So, I got to see RENT last night and it was absolutely fantastic! I'm going to try my best and post a review but I am so wiped as we had a very long night. Oh! And I got to meet the lovely laniii at intermission and at the stagedoor...so that was pretty cool :)
So, I'll start off by saying I missed Toronto. Centre in the Sqaure was ok, it just wasn't the same as seeing the show in one of the theatres in Toronto. And it was freakin' huge! We had some really obnoxious people around us as we were in the third row...and that sucked because Scott already doesn't like the show and this people were really out there. Maybe it's just because we're older but lots of inappropriate screaming and they kept gathering up at the front of the stage and the ushers had to keep telling them to move. I'm all for mooing or whooping or whatever at appropriate points...but other than that, be quiet and let people enjoy the show! Two people sitting in front of us (a couple about our age) were sandwiched between some of them because of the rush situation (I guess) and they left at intermission. I'll never know if it was because they weren't enjoying the performance or because they couldn't take the kiddies.
So, on to the review!
I should start by saying that I really missed my old cast...it was strange seeing some of them up there without the rest of them, especially since they were the first cast that I saw. But, this is truly an amazing cast. They are a very tight group and vocally they are very strong. I'll break it down:
Mark (Harley Jay): I enjoyed his Mark. He was a bit over-the-top, sort of reminded me of Matt Caplan at points (from what I've seen). Very strong vocals but there was something about Jed that I preferred...I think Jed felt like he had more heart. Still, no complaints about Harley, he was certainly fun and made the audience really laugh and enjoy themselves!
Roger (Declan Bennett): Holy crap! Well, you all knew I was dying to see him so what can I say? He was freakin' incredible :) Seriously, didn't let me down one bit. His accent shone through just enough to be absolutely wonderful. He has quite the set of pipes on him! He is very strong vocally and made good acting choices. He is a very angry Roger...I'm not all that surprised he broke his fingers! In GoodBye Love he was screaming and shaking everything so intensely Scott actually leaned over to me and said, "Are you sure you still want to meet him?"
Mimi (Krystal Brown): I enjoyed her performance. Again with her, I felt like something was lacking a bit and enjoyed Jennifer Colby Talton a little bit more. Can't really say what it was though because she gave a very strong performance. Excellent vocals, great dancing and she is cute as a button. So maybe I'm just being sentimental. Now I never got to see Arianda but boy did this girl have stamina! She was really flying on the bars and still maintained her vocals during both Out Tonight and Another Day.
Collins (Warren G. Nolans): Loved him before and loved him this time! Nothing much had changed...he still has a very strong voice and gave an amazingly heartful performance, he tore the crap out of his Reprise. Very enjoyable.
Angel (Melvin Bell III): Ok, this one was really weird. Maybe it is just because I was really attached to Ano but there was something about Melvin's Angel that didn't appeal to me. The reason I saw it was weird is because vocally he was incredible. I would have to say he was definately stronger than Ano, yet I just didn't feel what I felt when Ano was onstage. The Angel spirit wasn't there as much (IMO). His vocals were incredible, T4U was done without getting breathless at all and Contact was spectacular. But I just missed the beaming Angel that was on stage when Ano played the part.
Maureen (Tracy McDowell): Again, saw her in Toronto and enjoyed her and she did not disappoint. Maureen is not one of my favorite characters so not too much to say here...her voice is still incredibly strong and she's still nicely over the top during Over The Moon. Her hair was longer and she is adorable as ever!
Joanne (Chante Carmel): Great as before. Her and Tracy really work well together, their TMOLM was fantastic!
Benny (Michael Ilfill): I really enjoy his Benny...he makes the character stand out more than I've seen with other Benny's, has nice smooth vocals and boy! can that boy dance. If you're seeing this make sure to pay attention to him during Contact, he's amazing.
SOL Soloist #1 (Mimi Jiminez): Very strong singer...loved her solo! Really blew the roof off the places and she was strong in all her other ensemble parts.
SOL Soloist #2 (Douglas Lyons): I was really sad that Aswad was out. Aswad is like "RENT-royalty" and I always look forward to seeing him as he has (IMO) one of the best male solos around. That being said, Douglas did a very good job with big shoes to fill. The solo wasn't quite as powerful as when Aswad does it but no complaints. Aswad was also the only person out of the show.
Steve (Joe Donohue): Love this guy! He's been in the show before...I think with two prior tour legs, and he's really incredible. His Will I? Solo was gorgeous and his waiter in La Vie Boheme was really fun.
Gordon (Dustin Brayley): Also very good...I particularily enjoyed his bits during Christmas Bells...and he was excellent as "The Man"
Paul (Jesse Carrion): Lovely guy...looked like he was having a fantastic time on stage.
Mark's Mom (Jenna Noel): Also really enjoyed her, she put a lot of energy into all of her numbers and really sparkled
Alexi (Jade Hicks): I was so happy to see she was wearing the fuzzy pink bra for La Vie Boheme! Finally, it's back! She was really good too...her Alexi was strong and funny and she was good in the ensemble.
So, I got to do the whole stagedoor thing and got some great pictures...I'll put them behind the cut since this is already so long
( One blaze of Glory...Collapse )