Rent Remixed- was this one of the biggest mistakes the West End has seen in a long time?

songanddanceman2 Profile Photosonganddanceman2 Profile Photo
songanddanceman2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/31/06
So Rent Remixed is limping towards it closing night at the duke of yorks theatre and i know that many of us on here went to see the show (either as fans of the original or morbid curiosity)and i would say the most people (not all) were left gob smacked at the stupidity of the production (again not all).

Like it or not Rent Remixed does look set to go down in theatre history due to the 'remixed' aspect but what were your final thoughts on the production?

I was talking to my fella and some mates last night who all went to see it and everyone was saying how it was one of the most disorganized productions they had ever seen.

From its constant state of flux throughout its previews to missing actors and canceled performances the whole thing just seemed a mess.

I know many of us were excited about the prospect of having Rent back in the West End but the sad truth is that its not what we got and thanks to the failings of this production we are unlikely to see Rent back in London again.

Ive seen this production twice (2 sets of mates grr) and am going to the closing night (i love closing nights) and my impression is that its a fascinating mess, a mess which just got messier as it went along.

The show was done on the cheap and it showed, the remix aspect has to be one of the biggest mistakes ANY revival has made, the marketing was lousy, the show was plagued by miscasting problems, illness run rife throughout its run, performances were inexplicably canceled with no reasons given (we all know it was because it had not sold), it managed to get away with not having a web site just a cheap myspace page (which still advertises Denise Van Outen).
It had a director who had no idea how to stage a show and somehow managed to make it feel even more dated even though he was trying to update it (so much of it sounded like a 70s gay bar), staging in parts made no sense, the synths made it sound cheap and gave the performances no room for improv.Characters who were HIV in the original gave no indication they were in the new production.

For such a big musical like Rent which has found a huge fan base since its original 90s opening it was a shock that only a month or so in it was playing to 100 people a night (Rent fans seemed to run a mile).

So is this one of the biggest mistakes the West End has seen in awhile or is it just another flop.And could the Remixed aspect of the show ever have worked

Lets here your thoughts over the next few weeks as we say goodbye to the fascinating disaster that is Rent Remixed.
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
NS
Broadway Star
joined:1/21/04
Broadway Star
joined:
1/21/04
Short answer - yes the remixed aspect could definately have worked if it had been worked on more. I read an interview with the director and his ideas/thoughts on the original and bringing it into modern times made perfect sense (including Mark being gay which is intended by the way in this production). However the undertaking of this just didnt seem to follow through to the stage. If anything its like they didnt quite know how far to take it.

I disagree about the marketing, I actually think the campaign was pretty good considering I bet its budget was low. It was very much a 'sex sells' type of campaign, which suits ths show. The Myspace thing again is a good idea, however I think a decent website running alongside that wouldnt have done them any harm.

songanddanceman2 Profile Photosonganddanceman2 Profile Photo
songanddanceman2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/31/06
sorry i should have been more specific about marketing, i didn't see to much of a problem with the design (that worked fine) it was the lack off advertising.

I do have to say though if they wanted to make Mark gay that would have been a dreadful idea and turned the book upside down and they would have been no need for him to be gay.
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
Updated On: 1/10/08 at 12:42 PM
Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/16/06
I think Rent Remixed was simply a vanity project for William Baker the director who is a stylist than a credible theatre director. While I thought it was an interesting idea, the result was a complete mess and has tarnished what is a great musical.
Jade Profile PhotoJade Profile Photo
Jade
Stand-by
joined:1/2/06
Stand-by
joined:
1/2/06
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I thought Rent Remixed was actually very good and wasn't given a chance by either audience or critics.

It did have its flaws, but everyone seems to forget a lot of these flaws were inherent in the original. Admittedly some of the changes were pretty terrible (e.g. Another Day) but it also had some brilliant moments (e.g. Tango Maureen).

With regard to whether it was made clear that some characters were HIV+, I thought it was just as clear as in the original production (and, TBH, I do think that was one of the flaws of the original that I mentioned). If anything, I was more aware that Mimi was ill in the Remixed version.

(This is a bit of a sidenote, but it's hardly the productions fault a lot of the actors were ill. It's just what happens in winter.)

I agree that the marketing was lousy. I loved the adverts, I just wish there'd been more of them and yes, it definitely needed an official site rather than just a Myspace.

In general, I loved this production and I'm really sorry to see it go.
ashley-h
Stand-by
joined:10/18/06
Stand-by
joined:
10/18/06
I agree with Jade, but I really don't think Mark being gay wouldv'e worked at all.
songanddanceman2 Profile Photosonganddanceman2 Profile Photo
songanddanceman2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/31/06
I hate the statement that audiences and critics just did not give a chance, its ridiculous

Audiences who went largely did not like it (the ones who did seemed to be teenagers) and the critics gave the show a chance...its called press night, thats the night the show had its time to shine, it didn't.
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
Paulyd Profile PhotoPaulyd Profile Photo
Paulyd
Broadway Star
joined:1/15/06
Broadway Star
joined:
1/15/06
As mentioned before in a previous post the problem has to come down to William Baker who is simply too inexperienced to helm this kind of venture.

I think a faithfull revival of the original show would have been welcolmed by audiences and critics alike but only with a compitent director. in terms of marketing the show, i'm working with the agency on a project of mine at the moment and I can tell you they had a bitch of a time working on RENT.
ashley-h
Stand-by
joined:10/18/06
Stand-by
joined:
10/18/06
"Audiences who went largely did not like it (the ones who did seemed to be teenagers)"
And what's rong with teenagers liking musical theatre ?! Lol :>
songanddanceman2 Profile Photosonganddanceman2 Profile Photo
songanddanceman2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/31/06
Nothing, but the only people who could like that show in my opinion are teenagers who have not experienced a wide range of live theatre (thats just my opinion)
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
ashley-h
Stand-by
joined:10/18/06
Stand-by
joined:
10/18/06
Well thats a bit harsh considering there are a lot of teenagers who do have a lot of experience in musical theatre. And I can't see why you would think that, because the show was still Rent, and it had some really good parts.
songanddanceman2 Profile Photosonganddanceman2 Profile Photo
songanddanceman2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/31/06
The show was NOT still rent

Yes the songs sounded similar, the characters were the same and the story almost remained intact but Rent is a lot more than that, Rent is about Despair, Hope, Understanding, Surviving, Overcoming, Friendship and Rent Remixed had none of them things

It replaced it with Flashy Lights, Disco music, Leather etc

Rent is a dirty, grungy story what deals with poverty among its many subjects.....the cast of rent remixed were dressed like they had shopped at Gap and lived it a swanky minimalist white washed Manhattan apt
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
luke-h*** Profile Photoluke-h*** Profile Photo
luke-h***
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/4/06
i wouldn't ay it's even as half as good as the original production, and some of the main messages are dropped because of the 'remixing' that has been done, but i don't think its the worst thign that could've happened to rent, definately not as abd as certain people made out, and IMO not the biggest mistake in wets end history...
THEATRE 2016: Grey Gardens; SwkPlayhouse, Cats; London Palladium, Into the Woods; Royal Exchange, Show Boat; Sheffield Crucible, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Prsicilla Queen of the Desert; UK Tour, Narrative; RWCMD, Mojo; RWCMD, The Barber of Seville; WNO, Rabbit Hole; Hampstead, The Marriage of Figaro; WNO, Figaro Gets a Divorce; WNO, Tom: The Musical; UK Tour Upcoming: Anything Can Happen; RWCMD, Cysgy'n Brys'ur, Long Day's Journey Into Night; Bristol Old Vic, Only the Brave, The Caretaker; The Old Vic, People Places and Things, Blue/Orange; Young Vic, Bernadette Peters, Carole King, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II
songanddanceman2 Profile Photosonganddanceman2 Profile Photo
songanddanceman2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/31/06
i cant think of anything else that could be worse what could happen to Rent .....lol
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
WickedBoy2 Profile PhotoWickedBoy2 Profile Photo
WickedBoy2
Broadway Legend
joined:9/5/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/5/05
Ok second biggest mistake- first was 'Drowsy'! 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'!'
luke-h*** Profile Photoluke-h*** Profile Photo
luke-h***
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/4/06
theres no point in people gettin angry about it,
i mean at the end of the day its personal opinion is it not?
THEATRE 2016: Grey Gardens; SwkPlayhouse, Cats; London Palladium, Into the Woods; Royal Exchange, Show Boat; Sheffield Crucible, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Prsicilla Queen of the Desert; UK Tour, Narrative; RWCMD, Mojo; RWCMD, The Barber of Seville; WNO, Rabbit Hole; Hampstead, The Marriage of Figaro; WNO, Figaro Gets a Divorce; WNO, Tom: The Musical; UK Tour Upcoming: Anything Can Happen; RWCMD, Cysgy'n Brys'ur, Long Day's Journey Into Night; Bristol Old Vic, Only the Brave, The Caretaker; The Old Vic, People Places and Things, Blue/Orange; Young Vic, Bernadette Peters, Carole King, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II
AvenueQResident Profile PhotoAvenueQResident Profile Photo
AvenueQResident
Broadway Star
joined:7/23/07
Broadway Star
joined:
7/23/07
Even though I haven't seen it, Rent Remixed sounds fabulous, compared to the casting of Caprice...
Everything in life...is only for now.
Updated On: 1/12/08 at 06:05 PM
songanddanceman2 Profile Photosonganddanceman2 Profile Photo
songanddanceman2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/31/06
Caprice was Tony winning in comparison
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
SweeneyPhanatic
Broadway Star
joined:1/4/06
Broadway Star
joined:
1/4/06
Was there any audio recording of this version? I'd love to hear it (yes, morbid curiosity) if there is. Even a "recording" would be fine. PM me.
-- SDG
tommyslim Profile Phototommyslim Profile Photo
tommyslim
Broadway Star
joined:5/8/06
Broadway Star
joined:
5/8/06
sweeney... if you go on youtube you can hear the recordings on there but as for audio the only place i've discovered any was on limewire.

but it was awful. i saw it with denise and as much as she held the show together i still didn't think she was amazing.

i totally agrewe that this is probably one of the biggesty disasters theatreland has seen in the uk for a long time. that and the reinvention of godspell haha.

and in regards to somebodies previous post about mimi being more ill... i didn't see this at all... maybe she was just ill herself and played herself.... which seemed to be what she was doing when i saw it anyway.

And as for mark being gay.... well don't even get me started on that one!
"Lateness is a choice" - Sir Trevor Nunn
Eastwickian Profile PhotoEastwickian Profile Photo
Eastwickian
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/18/04
I didn't like the original Rent. I didn't like Rent 'Remixed'. Though I agree that the latter was worse - not only did it fail to solve any of the problems I had with the original, it made the characters even more irritating and the book even cornier and more nonsensical. Not sorry to see it go at all.

"Murder is a very British thing, isn't it? I mean, it's almost like a hobby over there."
"Why do you insist you must hear the words? When you know I cannot give you words. Not the ones you need..."

TheatreBuzz2
Featured Actor
joined:8/24/07
Featured Actor
joined:
8/24/07
the marketing and branding has just never been right with this show in London.

They claimed it was "remixed" and it was - but suddenly a month in and the "remixed" left the ads in the paper, on the leaflet and everything. so people thought it was the original rent and it wasn't. Then the whole fiasco with the "rented" seats and the no seat numbers ... it was a mess really.
winston89 Profile Photowinston89 Profile Photo
winston89
Broadway Legend
joined:6/18/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/18/06
I said it before and I will say it again.


They could have used the same set on Broadway in the same theatre they were in now.

Keep in mind the fact that the show started off Broadway to begin with. And when it moved uptown, they took the same set they had and just made it fit for a larger space.


I don't think that any of the music I heard of this production worked at all.

Out Tonight sounded like it should have been in Chicago right after all that jazz.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
songanddanceman2 Profile Photosonganddanceman2 Profile Photo
songanddanceman2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/31/06
yeah i noticed the 'remixed' suddenly vanish of the posters
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
WickedBoy2 Profile PhotoWickedBoy2 Profile Photo
WickedBoy2
Broadway Legend
joined:9/5/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/5/05
They replaced it with a remixed picture of Jessie Wallace!!!
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'!'