Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Rent Closes

Rent Closes

It's not every day I write about a Broadway show that's just closed, but then Rent was not your average Broadway show.

After 5,124 performances, the late Jonathan Larson's little tuner that infused the Main Stem with an amped up downtown mojo finally closed at the Nederlander Theatre Sunday evening. Credit the cast with dedicating their final performance to Larson.

All is not lost for those mourning the loss of Rent from the Great White Way. First, there's the 2005 film version that forever immortalizes most of the original Broadway cast on celluloid. Then, there's a Sony Pictures' The Hot Ticket film version of the final performance that will be shown in select movie theatres for a special limited engagement September 24, 25, 27 and 28.

And then there's the touring production of Rent that begins anew this January in Cleveland. Headlined by Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp in a bit of a farewell victory lap, the tour will crisscross the United States for 30 weeks before heading to Japan's Akasaka Act Theatre and then to South Korea.

The Tony-winning Best Musical of 1996 is now history. But I'm sure it will live again another day.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 19 September, 2008, Anonymous mairanya said...

I hope I can ask this without upsetting anyone. Last year, Rent was produced in Western Australia with Anthony Callea, widely acknowledged as one of our best vocalists, playing Mark. I didn't realise how much I loved the music until I saw this production, which critics described as 'musically superb'. On a YouTube clip of him and Tim Campbell singing What You Own (from a TV show before rehearsal started), the comments are often some sort of complaint that they don't look like/sound like Mark Rapp and Adam Pascal. Some contradict the text, for example saying that they're 'too goodlooking' or Mark doesn't look like 'a nerd'. A US fan compared the quality of Anthony Callea singing This Is The Moment to Brian Stokes Mitchell yet some Rent comments claim that Adam Rapp 'sings better'.
Is this view that Rent can only be sung by virtual clones of the original Broadway cast general? Or is it just in a specific demographic?

As someone who wants music to be 'musically superb', I wonder - do you think Rent will benefit from a comparative break to weaken an apparent stranglehold? Or is it more widely accepted as open to different interpretations than these Youtube and other net comments suggest? I'm basically asking about the singing as none of us can compare the performances.

Sorry - that's a bit long, but I hope it's clear and doesn't offend anyone.


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