of a singing voice but acting is like a wooden plank".

Welcome to the board! re: RENT tonight
"It's not always about you!!!" (But if you think I'm referring to you anyway, then I probably am.)

"Good luck returning my ass!" - Wilhemina Slater

"This is my breakfast, lunch and f***ing dinner right here. I'm not even f***in' joking." - Colin Farrell
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luvtheEmcee
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re: RENT tonight#14
Posted: 10/15/04 at 1:53am
Tiff covered Drew, but... to kates:

Willkommen.
Bienvenue.
Welcome!
A work of art is an invitation to love.
kates
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re: RENT tonight#15
Posted: 10/15/04 at 1:59am
Thanks for all the welcomes...I hafta say I was a little shocked when I saw the Lachey posters, the shirtless muscle pose was never really the way I viewed the character of Mark, but hey that's just me!
"Commit a little mortal sin, its good for the soul"
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luvtheEmcee
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re: RENT tonight#16
Posted: 10/15/04 at 2:01am
lol, you aren't alone. That's why I was there tonight.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
kates
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re: RENT tonight#17
Posted: 10/15/04 at 2:06am
Sorry if this has been asked, but how long is Matt playing Mark?
"Commit a little mortal sin, its good for the soul"
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luvtheEmcee
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re: RENT tonight#18
Posted: 10/15/04 at 2:11am
Until Tuesday, I think. I'm not sure if that means Drew comes back Tuesday or if Matt's last is Tuesday.... check his website, maybe?
A work of art is an invitation to love.
kates
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re: RENT tonight#19
Posted: 10/15/04 at 2:21am
thanks bunches
"Commit a little mortal sin, its good for the soul"
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mint0621
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re: RENT tonight#20
Posted: 10/15/04 at 7:21am
Thanks for the review...Rent, my absolutely favorite-est musical of all time, unfortunately, I didn't get to see the original Rent cast, and I loved the cast that's playing right now, except for Drew Lachey's performance. Any chance he'll get any better by March, when his contract ends?

I hope Matt Caplan is there till Tuesday...can't wait to see him, need to erase Drew's "Mark" role in my mind with a better Mark.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jeremy Kushnier though! He's really a great actor, and although he doesn't fit the normal "Roger" archetype, what a hottie! Maybe it was cuz he seemed so hurt and vulnerable at the end? Not sure...
GirlfriendFromCanada
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re: RENT tonight#21
Posted: 10/15/04 at 9:22am
Care to elaborate on how Jeremy doesn't fit the normal Roger "archetype"? And who does fit it (and don't only say Adam)?

Thanks for the review, luvtheemcee. It's nice to see detailed thoughts on the show from somewhat fresh perspectives.
timote316
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re: RENT tonight#22
Posted: 10/15/04 at 10:36am
I'm trying to persuade a group at school to go see Rent... I want to see it again so badly!

Get review Emcee
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luvtheEmcee
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re: RENT tonight#23
Posted: 10/15/04 at 11:17am
Awww, good like Timote!

And thanks guys. re: RENT tonight
A work of art is an invitation to love.
mleshawn
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re: RENT tonight#24
Posted: 10/15/04 at 12:19pm
I saw Drew 9/23 and 9/26. After living through Melanie Brown's 6 month "cold" I was just relieved that he could sing. I will always miss Matt Caplan but so much goes on in RENT that I was more centered on watching D'Monroe "do the wall" during Contact, and Justin was fabulous as Angel "oy, oy", and Frenchie was Joanne which was great to see, and of course Jeremy Kushnier alone is worth the price of admission. BTW speaking of celebrity casting the new movie TEAM AMERICA has a major RENT reference in it. Really nice to see that a great actor from RENT is the only hope to save the world.


Updated On: 10/15/04 at 12:19 PM