525,600 Minutes, How do you measure, Measure a year? If you know these special meaningful words – then you need to head down to the National Theatre in DC and catch the week-long engagement of the Broadway smash hit Rent as it tours across the country for its 20th Anniversary Tour.
Rent is a rock opera that tells the story of eight New Yorkers as they struggle with relationships, poverty and AIDS in the span of a single year starting on Christmas Eve 1989. The story focuses on aspiring filmmaker Mark Cohen (Cody Jenkins) and his rocker roommate Roger Davis (Coleman Cummings). The musical is a not-so-gentle reminder that no matter how isolated people become, they still impact relationships in a way not always visible.
Aiyana Smash as Mimi Marquez is a natural fit for the show. Aiyana’s voice is extremely powerful! She’s fun and upbeat and everything Mimi is supposed to be. Smash delivers a stellar performance in Out Tonight. We get to have sympathy for her in Goodbye, Love as she tries her damndest to win Roger’s heart.
Joshua Tavares’s performance as the gender fluid and wonderfully carefree Angel truly blew our minds! Tavares’s fierce dance moves, smooth drum playing and impeccable comedic timing won over the audience and had us cheering him on the entire night. His performance of Today 4 U is a much needed break from the sadness surrounding the characters in the production.
Another standout moment happened towards the end of Act One with Over the Moon. Originated by Idina Menzel on Broadway, the role of Maureen are some big shoes and a big voice to fill, and yet, we are very thrilled with Kelsey Sweigard’s dynamic performance. Kelsey grabbed our attention from the moment she arrived on stage and never let go until curtain call. When she asked us to Moo with Her, not only we believed it, we did it!
Perhaps the night’s best male performance came from Shafiq Adams, his role of Tom Collins represents the heart & soul of the show. His take on I’ll Cover You reprise at a highly emotional moment brought the sadness and tears from the audience. Adams put everything he has into his role, and his raw emotion was easily noticeable. He let it all out for the whole world to see.
The acting and singing by the cast were exceptional, and its members had unbelievable chemistry. In the final scene of the play, Mark showed footage of the cast laughing during rehearsals, a moment that tugged on the heartstrings as the show came to a close. It’s amazing how ONE musical can get us all jazzed and fired up. Rent made us laugh, made us cry, made us think and wonder and hope but most importantly, it’s made us LIVE with joy!
National Theatre plays host to RENT 20th Anniversary Tour until November 17th in DC. For more information on “Rent 20th Anniversary Tour” visit: https://www.rentontour.net/ Forget regret. This is a show you must see!!!!