Rent (20th Anniversary Tour) | The Fabulous Fox Theatre

This production is EVERYTHING you could ever want from musical theatre.

It’s truly a shame that Jonathan Larson’s Rent is only gracing the stage in St. Louis for three days because this production is EVERYTHING you could ever want (and more) from musical theatre.

Loosely inspired by Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème, this rock musical follows a group of impoverished friends whose artistic ambitions aren’t providing them with much money for food, let alone rent. On top of that, these characters are also dealing with the weight of either having been diagnosed with or knowing someone who has been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. It’s a heavy show—the second act will especially test your tear ducts—but it’s also jam-packed with hilarious, empowering and romantic moments—and of course, an out of this world soundtrack!   

When I saw Rent during its last tour, I was fortunate enough to see Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal—who originated the parts of roommates Mark Cohen and Roger Davis on Broadway (as well as in the film that followed)—reprise their roles. Theirs are the raw, emotion-filled voices I associate with these complex characters, so I admit, I went in with insanely high expectations. But kudos to Joy Dewing Casting! Danny Harris Kornfeld (Mark) and Kaleb Wells (Roger Davis) are a perfect fit, as is the rest of the 20th Anniversary Tour cast!

The group of talented performers who has referred to as The Next Generation of Rent, received enthusiastic applause from the audience after basically every single song and an immediate standing ovation by show’s end. (I LOVE having the pleasure of being a part of an engaged audience. When the clapping commenced before the show had even begun, I knew I wasn’t sitting among your ordinary group of attendees. In large part, this bunch clearly consisted of fans who knew every word of every song!)   

Rent will remind you just how much can happen in a year. Relationships can fall apart and come back together. New friends are gained, while others are lost. People can be easily changed by money or destroyed by drugs. Yet other things, like the homeless epidemic in the U.S., remain unchanged. Just as these characters realize, we can’t always stop change, but we can unite to propel positive change, and we can also live each moment like it’s our last.

You have not one but two more opportunities to see this show before it packs up. Even if you already have plans, I’m telling you, change them. To echo one of the show’s most memorable sentiments, “there’s no day but today”—so even if it requires switching up your schedule, get to this show! | Megan Washausen    

For ticket information, click here.  

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