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BWW Review: RENT 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour at The Saenger Theatre

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"This show has my whole heart, and if you're considering buying a ticket, do so immediately."

BWW Review: RENT 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour at The Saenger Theatre No matter how many times I see this show, Rent always makes me emotional. This time in particular, though, I was very in my feelings. Blame it on the spectacular cast. Blame it on the fresh feeling of theatre being back. Blame it on the show's content.

In any case, this show has my whole heart, and if you're considering buying a ticket, do so immediately.

Because of how much I love Rent, I've become picky about the casting choices. I don't like when actors play Roger too angry. I roll my eyes when I hear actors sing Mimi in a Daphene Rubin-Vega copycat voice. Because of the nature of the show, we're usually dealing with very young cast members trying to find their balance on stage. That's why I was so impressed with this cast. They're young, but they feel seasoned. They slip into the roles of these characters perfectly.

Coleman Cummings plays Roger in from a sadder lens than I'm used to seeing, and I really enjoyed his take on the role. His voice was so clear and beautiful that he even made me like "Your Eyes" which is a song I usually find weak. Aiyana Smash brings this rawness to Mimi that was absolutely magnetic. She's strong vocally and in character and steals the stage.

I want to go line by line down the list of characters for you, but as I mentioned everyone is fantastic, so instead, I will highlight their performances. When Shafiq Hicks as Tom Collins sings the I'll Cover You (Reprise), I felt the weight of his onstage loss so viscerally that I swore it was real. That was phenomenal. Javon King as Angel performed Today 4 U in such an acrobatic, captivating way that I gasped out loud several times that he didn't break an ankle. And, of course, Rayla Garske as Joanne and Lyndie Moe as Maureen brought the house down with Take Me or Leave Me.

I cannot stress this enough: please see this show. When you see the cast line up and sing, "525,600 minutes, how do you measure, measure a year?" you can't help but think of what happened to us in a year's time. Broadway was closed. We were stuck in our homes. We lost so many lives. But, as Rent teaches us, we have to remember to measure our lives in love.


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From This Author Jenny Bravo