Wednesday, September 21, 2016

NO DAY BUT YESTERDAY:  I saw the 20th anniversary tour of Rent last night, which I hadn't seen on stage in many years, and some thoughts:
  • For as fresh and "now" as the show felt in 1995, it now feels SUPER-dated in a world of cell phones, more general acceptance of LBGTQ people, and the Internet.  In particular, Collins' rants about technology and philosophy and our need to engage in "ACTUAL REALITY!" have not aged well.
  • That said, the show is still enormously effective at pulling on the heartstrings, in particular in the "I'll Cover You" reprise, and the somewhat different take on "Over The Moon" (Maureen as overzealous MFA-type, rather than "wild child") kept that relatively funny and fresh.
  • The production's biggest problem was its Mimi.  Mimi is a junkie stripper (albeit one with a heart of gold)--there should be more than a hint of danger to her.  The performance here felt more like a sorority girl playing dress-up.
  • You forget how off-balance the two acts of the show are.  The first act covers a mere 4-5 hours, from December 24, 9 PM, Eastern Standard Time, to a party after Maureen's midnight performance/protest, while the second act covers almost a full year.  
  • The saddest thing the show reminds us of is what a talent we lost in Larson.  If he'd lived, I'd be fascinated to see what else he was able to do, and how he might've adjusted the show after its premiere to give it a little more balance.