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Monday, January 23, 2017

Rent (the musical)

Rent Playbill
We saw this show yesterday (Sunday) evening. It was pretty good. Awful lot of singing though. Might have been better if we could understand the words, but that's what musicals are made of, I suppose. The story is a little thin, but it's certainly grim enough. You don't need the details about everyone's movements when there is an elephant in the room. Tina Arth's review (of a different production) sums it up pretty well:
Author Jonathan Larson’s rock musical, loosely based on the Puccini opera “La Bohème,” is not for the faint of heart — it’s loud, edgy, sometimes raucous and filled with characters whose lives seem to run the gamut from merely awful to truly tragic.
. . . suggestions that “Rent” is somehow outdated are shortsighted. Artistic integrity versus crass commercialization? Check. Rent control and broader issues of social and economic injustice? Check, check. Clearing out urban homeless camps in dead of winter? Huge check. HIV? Still check. Gay/lesbian/trans? [Double check]
You hear about the problems facing people who exist on the margins of society, but if you are like me, you seldom run into any of these folks, so their problems are kind of abstract. Watching this show brings those problems to life and makes you appreciate them a little more.

Tango: Maureen - Rent

The show has some number of love stories of various persuasions running through it, some straight, some gay, some confused. There are also some entertaining bits, like the Tango: Maureen, and Maureen's one-woman avant garde show that was just hilarious. Also:

  • the young woman dancing in skin-tight, electric blue pants. She was great.
  • one woman hit a particularly high note during one song. She brought down the house.
  • there was a bit of spectacular dancing. Could have been more, but then it would have been a different show, I suppose.

Now playing at Keller Auditorium.

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