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BWW Review: RENT at The Collins Theatre Rocks Out Through Their Seasons of Love

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This show is worth the drive to NEA

BWW Review: RENT at The Collins Theatre Rocks Out Through Their Seasons of Love

As I hurriedly walk into the Collins Theatre, 120 W. Emerson St. In Paragould, I was thrilled with how charming it was and mentally kicked myself for not getting there sooner so I could explore the building. Originally built in 1925, this facility takes you back to yesteryears to what theaters use to be before all the modern updates, but though the look was dated, the choosing to perform RENT, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, definitely was not. The people of the Collins Theatre chose a very bold, daring musical that exceeded way past my expectations, and even though they had technical difficulties early on (and what theatre doesn't have those), they reset and performed like they were on Broadway.

RENT is about a group of people trying to survive New York City. Some have AIDS, some have drug issues, most have money issues, but they all go through their seasons of love. The show starts on Christmas eve and ends a year later and goes through what can all happen in a year. Roger (Macoe Davis) wants to write one hit before he dies of AIDS and ends up falling in love with Mimi (Katie Rebstock); Mark (Travis Rainbolt) makes a documentary of their lives; Tom Collins (Chris Terrell) falls in love with Drag Queen Angel (Brandon Bishop); Benjamin (Jeff Mitchell) used to have the same artistic drive as his friends but wants to kick his friends out of the building; and Joanne (Catherine Baldwin) is in love with the talented and beautiful Maureen (Tori Winn), who has trouble with staying faithful. The different dynamics in the relationships of this group takes you on an up and down journey of emotions throughout the musical. BWW Review: RENT at The Collins Theatre Rocks Out Through Their Seasons of Love

Speaking of the music, the cast was on fire!! Wow! The singing talent of this cast was phenomenal. When you go see community theatre, you are at the mercy of the talent pool of the region. Well, Northeast Arkansas has some serious talent swimming around in their pool! At first, I thought the music may be supplemented with background vocals, but when I realized that it was not, it blew my mind! The harmonies were spot on, and the acting was equally as great. They made me feel all the emotions I was supposed to feel for these characters. And though I thought they were all great, I did enjoy the Tango: Maureen with Mark and Joanne, Light My Candle between Roger and Mimi was fun to watch, and I'll Cover You with Angel and Tom was sweet. Also, I thought the small Christmas caroling group was fabulous. It was all great, and giving the chorus places to take solos was a nice added touch-good job to Director Joy Robinson for allowing those individuals to shine.

How To Get Tickets

RENT is a show you don't want to miss, and it is well worth the drive. You still have this coming weekend Thursday, October 21- Sunday, October 24 to see it. Tickets are available at the door or by going online at www.collinstheatre.com.


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