Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? I spent my saturday night in RCBC Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium watching RENT so here is my review on it:
I don't consider myself to be a Renthead, because there are other musicals that I prefer over Rent. Nonetheless, I'm very familiar with the show, owning the DVD's of the movie and the Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway. I also have the movie soundtrack as well as the Original Broadway Cast. Having said so, I entered the theater with high hopes. After all, as far as I know this is already the 3rd run of this musical. The first run was early 2010, when I couldn't find tickets because I bought too late already. The second run was late last year, when the tickets were expensive since it was staged in Rockwell. So I bought my tickets early and was happy for the chance to finally see the musical.
The good thing about Rent is that production-wise, it isn't hard to replicate. The set isn't extravagant (and doesn't change either) and the costumes are simple, too. They're everyday outfits that can be pulled out of an ordinary person's closet. The musicians are composed of a small band of 4 or 5 people. Having said this, you don't need to put in an extravagant amount of money to replicate this in Manila. 9 Works was able to give a good feel of the Broadway show.
Of course, a production doesn't mean anything without a good cast. When it came to acting, the cast was able to capture the essence of their characters. I was especially impressed with Job Bautista as Angel. They got the perfect man to play Angel, the optimistic, dancing, AIDS-stricken cross dresser. Singing-wise (which is the most important part of me), they were okay. Gian Magdangal (Roger) at times reminded me of Adam Pascal's rocky, edgy voice. However, the high ranges of the male characters proved to be a challenge to the male members of the cast. They had to resort to almost shouting their high notes. As a result, power ballads such as Roger's Your Eyes and Collins' I'll Cover You (Reprise) fell a little short for me. This, coupled with the fact that the sound engineer failed to notice that the high was too high (leaving a very penetrating sound when the actors sang in their high range). It's a little hard to explain, but if you know how to operate a sound mixer, you'll know what I'm talking about.
All-in-all, I would say that this was a good production, although it would have been better if the cast were better able to hit the high notes. Nevertheless, this a fresh, young cast whose faces are relatively new in the musical theater scene. I look forward to their blossoming in the years to come.
List of cast that I THINK I saw:
Gian Magdangal - Roger
Sherry Bautista – Mimi
Fredison Lo – Mark
OJ Mariano -Collins
Job Bautista – Angel
Mian Dimacali – Maureen
Jenny Villegas- Joanne
Lorenz Martinez – Benny