Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: Broadway San Jose's Limited Run of RENT is Glorious

The production closes tomorrow, Sunday, April 10th.

Review: Broadway San Jose's Limited Run of RENT is Glorious

Broadway San Jose's limited run of Jonathan Larson's RENT is a glorious time of raw-energy rock, as well as a heartrending reminder to measure your life in love. Billed as the "Farewell Tour," supposedly being the final time the original Michael Greif staging will travel North America, the show packs up its bags after Sunday, April 10 - and you do not want to miss it.

It's all there - the iconic Angela Wendt costumes for filmmaker Mark (J.T. Wood), guitarist Roger (Coleman Cummings), beloved drag queen Angel (Javon King) and of course stripper Mimi (Aiyana Smash) in her electric blue vinyl pants. Paul Clay's set design captures anew the cold desperation of the space and the tenants with his multi-level metal structure and paper moon. Urban decay is evident everywhere you look. And Jonathan Spencer's stark and garish lighting from the wings completes the picture. Sad and depressing, yes. Yet through it all hope bursts through in every song.

You might think that a story about young people dying of AIDS in 1990's New York City is a timebound piece that today's younger theatre-goers wouldn't really get, but that's just not the case. Though the horrific societal treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS isn't in the headlines anymore, sadly, there are other marginalized groups still suffering that same fate today. The show's thematic notes resonate across the generations. Resilience in the face of overwhelming trauma is always needed.

In the case of Jonathan Larsen's characters, they find acceptance by forming a family of friends, creating a community of compassion as they care for one another in sickness and health, a motley bunch just trying to live their dreams one day at a time.

Larson fashioned the show as a rock opera, but it is in the softer, tender numbers and the moments of facing death together that the show finds its heart. Because ultimately there's no getting around the fact that almost everyone is dying. But the show's message resonates loudly amidst the fear: Live in the moment with love. As Mimi sings to Roger, "There's only this. Forget regret - or life is yours to miss...No day but today." But it is Rent's signature song "Seasons of Love" that is at once gut-wrenching and heartwarming. "How do you measure a year in the life? How about Love? Measure in Love. Seasons of love."

There's always something new that resonates from the show - all depending on where you are in your life at the moment you see RENT again.

RENT the 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour
Broadway San Jose
Now thru April 10
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larsen
Directed by Evan Ensign
Photo courtesy of Carol Rosegg



San Francisco SPCA Kicks Off 155th Anniversary With Community Open House And Adoption Even Photo
San Francisco SPCA kicks off its year-long 155th anniversary celebrations with Be Mine Furever, a special Community Open House and Adoption Event on Saturday, January 28, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at its Adoption Center (250 Florida Street, San Francisco).

Video: First Look At DADDY LONG LEGS At Cinnabar Theater, Streaming This Weekend! Photo
Petaluma's premier theater company, Cinnabar Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Nathan Cummings and Executive Director Diane Dragone, continues their 50th anniversary season with the musical romance 'Daddy Long Legs', streaming online January 27-29th. See video highlights from the production.

Cast Announced for ANYTHING GOES at 42nd Street Moon Photo
 San Francisco’s 42nd Street Moon has announced the full cast and creative team for Cole Porter’s ANYTHING GOES, which launches the Company’s 2023 Mainstage Season.

Review: NEXT@90 FESTIVAL - BLANC / SCHREIER / POSSOKHOV PREMIERES at San Francisco Ballet  Photo
What did our critic think of NEXT@90 FESTIVAL - BLANC / SCHREIER / POSSOKHOV PREMIERES at San Francisco Ballet? BroadwayWorld reviews the 3rd program of San Francisco Ballet's 'next@ 90 festival' of world premieres, running through February 7th. It's a consistently transporting evening of dance.


From This Author - Linda Hodges


Review: ANNIE at Broadway San JoseReview: ANNIE at Broadway San Jose
January 13, 2023

What did our critic Linda Hodgesthink of ANNIE at Broadway San Jose? It's a hard knock life for sure, but Broadway San Jose's ANNIE infuses even today's troubled times with unrestrained optimism. And even though the sun isn't really shining in rain ravaged Northern California, it didn't stop the carloads of boys and girls and their adults from streaming into San Jose for the show.

Review: BEETLEJUICE at Golden Gate TheatreReview: BEETLEJUICE at Golden Gate Theatre
December 19, 2022

What did our critic think of BEETLEJUICE at Golden Gate Theatre? Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, beat a path to San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre for a night of frighteningly funny laughs about death.

Review: THE BOOK OF MORMON at San Jose Center For The Performing ArtsReview: THE BOOK OF MORMON at San Jose Center For The Performing Arts
November 24, 2022

What did our critic think of THE BOOK OF MORMON at San Jose Center For The Performing Arts?

Review: DISNEY'S FROZEN at OrpheumReview: DISNEY'S FROZEN at Orpheum
November 23, 2022

What did our critic think of DISNEY'S FROZEN at Orpheum?

Review: AIN'T TOO PROUD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS at Golden Gate Theater, San FranciscoReview: AIN'T TOO PROUD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS at Golden Gate Theater, San Francisco
November 13, 2022

What did our critic think of AIN’T TOO PROUD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS at Golden Gate Theater, SF?