If you know me personally then you know that I am a lover of theater. There is just something about everything unfolding on stage in that moment that excites me. I’ve said this plenty of times, but if I would’ve been gifted with a voice, coordination, and acting skills this would totally be my profession. Since I wasn’t though I get the pleasure of being apart the audience and get to take in every line, song, dance move, set change, and watch these unique stories be told right before my eyes. So many musicals make my heart extremely happy, but none more than RENT.
I was was so happy to see that The Public Theater of San Antonio would be doing their own production of RENT and I made sure that I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale. If you haven’t already heard of or seen RENT here’s a quick description.
Set in the East Village of New York City, this is an inspiring musical about friends and artists struggling with addiction, poverty, and most of all-love. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the story about falling in love, finding your voice, and living for today is loosely based on Puccini’s La Boheme.
I was thankful that when I reached out to the theater, Courtnie, Director of Patron Engagement & Promotion, choreographer, and cast member of RENT responded. She was kind and open to having me sit in on a rehearsal before their debut. It was surreal, because I have always been in the audience and this time I was going to get to see how much work goes into putting together a production like this. Keep in mind the whole team has been at it since mid-December, but nonetheless watching the Director and CEO make changes here and there was neat. I actually caught a good amount of them as I watched their preview show last Thursday.
I was over the moon when I had the opportunity to speak with David, Director of RENT. We had a casual conversation about how he received this opportunity, where he was from, and why RENT was so meaningful to him. When David was offered the show he took it up right away. Having been a high school theater arts teacher he knew he wouldn’t have the opportunity to tell these characters stories at that level. To him, he felt that it was their (cast/crew) responsibility to tell these stories that are rarely shared with the world. Being a big fan of the show myself and having my favorite scenes/songs I knew I had to find out what his was, “Will I?” he said. This song resonates with David and he thinks it can with everyone in one way or another. I couldn’t agree more. If you haven’t heard the song yet, click here, I think even out of context you can still get something out of it. My final question for David was about the production and how similar it would be to the original. Having seen it, it’s definitely line by line, which for me was perfect! He did make note that he was trying his best to showcase some of these characters that aren’t focused on in the original. For instance with Joann, a very complex and structured character, found ways to show a little more of her personality in between scenes.
RENT is about friendship, letting go of your past and moving forward, staying true to yourself, but above all it’s about love. This production of RENT will have you singing, laughing, crying, and everything in between. I will say, the opening performance gave me chills, the scene when Angel and Tom Collins meet tugged at my heart, and “It’s Beginning to Snow” was still one of my favorite scenes.
RENT at The Public Theater of San Antonio will be showing on weekends from January 25 – February 17. Buy your tickets here. I’ve also partnered with the theater to giveaway (2) tickets to see RENT. Visit my Instagram to see how you can enter!
*This post was a partnership with The Public Theater of San Antonio. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.