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525,600 minutes - The Rent Thread

 

028006004ep.jpg

 

No day but today...

 

 

Release Date

November 23, 2005

 

 

Original Cast from Broadway -

Rosario Dawson, Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Tracie Thoms

 

 

*Based on Puccini's classic opera La Boheme, Jonathan Larson's revolutionary rock opera Rent tells the story of a group of bohemians struggling to live and pay their rent in the gritty background of New York's East Village. "Measuring their lives in love," these starving artists strive for success and acceptance while enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness and the AIDS epidemic.

 

Rent's diverse and unconventional community is made up of impassioned and defiant individuals. Roger (Adam Pascal) is an aspiring songwriter who has emotionally shut down after his girlfriend's suicide. Despite his attraction, he is reluctant to start a new romance with his downstairs neighbor Mimi Marquez (Rosario Dawson), an exotic dancer struggling with baggage of her own. Roger's roommate Mark (Anthony Rapp) is a filmmaker trying to balance art and commerce. His girlfriend Maureen (Idina Menzel), a self-indulgent performance artist, recently left him for a lawyer named Joanne (Tracie Thoms).

 

Also part of this close-knit circle is Tom Collins (Jesse L. Martin), a professor of philosophy who, after being mugged, is rescued by his soul mate, a high-spirited street drummer, Angel Shunard (Wilson Jermaine Heredia). Benny (Taye Diggs), who alienated his friends after he married their landlord's daughter, has reneged on his promise to provide rent-free artist space to his bohemian friends. Once a close friend, he is now viewed as the enemy since threatening them with eviction.

 

One of the longest running shows on Broadway, Rent was the winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Obie Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, four Tony Awards and three Drama Desk awards.

 

 

I have seen this on Both Broadway and in Boston for a total of three times. The music is spellbinding, the characters personal and deep and the story simple and entertaining. All of it emotional... I personally can't wait. :)

 

rent01.jpg

Edited by MusicManiac
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The OST/ Film Soundtrack Differences

 

Rent Blog and Character Trailers

 

 

** Right from the beginning, this is the same "Rent", but different. And yes, better.

 

Somehow, Chris Columbus has taken a beloved, Tony- and Pulitzer-winning musical, a deeply personal and heartfelt rock musical twist on "La Boheme", and improved it.

 

I know what you're thinking. It's not possible. I didn't think so either.

 

But just go with me for a second here. It's obvious he loves this piece. He treats it with such affinity and respect, yet adds (or subtracts) things until we have this only-slightly stream-lined powerhouse of a musical. The fat has been trimmed, and what's left is lean, powerful, emotional, gutsy...as a card-carrying Rent-head, I was blown away.

 

It opens with "Seasons Of Love", revealing this exquisite new recording to be full of detail and clarity. It's like a layer of grime has been scraped from the version you are all familiar with. The vocals are clear, the instrumentation vivid and precise. That plaintive piano motif sounds so perfect; it's like the sound of a heart breaking just a little.

 

For those of us who have memorized the Broadway soundtrack, that song being first isn't as jarring as you'd expect; when the next song "Rent" comes crashing in, all sense of order is restored. The guitars are harder, the drums thundering in spectacular fashion. Some of the spoken bits are excised from the inner parts of the song, which is perfect. In fact, most of the expository fluff has been trimmed, and all for the better.

 

And remember, I love the original. Passionately.

 

 

____________________________________________________

 

We shift unexpectedly to "You'll See", with all the interleaving vocals perfectly clear and evocative. Taye Diggs performs here with assurance and flair. He takes a little piece that moves the story along and infuses it with some soul.

 

That's one word that I kept thinking of while listening to this for the first time: soul. The vocals here are filled with such heart and depth, it's as if a new soul has inhabited Jonathan Larson's already soulful lyrics. The experience of the cast members, both in knowing these characters inside and out, and in the development of their own talents, adds a new dimension to this work. The highs are higher, the lows profound. They are acting and singing on a level an order of magnitude higher than their previous iteration.

 

"One Song Glory" is a showcase for a solo Adam Pascal. The tempos are a little different that the original; the fast sections drive more...the slower ones lope along amiably.

 

"Light My Candle"...hooboy...Rosario Dawson leaps out of your speakers here, in a duet with Pascal that will make your speakers generate heat. If you have headphones on, you'll feel your ears warm. Comparing her to Daphne Rubin-Vega is pointless but unavoidable. Dawson's voice is warmer, more seductive. Vega's is edgier and more coquettish. Apples and oranges. I eat both. When Rosario brags about her posterior here, I became pleasantly uncomfortable.

 

 

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Up to now, I haven't missed any of the "tune-ups" and "voice mails" from the original, and "You Okay Honey?" I'm sure will manifest itself some way in the film. It's where Angel and Tom Collins meet.

 

On this record, we find Angel first on "Today 4 U" It's a much more energetic and musical version than before. Also, for those of us who know every line, there's a tantalizing switch from "Christmas Eve" to "Christmas Day" in one key line at the beginning of this song which piques my curiosity to the alterations to come in the film.

 

"Tango: Maureen" shows that newcomer Tracie Thoms can not only fill some shoes, she can create her own, thank you very much. She's perfect. And Anthony Rapp inhabits Mark as no one else can. It's him. This song, with the additional horn orchestrations, is another incident where it's appearing this "Rent" is trying to improve across the board on every aspect of the "old" one, while not changing anything important.

 

"Life Support", a minute-long snippet, is again, more full-bodied than the original, but shorter.

 

"Out Tonight" is the song where every Rent fan will be waiting to see if Rosario Dawson can compare to Daphne. Here, she can't. Vega owned this song. Seeing her do it live was like watching somebody set off fireworks indoors. That came across on the cast album. But Dawson does perfectly fine here...I can't wait to see her do this in the movie. I love the backing band here...they sound great. Throughout this soundtrack, the musical accompaniment to the vocals is faultless. Unimprovable.

 

Being blunt: they're freaking awesome.

 

______________________________________________________________

 

"Another Day", Roger and Mimi's spat song, is fairly unchanged. Pascal and Dawson sound great, particularly Dawson...she gives a "real"-sounding, unaffected performance. And the ensemble ending is still spine-tingling...that last "No day but today" still gets me.

 

"Will I" benefits from improved production. By now we've lost things like "On The Street" from the original, and nothing feels missing.

 

The highlight song pair, "Santa Fe" and "I'll Cover You" show how Jesse L. Martin simply NAILS Tom Collins. His character shines through, yet his voice has aged so wonderfully that THIS will be the definitive Tom Collins. He lets his sweet, soulful voice fly unfettered here, and it's astonishing. Wilson Heredia, for all intents and purposes, will be the only "Angel" anyone needs ever to know. He imbues warmth and intelligence to a character that could have easily been either too saintly or too cliched.

 

The songs referred to as "We're Okay" and "Christmas Day" are gone (again, I can't wait to see how they spin this in the film) and we head straight into "Over The Moon", Idina Menzel's loopy performance piece. It's a bit odd out of context, but she's game and belts it out without a hint of inhibition. Make sure you listen past the end of the song...you'll hear this one man yell out "Moo!" and the band comes rocking in as if Green Day suddenly showed up.

 

______________________________________________________________

 

Disc two opens with the death of the Akita, Evita, and "La Vie Boheme". Some of the vocal asides are missing, but you'll only notice if you're a Rent addict like I am. I noticed, and I didn't care a whit. Once that sinuous piano bass line came in, I was lost.

 

Then, my first surprise. At the end of "La Vie Boheme", when Roger asks Mimi, "You?" and she responds, "Me. You?"...I suddenly and spontaneous wept. I was so involved with this recording...and mind you...I knew this line was coming...that I felt the tears rise, with one spilling over on my cheek.

 

I was totally won over by this new recording, and willfully gave myself over to it at this point. "I Should Tell You" again shows how Pascal and Dawson really seem to work well together.

 

"La Vie Boheme" returns, like a shot of adrenaline, just like in the original. I still admire the line, "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation."

 

We get another snippet of "Seasons of Love" here, and then move to "Take Me or Leave Me", the show-stopping number between Idina Menzel and Tracie Thoms. To all the Menzel fanatics out there (and yes, I'm a big Wicked fan), she's actually better here. She's flat-out incredible, and Thoms matches her step-for-Diva-step. "Kiss Pooky"...BIG laugh here.

 

 

______________________________________________________

 

 

Clearly, there's a lot of exposition happening between some of these songs, because we now arrive at an aching "Without You". A bit more uptempo than before, and missing Vega's raspy vocals, but benefitting from Dawson's earthier tones.

 

My heart broke hearing Martin's "I'll Cover You" eulogy...I love the gospel tweak, as I do Martin's alterations. He is so good...the soaring ending will leave you spent. Leaving his voice unadorned at the end is an elegant stylish choice.

 

"Halloween" allows Rapp a chance to shine...he's the relatively stable center of the show, and this again is "better" than the Broadway version. Maybe because HE is.

 

"Goodbye Love" has all the cast members emoting angrily at the beginning, moving through various operative "movements" until ending with a sad, little exhalation.

 

"What You Own", the bookend to Mark and Roger's "Rent" duet, finds Rapp and Pascal meshing their voices better than they ever have...

...by this time, we've skipped various "voice mails" and the "Contact" song, but it's somehow for the better...

 

"Finale A" is recorded "close-miked", as if Roger is speaking right into Mimi's ear, and this is what you'd hear. Again, a nice stylistic choice. "Your Eyes" still isn't the "all time greatest song that I've waited my whole life to write" that it's supposed to be. Here, though, it becomes Roger's intimate declaration of love for Mimi, and it works.

 

"Finale B" just soars. You can clearly hear each individual cast member chime in here and there, the band amping it up chorus after chorus, reaching a dizzying height with that final "No day but today" line.

 

I was sad it was over. Really.

But there's an additional song..."Love Heals", something Larson was working on, and now finished as an ensemble piece for the cast members. It's a bit of a mish-mash, lots of melodies, lots of tempos, lots of different kinds of stuff all put together.

 

It might not be the greatest song, but it acts as a valentine to Larson, and to diehard Rent fans, as we get to hear our beloved characters "come back" for one more song.

 

We still have two months to go before the film, but this record goes a long way in alleviating any concerns we Rent-heads may have had about the movie.

 

We don't have to worry if it's gonna be any good. Based on this, not only will he keep the Rent faithful happy, he will show the rest of the world what we've known all along.

Edited by MusicManiac
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:pimp: tee hee! arch made a funny!

 

i cant wait. i bought the soundtrack the other day its... awesome! i've never seen it live, just clips and a few bootlegged live performances during my time at Killian HS.... but man, oh man... i love the music!

 

i'm just so excited! and its most of the original cast, and its gonna be so cool, and omg.. i need sleep. lol

 

and mimi rocks... just to let you al know... and roger, he rocks too... and.. um.. ok, so they all rock my socks.... :ok:

 

and isn't la vie boheme like the funnest song ever? heck, isnt that entire cd just the most perfect jam ever?! :pimp:

 

ok... i need to lay off the smack. AHAHAH. ok, really, time for bed. :ok:

 

 

 

edit:

...and enough with the bopping me on the head bit... :???:

Edited by bunnyfoofoo
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Or when it's Lease....

 

Everyone has AIDS, AIDS, AIDS, AIDS, AIDS, AIDS, AIDS, AIDS, AIDS, AIDS!

 

I will be watching this movie, but only because I have a perpetual hard-on for Rosario Dawson. When Sin City, people were all excited about Latina-turned-white-girl Jessica Alba, but my hard-on for Dawson never waned.

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  • 3 months later...

Oh. My. Fucking. God. WHY did I never see this thread? I've been a RENTHead since the beginning, I'm ashamed that I missed this thread and FURTHER MORE I'm ashamed that I missed the creation of this thread, instead letting MM take the reins. But, I must say, MM, you speak the same words I would have had I been the one to review. I've seen it a few times performed by the off-broadway touring companies through the years and now the movie's been released both in theater and on DVD it feels like Jonathan Larson's dream has come full-circle. I admit I was skeptical when first I heard that the movie was going to be made, because I know how hollywood is about broadway re-tellings. I had a feeling in my guts that whoever was directing and casting was going to pretty-up the cast with some fresh hollywood faces and try to get some big names on board, so you can imagine the sigh of relief when the RENT community learned that their beloved original broadway cast was being brought on board. I was amazed at how the cast looks after 10 years - They haven't changed a bit, really. I was sad to see that not ALL of the original cast were on board, but Rosario Dawson and Tracie Thoms were fantastic additions to the cast all the same. Tracie Thoms blew me away as Joanne, the girl's got a voice that just doesn't quit and her spunky don't-mess-with-me attitude fit in very well. Dawson's got natural vocal talent and I was very impressed with her taking on the role of Mimi. I always took some issue with Daphne Rubin-Vega's voice - yes, it's meant to be edgy and all, but there was just always something about her performance that made Mimi come off as ... dirty. Tainted. Dawson's rendition of Mimi gives the character soul under the issues she's got, makes you genuinely feel for this little girl trapped in a woman's body. Her vocals are softer and earthier, but then so is she, so the voice fits. I was watching the feature-length documentary on Jonathan Larson and the creation of RENT and saw Daphne Rubin-Vega now after 10 years and I have to say... I'm glad they didn't bring her back for the role, because she 1) looks nothing like she used to and 2) was showing absolutely zero interest in revisiting that stage of her life. It was a little sad, truth be told. But, no matter. I really enjoyed Dawson's performance, as Mimi went full-circle through the telling of this story.

 

I agree too, that some of the things that weren't featured in the movie (The Tune-ups, most of the voicemails, Contact) weren't missed as the script adaptation either included them in some other context or reference, or the pieces were relatively insignificant and could easily be cut for time to let the rest of the heavy pieces be appreciated. This is a production that's been very close to my heart for nearly a decade and to see it in a fresh new light and so painstakingly true to the original idea makes me incredibly happy.

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Wow, alot in common, Rent, Firefly....lol, yup I guess I beatcha to it Ruby, I have been a Renthead for years too. I am going to see it again in NY when I go out there in 4 weeks or so. Also, keep in mind, I dunno how much of a Renthead Anthony Rapp freak you are, but he will be in town here in Boston in March, singing Rent stuff and signing his book. I am gonna swing by and grab his sig on his book and some Rent stuff. Ill pick ya up something if ya want.

 

 

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Wasn't Rosario just splendid in the movie though? :misty:

 

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Edited by MusicManiac
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Wow, alot in common, Rent, Firefly....lol, yup I guess I beatcha to it Ruby, I have been a Renthead for years too. I am going to see it again in NY when I go out there in 4 weeks or so. Also, keep in mind, I dunno how much of a Renthead Anthony Rapp freak you are, but he will be in town here in Boston in March, singing Rent stuff and signing his book. I am gonna swing by and grab his sig on his book and some Rent stuff. Ill pick ya up something if ya want.

 

Wasn't Rosario just splendid in the movie though? :ohface:

 

MM, you would be my fucking HERO if you picked me up at least Rapp's book and got it signed for me - I'll reimburse ya for it + shipping, 'cos MAN... I'd love to add that to my collection.

 

And yes, Rosario blew me away with her performance - She really is a talented girl, and damn is she pretty. :2T:

 

_____________________________

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  • 1 month later...

The Official site has the dates of the national Tour 2006, which starts next month!

 

Atlanta (GA) Rent Fabulous Fox Theatre-ga View Dates

Baltimore (MD) Rent Lyric Opera House-md View Dates

Boston (MA) Rent Shubert Theatre-ma View Dates

Los Angeles (CA) Rent Pantages Theatre-ca View Dates

New York (NY) Rent Nederlander Theatre View Dates

Philadelphia (PA) Rent Merriam Theatre View Dates

Washington (DC) Rent Warner Theatre - Dc View Dates

 

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Oh, and MM did you just say "Wasn't Rosario just splendid in the movie though?"

 

What has the world come to....

 

 

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I musta brain farted in the adjective department that night... I'd dry hump the shit outta her though! :muggin:

Edited by MusicManiac
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  • 3 years later...

HATEBUMP!

 

 

 

525,600 minutes - The Rent Thread

 

028006004ep.jpg

 

No day but today...

Release Date

November 23, 2005

Original Cast from Broadway -

Rosario Dawson, Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Tracie Thoms

 

 

*Based on Puccini's classic opera La Boheme, Jonathan Larson's revolutionary rock opera Rent tells the story of a group of bohemians struggling to live and pay their rent in the gritty background of New York's East Village. "Measuring their lives in love," these starving artists strive for success and acceptance while enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness and the AIDS epidemic.

 

Rent's diverse and unconventional community is made up of impassioned and defiant individuals. Roger (Adam Pascal) is an aspiring songwriter who has emotionally shut down after his girlfriend's suicide. Despite his attraction, he is reluctant to start a new romance with his downstairs neighbor Mimi Marquez (Rosario Dawson), an exotic dancer struggling with baggage of her own. Roger's roommate Mark (Anthony Rapp) is a filmmaker trying to balance art and commerce. His girlfriend Maureen (Idina Menzel), a self-indulgent performance artist, recently left him for a lawyer named Joanne (Tracie Thoms).

 

Also part of this close-knit circle is Tom Collins (Jesse L. Martin), a professor of philosophy who, after being mugged, is rescued by his soul mate, a high-spirited street drummer, Angel Shunard (Wilson Jermaine Heredia). Benny (Taye Diggs), who alienated his friends after he married their landlord's daughter, has reneged on his promise to provide rent-free artist space to his bohemian friends. Once a close friend, he is now viewed as the enemy since threatening them with eviction.

 

One of the longest running shows on Broadway, Rent was the winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Obie Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, four Tony Awards and three Drama Desk awards.

I have seen this on Both Broadway and in Boston for a total of three times. The music is spellbinding, the characters personal and deep and the story simple and entertaining. All of it emotional... I personally can't wait. :sad:

 

rent01.jpg

 

Cool review bro!

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