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Subtitle

Rent

Is being performed at the New World Theatre located at 340 West 50th Street. The musical opened on August 11, 2011 and has an open run.  It runs for two hours twenty minutes with one intermission.

Rent is a rock musical with music  and lyrics by Johnathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini's opera "La Boheme"  The musical is about a group of impoverished young artist and musicians in New York City lower East Side.  It takes place in 1998-2000.

First seen in a limited three week workshop production at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1994.  In January 25, 1996 it opened its official off-Broadway debut.  Johnathan died suddenly the night before the off-Broadway premiere.  The show won a Pulitzer prize.  The musical moved to Broadway on April 29, 1996 at the Nederlander Theatre.  It won a Tony Award for Best Musical among other awards.  The show closed on August 7, 2008 after a twelve year and 5,124 performances.  It is the longest running Broadway show by that time, ten years behind "The Phantom of the Opera". 

The core of the story revolves around Mark Cohen (Josh Grisetti) a film maker and Roger Davis (Justin Johnson) a musician and his roommate.  They are living in an apartment on Ave B owned by a friend Benjamin Coffin III (Rashad Naylor) who told them they could live there free but now wants a years rent. Mark and Roger refuse to pay.

Roger wants to write that one great song before he dies of Aids.  His girlfriend killed herself when she found out she was HIV positive.

Their downstairs  neighbor Mimi Marquez (Arianda Fernandez) is a club dancer and drug addict.  She likes Roger and wants to be more than friends, but he pushes her away.

The other friends are Tom (Collinsn Brandon Victor Dixon) a gay anarchist with Aids. Angel Dumott Schunard (MJ Rodriquez) a young drag queen , a street percussionist with  Aids and Collins love interest.  Maureen Johnson (Emma Hunton)  performance artist who is Mark's ex-girlfriend   and Joanne's current girlfriend. Joanne Jefferson (Corbin Reid) a public interest lawyer and lesbian.

Minor characters come and go, the parents, drug dealer, homeless lady, waiter, policeman etc.

The musical tells what happens in their lives in a year.

At times it becomes over whelming with so many characters all over the stage, but once you get use to it, it blends in harmony.  The stage is made up of metal strips and over passes were the characters stand. There are two doors on either side of the stage and a desk a cabinet in the center. 

The best song has and is still "Season of Love". This cast does it justice.

Outstanding performances were Justin Johnson and MJ Rodriquez. MJ must a fan club because when he was about to come out as Angel the audience started screaming for him.  I must agree he was very good.

The lady in front of me had seen this production twenty three times.

If you haven't seen it in the twelve years it was running or you have, you should go see this well done revival. The season of love never goes out style.

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

Photos by Annazor

 

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