The year is 1996, AIDS runs rampant in New York’s East Village, and a group of starving artists and lost souls live, love, and lose in Orpheus Musical Theatre’s production of the hugely popular Rent, now playing at Centrepointe Theatre.
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For full details including showtimes: http://orpheus-theatre.ca
How did you find Orpheus’ production of Rent? What are the standout numbers or characters? What is your favourite musical? Let us know in the comments below.
And for those of you who like reading actual words now and again, here’s the script in print form:
Set in New York’s East Village in 1996, Rent opens by introducing us to Marc and Roger who, along with scores of other starving artists and lost souls, are on the verge of being evicted from the building they’re living in because they can’t pay the year’s Rent. The tenants have adopted a bohemian way of life and it’s that philosophy that drives the story. Rent is really about these people telling the world this is who we are and this is what we’re about. Take it or leave it.
And the characters, all excellently brought to life and made to feel like real people by the cast in Orpheus’ production, are as diverse a group with as many troubles as they come – including most of them living with AIDS.
Marc is a documentary filmmaker who hides behind his camera. Roger is a musician living as a recluse since contracting AIDS and hoping to write a song that he can leave behind as his legacy before he dies. His love interest, Mimi, deals with her AIDS pain through drugs. Joanne is the lesbian girlfriend of Maureen, who plays for both teams. Tom Collins is a gay professor, also anarchist and computer genius, who falls in love with the cross-dressing Angel.
But despite these differences and these troubles, they accept each other and choose to live for love. Which is a lesson we can all learn from.
Now, of course, RENT *is* a musical, and this is where the real talent of Orpheus’ cast shines. The reprise of “I’ll Cover You” was a huge highlight in the hands of Maxim David who made for a badass Tom Collins. Over the Moon and Take Me or Leave Me were phenomenal because Rebecca Abbott as Joanne and Devon O’Reilly as Maureen were insanely talented and awesome. Derek Eyamie as Roger also stood out with a great voice. And La Vie Boheme at the end of the first act was, it just had so much energy and it’s such an important song for the musical.
That’s the number that shows you who these characters are and what they stand for. It’s what made me fall in love with Rent in the first place and makes it hands down my favourite musical. And Orpheus didn’t disappoint. I’ll definitely be seeing it again.
Photo for this article taken provided by Orpheus.
Video production courtesy of Valley Wind Productions, produced by Allan Mackey.