Critical Review of Rent.

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Carlos Valcarcel

Prof. Shulman

DNY 1000C

17 November 2003

Critical Review of Rent

Rent, a modern musical about life and death that takes place in New York's East Village, populated by drug dealers and society’s forgotten, which is loosely based on Puccini's La Boheme. Rent is part Broadway musical, part performance art, and part rock concert. These three seemingly different elements are entertainingly merged in Rent. Rent chronicles the lives, loves and deaths of its major characters from December 24th through the next Christmas and into the following year. Rent deals with AIDS, drugs, homosexuality, and loss. Loss of innocence, loss of life, loss of work, loss of hope, you name it. Rent is as gritty as its subject matter. It doesn't hide a thing. On November 3rd, 2003 I, along with my fellow classmates, attended the Broadway musical Rent, by Jonathon Larson, at the Nederlander Theatre in New York City, New York. Entering the theater we were immediately introduced to the stage. The elegance of the theater helped me to capture a sense of the history of that theater. This revitalized theater is a nice mid-sized theatre, wide but not deep so that you're close to the stage

The set consisted of a large table and chairs in the middle of the stage, a couple of ladders to serve as balconies on one side, and the orchestra in a corner on the other side of the stage. It was suitable for the various places where the play is set, a rundown New York City apartment, an AIDS group, and a café. The costumes were very contemporary, colorful and daring. There was very little variance in each character’s costume changes because each character seemed to wear clothes that matched his or her personality. The plot of rent consists of eight friends and lovers who find love after a friend’s death. I found three songs particularly exciting that I chose to examine closely.

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The show opens in Mark, played by Sebastian Arcelus, and Rogers’, played by Ryan Link, apartment and quickly turns into the second score, “Rent,” including the entire cast. “Rent,” serves to introduce many of the characters and dilemmas of Mark and Rogers’ life. This starts because their landlord, Benny, played by Stu James, asks them for the rent money that they do not have. At the beginning, only Mark and Roger are dancing around the apartment singing about their lives. Toward the end, the entire cast comes on the stage for the first time and is methodically dancing and moving around the ...

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