Would you light my candle?
I have bee a Renthead since birth. Okay, not birth, but since like second grade. When I was really young, I took piano lessons at the University of New Mexico in the music building, where Popejoy Hall is. Some Broadway tours stop there (Newsies stopped there this past summer and took the boys on a trip to Santa Fe!) and when I was there every Saturday for three years, I saw the Rent poster and Spring Awakening poster come and go. I also saw the Rent poster printed in the newspaper, and I could not stop staring at the cast members. I was just really really curious about what Rent was, but I didn’t actually learn about the songs until I was a sophomore or junior in high school.
I knew Seasons of Love. Everyone knows that song from somewhere. But I heard “Take Me or Leave Me” in Glee and then I ordered the original Broadway cast recording from the library. It took me a while to listen to the entire album. I remember listening to it at night, trying to understand how the songs fit together. I have to admit that the first time I heard the song “Rent,” it took me a while to get into the melodies and whatnot. I think I listened to the entire album in one sitting.
I wasn’t fully into Rent until I was a senior in high school. During one of my first weekends as a senior, I celebrated not having much homework by watching the Rent movie on Netflix and I was hooked! I even went to a One Direction concert but listened to Rent on my way there and on my way back. I looked up the lyrics to “La Vie Boheme” in the school computer lab and showed my friends. And then I listened to the cast recording for like a year straight.
My favorite characters are Roget and Mimi, and for a good few months, I only listened to “Goodbye Love” and “Light My Candle.” I continuously googled Adam Pascal and Daphne Rubin-Vega, and I wished for a day that I would be able to see a Mimi sing “Out Tonight” live.
When I went to see The King and I at the Pantages, I watched the promo commercial for the 20th anniversary tour and I ACTUALLY CRIED in the Pantages lobby because I had never seen a promo thing for anything Rent at all and I realized that I was probably going to see an actual production of Rent in my lifetime.
Well, my dreams came true a few weeks ago when I went to see the 20th anniversary tour of Rent at the Pantages! And wow, what a night it was.
I knew I was going to see it. I just didn’t know what day was going to be the best day to go, since one of my classes decided to have a paper due during Week 3. BUT! Someone in ResLife must have heard that I die every time they announce they have discount tickets for students in On Campus Housing, so when I found out they WERE selling tickets I bought them the same day!
I was really counting down the days to this show. Rent is now part of my study music and I have 30-second dance breaks to “La Vie Boheme” all the time. I had a few hours in between classes and the show and I could NOT get anything done, I was so excited!
This is a photo of the window card on display at the Pantages. I think I heard someone say that they used the original window card design (and models) for the tour, but I’m not completely sure. I know that the photos around the window card are of the current 20th anniversary tour.
Do you see Angel mid-jump? “Today 4 You” was easily one of the most memorable moments of the show. I feel like the movie and the cast album by themselves don’t do Angel justice, and the musical is actually the best portrayal of Angel. To be completely honest, I felt that this show was almost all about Angel and Collins. I think I had just never seen Angel and Collins so up-front before so their story seemed very fresh to me, and I liked it.
Can we talk about “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” for a moment? I felt like I had been waiting my whole life to hear “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” my entire life and when Collins sang it I seriously cried. Once, I saw Sean Grandillo tweet something about how he thought the song was a good Rent song so I feel like I’m justified saying that “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” is THE BEST Rent song there is. The movie version is good in terms of setting, but the original cast recording blows my mind every time. It’s really a hidden gem in the recording.
My favorite part of the show was the whole thing, really. From “Rent” I was so shocked at how great it was! My favorite musicals are ones that are very ensemble-y and chorus-like and very choreographed and right away Rent was everything I have ever wanted to see.
I really wanted to go to the stage door after the show but the bus was leaving right away and we had papers due on Friday so I couldn’t go. But I did tweet Kaleb Wells, who played Roger, and he said that that night of January 25th, the audience was electric.
It really was. You didn’t have to ask me to moo twice. You also didn’t have to say anything remotely emotional because I was crying the entire night just from being there.
The cast was amazing. I loved Mimi and Roger. Here is a video from Broadway.com interviewing the cast about what they are looking forward to about the 20th anniversary tour. THEY ARE ALL SWEETHEARTS!
So if Rent is coming to a theatre near you… GO SEE IT!
It wasn’t until the end of the show that I realized I had seen the musical on the same night that Jonathan Larson, the creator of Rent had passed away in 1996. Maybe that’s why it was an “electric” night?
Anyway, I’m a little late with posting this because the week I saw Rent, I had a paper due on Friday and then we jumped right into midterms so I have been busy. But now it’s Friday of Week 5 and I am done!