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Review of Rent 20th Anniversary Tour at the Orpheum in Minneapolis

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Quote of the Day: So many young composers and theater talents have told me that “Rent” enabled them to begin to see themselves as part of the American Theater. Michael Greif, director of the original Off-Broadway and Broadway productions.

The company of Rent 20th Anniversary Tour, Photo by Carol Rosegg

The modern rock musical Rent has a huge following and is much loved. You could tell by the response of the crowd on the opening night of the tour at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis, MN. People were there in their Rent t-shirts, Bohemian style shirts, and with groups of friends. They went wild after the opening number, and as each of their favorite characters made their entrance. When the spotlight hit the character Angel, the crowd went wild. People who have been Rent-heads for the past two decades gave an enthusiastic welcome to this Broadway touring troupe, cheering as though their best friends were performing. The energy was contagious.

Danny Harris Kornfeld as Mark and Kaleb Wells as Roger. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Confession: This Broadway tour, in Minneapolis, MN on June 6, 2017, was my first time seeing Rent. I know! Where have I been? Out of the loop, for certain.

Rent broke the mold of the traditional musical. The characters are diverse, the love stories varied, and the music rocks. It provides new perspective from the set, costumes and choreography to the style of storytelling. In my first time experiencing this show, I know I missed a few things. Many story lines are going on at the same time, often within the same scene and song. The Orpheum is a large venue with pretty good sound, but sometimes the words get lost in the music, and I didn’t catch everything, even though the singers were doing their best at articulation. I watched body language to tell the story, and it has much to say!

 

David Merino as Angel and Aaron Harrington as Tom Collins in Rent 20th Anniversary Tour. Photo by Carol Rosegg

The music is fun, and it’s not all loud rock music. They have some beautiful ballads in this show. I would go again and pay top dollar to hear Aaron Harrington (Tom Collins) sing “I’ll Cover You.” I still have goosebumps. The applause after he finished the song was a roar, and the show seemed to take an extra pause. The boys and I (I went with my college sons) thought for a moment that they’d have him come out and do an encore performance of that song. (Wouldn’t that have been spectacular.) But, no, the show must go on (it’s already 2 hours and 40 minutes), but, sigh, it was gorgeous.

I didn’t really relate to any of the characters because I’m not, nor have I ever been, a young struggling artist in New York City. But, even though this is a show about young people, their relationships, search for identity, sexuality, and purpose in this life, it’s not just for young people. Because, in the end, it’s a story about relationships, a need to belong and to be heard, and to be who you are, like what you like, and love what (and who) you love. It was a pleasure to experience this show, with such an enthusiastic audience, delivered by a strong cast.

The company of Rent 20th Anniversary Tour. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Rent will be at the Orpheum Theatre – Hennepin Theatre Trust in Minneapolis, MN through Sunday, June 11, 2017. You can catch the tour in other cities by visiting the website for the Rent 20th Anniversary Tour

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever watched, or read, something that changed your perspective on life and where you fit in?

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