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Rent Review, 2-05-06

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darkmist115
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Rent Review, 2-05-06#0
Posted: 2/13/06 at 8:33pm
Hey guys
Sorry this is so delayed, I've just been so busy, but thought you still might want to see a review from when I saw Rent last weekend.

I've been wanting to see Rent for a while now, and had plans to see it before the fifth, but none of them worked out. I went in with a friend and tried the lottery. It was super bowl sunday, so not a lot of people were there; only 4 or 5 didn't win, I think. Both my friend and I were called. I was seventh called, so I was the last one to get tickets for front row (everyone behind me being second row).

First off, being front row for any show is quite an experience. But a show with such power, such emotion as Rent is absolutely brilliant.

Tim Howar is the new Roger; He's pretty good. He grew on me throughout the show. His voice is raspy, and an acquired taste. Definitely a good singer and actor, though; right for the role. "Glory" is really what makes or breaks the Roger, and I think he did it perfectly.
Matt Caplan was great, as well, but I don't see why so many people are completely and utterly in love with him as the best Mark. In my opinion, he pales in comparison to Rapp (but, hey! That's just me).
Contrary to popular belief, I thought Antonique was fabulous as Mimi. Moving and full of spunk, she really touched me in "Without You" and "Goodbye, Love." I adored her "Out Tonight" as well.
Kenna J. Ramsey was good as Joanne, too. She fits into the part well, and she has a good voice.
Ava Gaudet was great as Maureen. "Over the Moon" was probably my favorite part of the show, behind the Finale. I, indeed, mooed with her. A lot. She was hysterical.
Mark Richard Ford was in as Collins (I think Destan is on a vacation), and he was great also! "I'll Cover You (reprise)" gave me goosebumps.
Justin Johnston was fabulous as Angel. "Today 4 U" was brilliant.
Robin de Jesus was WONDERFUL as Steve. He was one of the main reasons I wanted to see Rent fast; I saw him in Camp and loved him. His "Will I" solo was amazing. I loved him as the waiter and the man with a squeegee.
Frenchie was out, so I saw Crystal Monee Hall as the SOLoist. She was INSANE. Truly amazing.
D'Monroe was great as Benny, too.
Liked Luther Creek as Gordon and The Man.
Mayumi Ando was also quite funny as Alexi Darling.
In all, Rent was a truly brilliant, eye-opening, and life-changing experience. The movie pales in comparison to what the show does to you. Everyone and everything associated with it was fantastic; great set (or lack thereof), great costumes, great acting, great talent, great book, great songs. Truly, thank you Jonathon Larson.

Everyone was great at the 'stage door' too, especially Antonique. I didn't get to see Robin, though, so I was kind of upset, but whatever.

Sorry for the lack of varying adjectives in this review -- long day. Hope you enjoyed it anyway. Thanks for reading.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#1
Posted: 2/13/06 at 10:58pm
Glad that you shared your experience... I first saw it in 2000 instead of a Sweet 16 and was totally blown away. When I started college in '02 I went with a floormate for lotto and it was good, though I didn't dig Fatone as Mark. Then I went in August and it was okay but not great b/c I felt like they weren't giving it their all. I was a little underwhelmed I guess after seeing a brilliant performance years before. But now... WOW. I haven't seen Howar but Will Chase was amazing. Matt Caplan's gotten better, and everyone else esp Antonique, Justin, and Mayumi (who's been in it forever) were just awesome. I'm so thrilled that they've brought the energy back!
i grew up 13 miles north of bohemia and 31 miles northeast of hicksville.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#2
Posted: 2/13/06 at 10:59pm
Seeing it this weekend. I'm curious about how I'll feel about Tim.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#3
Posted: 2/13/06 at 11:09pm
Out of curiosity, can you expound a bit on what you liked so much about Ava? It's rare to read positive opinions about her. I'm not really a fan of hers (although I think she's gorgeous!), but I'm curious as to what you have to say.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#4
Posted: 2/14/06 at 12:43am
I'm curious on the thoughts about Ava too....she was out when I saw it in January, so I saw Haven Burton. I'm curious to know about Ava's take on Maureen.

Good to hear nice things about Tim...I just may have to catch his Roger.
Coin operated boy All the other real ones that I destroy Cannot hold a candle to my new boy and I'll Never let him go and I'll never be alone Not with my coin-operated boy
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#5
Posted: 2/14/06 at 8:41am
i haven't seen a full show ava, she was replaced by karmine in the second act, but her over the moon was really decent. I'm surprised you liked matt caplan, i agree with you he isn't as good as anthony, but my reaction was more "meh" to his performance.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#6
Posted: 2/14/06 at 9:41am
Ava. Meh. I think people like her because of her voice, which I'll admit is pretty great. She looks and sounds like Idina, too. Her performance.... meh.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#7
Posted: 2/14/06 at 1:28pm
Mark Richard Ford is a FABULOUS Collins!!

I just can't bring myself to agree about Antonique, though... granted she could SING, but I wasn't fond of the way she couldn't control her voice enough during full cast songs, she always stuck out and almost overpowered everyone else. I also didn't really like that her Mimi lacked a vulnerability that is inherent to the character. She was too independent and too forceful for me to believe she actually *was* Mimi--I just felt like she was someone singing the part, but not actually *being* the part.
"It's not for sissies, contrary to popular belief." - Tommy Tune, on musical theatre.

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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#8
Posted: 2/14/06 at 1:34pm
I really liked Ava's voice and thought she was stunning (reminded me of Idina) but she was a pretty low-key Maureen.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#9
Posted: 2/14/06 at 1:37pm
when I saw it like 3 weeks ago, I thought Ava was ok. Antonique was AMAZING, with ear and sinus infection. the best mimi, ever. Will Chase was also great as Roger.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#10
Posted: 2/20/06 at 8:03pm
Hey!
sorry it took me aeons to get back, I have just been all sorts of insanely busy. Responses to your questions/comments:

luvtheEmcee -- How did you like Tim?

siamese dream/downtowndiva84 -- Ava is gorgeous, yes. I really enjoyed her performance - I thought she had the whole package; She could sing well, she's a good actress. I don't think she was BRILLIANT, but she was definitely pretty darn good. I like her belt a lot, as well.

overthemoon419 -- I can see what you mean with Antonique, and I get where you're coming from, but I don't really agree. I thought she was brilliant. But to each his own, right?
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#11
Posted: 2/20/06 at 8:06pm
*hunts*

My Tim post:

I saw Tim today. I liked him a lot. I didn't love him, didn't hate him... so I guess I'd put him somewhere in the middle of all of the Rogers I've seen. I like his voice, UNTIL he does that yelling.... thing. It might be shocking for me to say such a thing, but he's a little too raspy for my tastes when he does that, and he TOO often sounds like he's yelling. I think his portrayal of Roger is just fine, though. I really didn't have a problem with any of the choices he made, so maybe he's settling in now -- I remember people not really liking him at first. He's cute, too, and he and Matt have really nice chemistry. When Will was in the show, he really overshadowed Matt, and when Cary/Josh, etc were in it, Matt seemed to really take over the spotlight too much. Tim's a nice balance for him, I think.

For anyone else who's seen the show recently, did they change what Mimi wears in the finale, or did I just never pay attention to it before?


re: Rent Review, 2-05-06
A work of art is an invitation to love.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#12
Posted: 2/20/06 at 8:07pm
Cool! thanks, luvtheemcee. As was basically said in the first post, just more Reader's Digest version, I agree with pretty much all of what you said about Tim.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#13
Posted: 2/20/06 at 8:08pm
psssh. I'm too verbose for Reader's Digest. re: Rent Review, 2-05-06
A work of art is an invitation to love.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#14
Posted: 2/20/06 at 8:09pm
haha! I normally am too, but as stated in the first post, was definitely a LONG day.

I hope to get my butt back to Rent again sometime really soon.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#15
Posted: 2/20/06 at 8:19pm
Thanks for the response, darkmist! I think the one thing that irks most people about Ava (including myself) is her Over the Moon. I've only had the opportunity to see Rent once and she was my first exposure to Maureen.

She definitely plays OTM for laughs, and while I did chuckle at her a bit, I think the general consensus that the humor in OTM should come from Maureen taking herself overly seriously is true. I think seeing her trying to get a few laughs out of it irks a lot of people. That's definitely the aspect of her performance that, in retrospect, bothered me the most. Other than that, I don't remember all too much about her other than she didn't absolutely wow me.

On another note, I listened to a few of her solo songs and they're fun. Nothing great or deep there, but definitely a few fun tunes that Ava fans might want to check out.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#16
Posted: 2/20/06 at 8:21pm
I was saying yesterday that I just... don't laugh at Ava when she does OTM. To me, she feels like she's just running through the motions. She FEELS like she's acting, and... Maureen needs to be so much more full of life. You need to feel like she's excited about this performance, and Ava's performance basically says "k, I'm acting. Laugh, please. Thanks!"
A work of art is an invitation to love.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#17
Posted: 2/20/06 at 10:26pm
downtowndiva84,

How was Haven Burton when you saw her as Maureen?
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#18
Posted: 2/20/06 at 10:35pm
I think Ava's OTM is much better than Cristina's was - someone timed it once, Cristina got OTM down to a little over 4 minutes because she ran through it so fast.

Ava has a funny OTM, but to me, that song is so bleh anyways unless its your first time seeing it, especially after seeing it done in the movie with the tv-monitors, which was hysterical.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#19
Posted: 2/20/06 at 10:37pm
Ava has a funny OTM, but to me, that song is so bleh anyways unless its your first time seeing it, especially after seeing it done in the movie with the tv-monitors, which was hysterical.

But... that's the thing. I don't think the protest itself is supposed to be funny in itself. This has been talked to death, but the humor is supposed to come from Maureen taking her odd performance art piece so seriously, not from TV monitors or Ava essentially begging for laughs up there.
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#20
Posted: 2/20/06 at 10:44pm
What irks me about Ava is that her voice cracks on every other note she sings during "take me or leave me". I do agree that she's hot though
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re: Rent Review, 2-05-06#21
Posted: 2/20/06 at 11:37pm
The thing that irks me about Ava is that, when I saw it at least, she played Maureens immaturity up to almost a childlike capacity. It was so difficult to imagine that Mark or Joanne would go the way of a pediphile and date her. Maybe that's too harsh, but it bugged me. Also, didn't care for her voice, or her Over the Moon.

I'm a terrible person at 11:30.