Tuesday, January 12

No Day But Today (RENT)

Opening night tickets to RENT in the Canon Theatre Toronto = GLORIOUS!

The place was full but had a laid back atmosphere. I was excited to go (more than excited) but a little unsure of what to expect without most of the original cast. There was nothing to worry about. With Mark and Roger, two characters with the most stage time, played by the initial cast, Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal respectively, there was a comforting consistency.

All the other parts were well acted but clearly cast not to fill a role but the shoes of the (very well-known) cast members before them. Nicolette Hart as Maureen had the same nasal whine that Idina Menzel brought to the performance. Michael McElroy had the same rich voice and smooth mannerisms that Jesse L. Walker as Tom Collins. All, except for the notably blond exception of Hart as Maureen, strongly resembled that first Broadway cast. While talent is important we humans like consistency.

The 'new' Angel had quite a bit more personality, he seemed to have fun in his role. The singing, however, was quite a bit flatter. With 'Today for You' being a favourite song of mine it was somewhat disappointing.
Idina Menzel, the original Maureen, was incredible. It would be intimidating to fill a role that everyone who loves RENT associates with her but Nicolette Hart held her own. While she could have been a bit more feisty Hart managed good vocals and some very funny moments (ie. mooning Benny with flair during "La Vie Boheme").
The number that, in my humble (read: new to musical theatre) opinion, was far superior in the production to the film was the Tango Maureen. It was sassier, angrier; the dancing was more fun, the actors had the right chemistry (or lack there of) between them.

If you have only seen musicals in the movies (and that is still me to a large degree) get out and see them live! It is a bit pricey but worth the fee.

--type casting to fit what the original characters created
--the Angel had more spunk and personality but the singing wasn't as impressive
--trying to live up to Idina Menzel
--superiority of the Tango Maureen

1 comment:

Maia said...

Only thing to do is jump over the moon!

Mooooooooooooo with me... :)