Rent

Monday, December 05 th, 2016 at 00:12 am 

Rent

JOY REVIEW

I have now seen four versions of Rent. I saw the original one downtown, I saw it once on Broadway, and I saw the revised one on 39th Street. This iteration proves to you that it’s still a viable musical.  Although, to be quite honest, it does seem a little dated: the whole issue about rent seems relevant, because we have more people than ever before under the poverty level, but the idea of demonstrations in Tompkins Park and people dropping dead of AIDS all the time — I know AIDS is not gone, but still, it does seem a bit dated. However, having said that, the real problem that I had is there’s only one charismatic person in the cast: the guy who plays Angel, who is really wonderful, but unfortunately his charisma makes everybody else look a little bit under whelming. Actor M. J. Rodriguez plays Angel, and he really is wonderful. A lot of energy, a lot of style; however, as I said, the rest of the cast literally pales in comparison. The real problem is that it’s so over-mic’d, and it’s a small theatre. I mean, I really like this in a small theatre because that’s where I saw it originally and somehow seems cozier, but they didn’t need the mic’ing, and it is so overdone that you can’t understand any of the words, and whatever else Rent is, it’s about the lyrics, so I was really disappointed in this.  I have loved Rent in the past; this is just not a terribly loveable Rent. To be quite honest, I think Rent is partially paid and maybe needs to be evicted. Two stars.

JOY METER