25 years later, Jonathan Larson's message lives on. RENT returns to PPAC for an amazing performance.
How do you measure a life?
In the past twenty five years, we've experienced five presidencies, an evolution of technology, a change in social norms, and a so much more. You can measure the past 25 years in many variables, 525,600 reasons times twenty five to be precise.
That's right. The world renown song, one that came from the Tony Award winner for Best Musical and an all-time show, RENT, is making headlines in the theatre community yet again. In honor of their anniversary, the smashing hit returned to Providence this weekend, after five years from their last tour.
A bias opinion, but RENT is one of my all-time famous shows. It may be because my alma-mater of Southold High School performed it back in 2014, and I was Benny, but it also may be because of the story, presentation, and deeper meaning.
Thanks to the Bryant Alumni Council, I had the opportunity to see the show yet again in my own neighborhood. As anticipated, it did not disappoint!
A taboo tale of struggling artists dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 80's, RENT tackles on the social struggles and lives of New York City dwellers, who share their story of love and life.
Guilty as charged, I knew every word to each dialect and song, and was prepared for every scene change and queue. I was dancing in my seat for the opening song. Laughed at "Over the Moon" and "Tango Maureen". Was in awe for "Today For U", Got choked up for the Life Support scene and "Will I?", and still was amazed by "La Vie Boheme".
The cast was to staged to the T. Coleman Cummings captured Rogers angst swimmingly. JT Wood was a fantastic storyteller in Mark. Jared Bedgood was a canny Benny. Rayla Garske' Joanne was comical and articulate. Aiyana Smash belted out Mimi's vocals quite well; and the ensemble hit all of the marks as fans remembered.
I thought Shafiq Hicks, who played Tom Collins, stood out to me the most amongst the males. His bravado, mannerisms, and singing were perfect. Javon King was one of the best Angel's, and actually brought me to tears in some scenes. Maureen portrayed by Lyndie Moe jumped out on stage, obviously because of her boisterous character, but I felt her performance was spot on to Idina Menzel.
All in all, this was a specular performance, and if you can snag tickets these next two days, I would highly recommend. Yet again, PPAC brings an incredible show, and one that I will remember for a long time.