BWW Review: RENT at the Public Theater in San Antonio, Texas
As the lights dimmed and the actors took the stage, the audience was quick to note that RENT would not be like many other musicals that graced the stage. Indeed, the story of how RENT came to be an award winning musical is as much of the story as the script and songs conceived by the late Jonathan Larson. Larson called it his breakthrough work, "Hair for the 90's" wishing to "bring musical theater to the MTV generation" (New York Times, 1997). He certainly succeeded. While RENT was hugely successful on Broadway, one can't help but wonder how Larson would feel if he had witnessed his play on the stage of The Public Theater in San Antonio, Texas. It is obvious from the talent that he would have completely approved.
When you glanced at the stage, there seemed to be so many reminders of an era from the past and stirred the emotions of those in attendance. The band was situated on the stage as well and added to the uniqueness of RENT. This alone would have been enough to understand that The Public Theater was successful in sharing this show. But, let's add into this the actors...the performers. They certainly stand out. Not only do they stand out, but they stand together as a strong friendship unit as part of the show. However, it seemed that the actors also stood together off-stage as well. The part of Mark was played by Gavin Rohrer who is newer to the San Antonio area but not new to theater. He embraced the role and made it his own. Other equally talented actors in the show included Robby French as Roger, Damon McToy as Ben, Isidro Medina as Tom, Louie Canales as Angel, Alexandria Henderson as Joanne, Taylor Chilton as Maureen, and Athena Boneta as Mimi. The caliber of the talent makes one excited to see what comes next in this purely prolific professional performance.
One more weekend to see this at The Public Theatre. Get your tickets today by going to the Public Theatre's Website. It's very enjoyable to be able to see RENT performed by great actors who are happy to share their talents and success with San Antonio.
PHOTO CREDIT: Siggi Ragnar