In addition to my trip to the musical stylings of my favorite 90s FBI agent, this week, I was also lucky enough to see the 20th Anniversary touring cast of RENT at the Golden Gate Theatre. Bless my friend George for sharing his birthday bounty with me!
Musical theatre nerd confession: I’d never actually seen RENT live.
I know, I know. I’ve got “Will I?,” “One Song Glory” and “Seasons of Love” embedded in my marrow from repeated chorus performances through my formative years in the mid-90s. The movie version was one of the first DVDs I requested when I joined Netflix after I graduated from college over a decade ago. But this was my first time seeing the stage show as it was meant to be seen.
I think it’s aged incredibly well, even if it’s hard to think that the actors on stage were likely toddlers when the production debuted. The actors were very strong and I enjoyed the musical numbers, even if there was no Idina Menzel or Taye Diggs. The production stumbled a bit when the actor playing Mark snagged his cardigan on the guitar of Roger during his opening narration. This cracked him up and he really had a hard time keeping it together to finish the monologue.
Otherwise, I laughed, I cried, I got nostalgic as the night went along. There were some teenage THEATRE KIDS sitting across the aisle who LOVED Angel and Mimi whenever they appeared on stage and knew most of the La Vie Bohème choreography, doing it in their seats. I was both annoyed and amused, which is probably appropriate. It was really lovely to finally see the show from start to finish and put those songs that rattle around my brain from time to time, in context.