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Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)

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turquoisefish
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Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#1
Posted: 11/4/07 at 5:32am
After some soul searching I decided to see Rent this afternoon (4PM) having never seen the show on stage before (I love the film and OBC recording)
I got to the theatre to pick up my ticket and saw a big list of cast substitutions which made me worried more. Jay Webb (Angel) and Luke Evans (Roger) were not appearing and understudies were to play Roger and Benny with Craig Stein (normally Benny) playing Angel, interesting.

The set was simple, which I think worked well, with only a few pieces of set used. I didn't like the LED screen, I don't think it added anything and was a little distracting at times. The music was simplified and it was interesting hearing orchestrations that are very similar to the original next to the new remixed versions. I am not against the remixed versions but some seemed to change direction very suddenly, such as when a different character sings. The sound was also very loud, too loud in my opinion.

I will review the actors, even though from the extended rehersals I guess it was the first performance in the role for at least one of the understudies. I also had the preconception from the film that Joanne, Benny and Collins are black, Mimi is South American and Angel is a drag-queen. The races of the actors differed for the roles mentioned (some due to understudies) and whether Angel is a drag queen is unclear. I tried to ignore this but I am so used to the original Broadway Cast. The reviews kind of cover the Character as well as the actor in some places.

Oliver Thornton (Mark) was good as the posh, private school educated, rebel which is what I think they were going for. He seemed to fit that vision of the role, and it makes sense that he has nice expensive clothes, he has kept them but can't afford to replace them. Oliver sang well and acted well and was very believable.

Antony Luperi (Roger) seemed most unsure in the role, he is listed as second understudy so not sure if he has performed before. The role is much the same as in the original version and Antony did well and i only noticed a couple of missed lines, those lines might not be there any more though (it's a bit confusing). A good singer and will be great in the role with a bit more practice.

Leon Lopex (Collins) was very good, acted the role as I expected and performed well, very emotional when needed.

Jamie Sampson (Benny) was different to what I expected, but really fitted the part and looked like an estate agent.

Francesca Jackson (Joanne) was again different to what I expected, she was amazing. Sang excellently and acted well - just like Joanne.

Craig Stein (Angel) was performing the role instead of his usual Benny, and was great - his voice maybe didn't fit Angel as I know the character but he danced excellently and I felt the emotion with Leon as Collins. Some of the costume choice were odd, one made him look like a super gay American Football player.

Siobhan Donaghy (Mimi) sang the part well and her acting was OK but something just didn't seem right. She wasn't as bad as I feared from other reviews but I didn't believe she was a junkie.

Denise Van Outen (Maureen) was amazing, she just seemed like she was having a great time in the role and although over the moon seems a bit long the audience interaction worked and was fun. She really got the carefree fun loving Maureen, that I expected, across well.

The ensemble were great though the direction was a bit mixed, sometimes they were sitting at the side like in Chicago and sometimes not.

This review is stretching a bit but the main thing I would say about Rent: remixed it that it seems confused, Is it set in New York? does Mimi have Spanish heritage? is Angel a drag queen?

I would recommend seeing Rent: remixed - it is a good show and If you had never experienced rent you wouldn't know there were major changes, you would just think it had an eclectic mix of music.
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Thank you for this review! Finally somebody has sat down and put the actual bad and good points about the production, I think almost everyone else, even Im guilty, has been over exagerating the goodness, or badness of this show, its not perfect but its certainly not bad, I think as it stands it is a fairly poor production, but with just abit more fine tweeking, it could be AMAZING! I mean I saw it on its first saturday, and again last saturday and have already seen vast improvements, and more are meant to come, if the show lasts, so if its still running, by the new year I think this show will have everything it needs to be superb! I think this truly is the first review I've read that has been critical, but HONEST!
"If you talk about my family I will punch you in the fanny so hard it'll end up on your face... oh, looks like someone beat me to it!" - Dawn French
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"Thank you for this review! Finally somebody has sat down and put the actual bad and good points about the production,"

I think what you meant to say was thankyou to someone who actually found anything good in this shabby production
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#4
Posted: 11/5/07 at 10:31am
its not THAT shabby, well not since the changes they made, I'll give you in previews, it was a HUGE mess, but its changed alot and is alot better now! But there are still alot of bad things that need to be changed!
"If you talk about my family I will punch you in the fanny so hard it'll end up on your face... oh, looks like someone beat me to it!" - Dawn French
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#5
Posted: 11/5/07 at 10:37am
Why do you keep going to see a bad show? Again and again?
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 11/5/07 at 10:37 AM
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#6
Posted: 11/5/07 at 10:40am
i quite like it.

i think the trouble is that rent (the original) is such a marmite show. for those who didn't like it, nobody could possibly do enough to it to make it a good show.. and for a lot of those who did like it, it needed no changes. so anyone trying to 'remix' it was always going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place.
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#7
Posted: 11/5/07 at 11:12am
Ive seen it twice for the reasons that I saw it in its first week of previews, was dissapointed and after hearing it was being changed slightly, decided to go and see it again after the changes!
"If you talk about my family I will punch you in the fanny so hard it'll end up on your face... oh, looks like someone beat me to it!" - Dawn French
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I saw it a couple of weeks ago and overall I liked it. I'd definitely see it again. It had its good and its bad points and yes, it's flawed, but then the same could be said of the original.

I thought this production was doomed from the start. Rent never took off in the UK and no amount of "remixing" would get people who didn't like it or want to see it the first time around to want to see it again. Meanwhile, the changes were always going to annoy the few UK fans it did have.
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You are right Jade, what people are forgetting is that this production may not be great, but was the origonal, if the origonal was amazing, then the remixed version would have alot to live up to, but really, its only a small bit worse to the origonal!
"If you talk about my family I will punch you in the fanny so hard it'll end up on your face... oh, looks like someone beat me to it!" - Dawn French
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#10
Posted: 11/5/07 at 5:58pm
oh people please

Its bloody awful lol
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#11
Posted: 11/7/07 at 1:47pm
Right Im off to see this AGAIN this saturday, yes Wickedboy 2 this is my 4th time, but it turns out my best friends cousin is CJ Johnson, currently playing maureen asa Dinese Van Outens understudy, and is getting me free tickets and Im going back stage, but wish me luck!
"If you talk about my family I will punch you in the fanny so hard it'll end up on your face... oh, looks like someone beat me to it!" - Dawn French
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#12
Posted: 11/7/07 at 1:54pm
But you being from out of town isnt there any other show that you havent seen yet?, there must be so many. Just seems a waste of your time seeing it again and again. You admit yourself that you dont think its up to much. Some others shows you could be seeing wont be around for long and youll proberbly never get another chance to catch them. Its your time and money but in a few years or even just months youll be wishing you had seen so many other shows.
Enjoy.
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#13
Posted: 11/7/07 at 4:50pm
I agree with you there and I wouldnt ave seen the show again, but im never one to say no to a free ticket! And actually there are only a few shows I havent seen, and I have no desire to see them, I may be out of town but i try to get up to London twice a month still!
"If you talk about my family I will punch you in the fanny so hard it'll end up on your face... oh, looks like someone beat me to it!" - Dawn French
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#14
Posted: 11/7/07 at 5:25pm
Just this one more time then OK!!! No more Rent!
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#15
Posted: 11/7/07 at 6:28pm
If you saved all the money from all the times you have been to see that **** in london you could have got a plane ticket and gone and seen the one in NY lol
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#16
Posted: 11/7/07 at 6:32pm
I had free tickets and i didnt go! true! lol
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 11/7/07 at 06:32 PM
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#17
Posted: 11/10/07 at 5:58pm
Well today, so did I, got to London and thought "Dont really want to see Rent" so I went to Tkts to see what I could get, not much left by then but got an amazing seat, row g in the middle for blood brothers, the first 20 minutes were tedious, but by the end i was, as almost every other in theatre, stood up applauding with buckets of tears pooring out our eyes! I spoke to cast after and they ALL said it was the best response they have EVER had while theyve been in the show, so that was good, espicially as it was the matinee, but it was a good show, except the first 20 minutes and every time they mention maralyn monroue! (mind the spelling, its late and Ive had a LONG day!)
"If you talk about my family I will punch you in the fanny so hard it'll end up on your face... oh, looks like someone beat me to it!" - Dawn French
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#18
Posted: 11/10/07 at 6:11pm
This is a new company for blood Brothers very recently if im not wrong?
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 11/11/07 at 06:11 PM
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#19
Posted: 11/12/07 at 5:17am
I dont really know, I cant even tell you what cast I had as I didnt plan on buying a ticket to any show that day so I couldnt even afford a 3 programme, only had 2.40 left by the time I got to the theatre and all the direct debits came out of my bank today so couldnt take money out from there or I wouldnt be able to pay! But the cast were very good!
"If you talk about my family I will punch you in the fanny so hard it'll end up on your face... oh, looks like someone beat me to it!" - Dawn French
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#20
Posted: 11/12/07 at 9:16am
CH, the cast you saw were the new company that took over last week.
Siobhan McCarthay, Craig Price and Jay Roberts etc.
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#21
Posted: 11/12/07 at 10:30am
thank you, well either way the person playing Mickey was excellent and I will praise him very much, although I believe we had the Mrs Johnston understudy! Either way she was superb as well!
"If you talk about my family I will punch you in the fanny so hard it'll end up on your face... oh, looks like someone beat me to it!" - Dawn French
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re: Rent: Remixed - My review (a bit long)#22
Posted: 11/12/07 at 10:40am
CH, the new cast went in on 15th Oct and last week you saw the new Mickey who is an actor named Jay Roberts.
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'