Today I saw Rent performed by the final-year students of Mountview (a performing arts college). It was not as good as the time I saw it on Broadway, but in parts — the slow bits, the easy-to-sing bits — it was excellent.
I think people forget that Rent is more of a rock opera than a musical, and as such it’s stupendously complex, probably not very fun to sing, and really quite hard to listen to. There are a couple of recurring refrains that you can get behind, but the rest of it is just a big ol’ mess of talky-singing and ten people all singing different parts at the same time.
Again, when they all got together to sing the group numbers (Seasons Of Love, I’ll Cover You, the finale), it was great. I suppose they should be grateful that rock operas are not very popular on Broadway and the West End at the moment. I wonder if any of them will be going home with a new agent.
I’m out tomorrow and Monday (seeing Legally Blonde! Best seats in the house!) so expect a little radio silence.