Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rent scores with audiences as it ebbs toward closing

Jonathan Larson's production of Rent is a victory, and Tamyra Gray's portrayal of "Mimi" is one to catch.

The production is set to conclude on Sept. 7, and that gives an untold number of audiences a chance to see this rendition of Rent before it goes away.

Declan Bennett plays the role of "Roger Davis" opposite Gray, but it's Gray's "Mimi" that steals the show, courtesy of the routines of Owen Johnson II. Specifically, Gray shines in "Light My Candle" and "Out Tonight."

Of course, Justin Johnson's "Angel Schunard" was also a show stopper, especially in "Today 4U."

The show moves around "Mark Cohen," portrayed by Adam Kantor, and "Roger Davis." The two live in an apartment owned by their former roommate, "Benjamin Coffin," portrayed by Rodney Hicks. "Coffin" is trying to appropriate the lot next door to the apartment building because he wants to build a high-tech studio. He actually plans to clear out the homeless, including "Mark" and "Roger," as well as everyone else calling the apartment building home.

The show doesn't have a weak moment, and is one of the great American musicals. The cast was energetic and the music, conducted by David Truskinoff (who also performs on keyboards) was superb.

A convenient aspect of the Nederlander Theatre is that there is a parking garage right next door, which is never to be under-rated in dealing with trips to the city.

For more information about Rent, click on the headline.

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