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Rent In Concert - Kerry Ellis/Rory Taylor


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#51 takemeorleaveme

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:03 AM

I went to see Rent in Concert last night at Hackney. Like most people I was expecting it to be similar to Les Mis in concert so was excited and surprised to see the staging when we got in the theatre.

Rent is my favourite musical and I've seen it a few times, this wasn't one of the best. The cast said the show had been put together in 8 days and you could tell: fluffed lines, poor lighting/ sound etc. Kerry as Mimi was an interesting cast choice given the age of Mimi. Pairing her up with Rory  made the age more noticeable!!

The show wasn't all bad, there were some excellent performances:  Take Me or Leave Me- outstanding, Leon as Collins- brilliant, Seasons of Love- gave me goosebumps (especially when the entire theatre joined in at the end!)

Rory has a great voice but he seemed to have a smile on his face during the whole show which was saying "how did I get here?!" (Could have been because Brian May was in the audience!)

On the whole it was a good show which just needs tweaking/ fine tuning. If rumours are true and it is going to tour other theatres later in the year then hopefully these issues will be dealt with.

If people haven't seen Rent then I would recommend this tour, for those that know the show off by heart then it may disappoint a bit!!

If it does tour again which cast would people like to see??

#52 Tettekete

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 05:38 PM

I'm seeing this tomorrow in Newcastle. Couldn't be more excited as I've never seen RENT before but I've always wanted to! Are they selling merchandise or just programs?

(And I'd like to see Rachel Tucker as Maureen if it ever toured again... maybe Oliver Tompsett as Roger?)
Seen (theatre): Once (London x 2), Wicked (Scheveningen, The Netherlands x6), Wicked (London x 22), We Will Rock You (London x3), Les Miserables (London x 1), The Phantom of the Opera (London x1), Rock of Ages (London x 1), Romeo et Juliette (Takarazuka Revue, Japan x 5), Studio54 (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x1), For Whom The Bell Tolls (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x1), Nova Bossa Nova/Meguriai wa Futatabi (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x2), Nijinsky (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x3), 9 to 5: The Musical (UK Tour, Sunderland x1), RENT in Concert (Newcastle x1), Singin' In The Rain (UK Tour, Sunderland x 1)

Seen (concerts, etc): Willemijn Verkaik "As I Am" solo concert at the AFAS Circustheater (2012), West End Eurovision 2013, Rachel Tucker at the St James Theatre studio, Scott Alan at the O2, Andrew Lippa at the St James Theatre

#53 takemeorleaveme

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 05:49 PM

The only merchandise were: programmes 5, t-shirts (unsure of price) and hoodies 30. Tshirts and hoodies are black with the anniversary concert logo in front and tour dates on back.

Enjoy the show- Rent is a great musical.

#54 Tettekete

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:18 PM

Saw this last night, and loved it! Rory as Roger didn't have as much stage presence as I would've liked, but he has a good voice. I loved the entire thing though, but personal highlights for me were La Vie Boheme, Rent, Tango Maureen and pretty much everything that involved Nikki!Maureen and Jemma!Joanne (Over The Moon was hilarious and I adored their Take Me or Leave Me). I also liked Angel a lot! Impressed!
Seen (theatre): Once (London x 2), Wicked (Scheveningen, The Netherlands x6), Wicked (London x 22), We Will Rock You (London x3), Les Miserables (London x 1), The Phantom of the Opera (London x1), Rock of Ages (London x 1), Romeo et Juliette (Takarazuka Revue, Japan x 5), Studio54 (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x1), For Whom The Bell Tolls (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x1), Nova Bossa Nova/Meguriai wa Futatabi (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x2), Nijinsky (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x3), 9 to 5: The Musical (UK Tour, Sunderland x1), RENT in Concert (Newcastle x1), Singin' In The Rain (UK Tour, Sunderland x 1)

Seen (concerts, etc): Willemijn Verkaik "As I Am" solo concert at the AFAS Circustheater (2012), West End Eurovision 2013, Rachel Tucker at the St James Theatre studio, Scott Alan at the O2, Andrew Lippa at the St James Theatre

#55 Dragononmyback

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:47 PM

I saw this in Cardiff yesterday and loved it.
Didn't really know the songs, except for Seasons of Love before going as never seen Rent before but I did have an idea of the story as I read a synopsis on the web before booking. The whole cast was great. Especially Niki (and her Mooing). But there was not really a weak link anywhere in my opinion.

They had a few technical problems, which meant they actually stopped briefly in the first act to fix the lighting but it did not disrupt the flow too much.

I would advise people who even have a remote interested in the show to catch it this week if they can.

#56 John_Rebus

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 10:40 AM

Saw this yesterday in Birmingham. Haven't seen Rent before, so I only knew the Rent Live on Broadway Blu Ray and I really loved it -  according to the audience reaction I wasn't the only one. I just wondered why this is called "Rent in concert", as it seemed to me like a more or less full production (perhaps only slightly reduced, but I hadn't expected staging or costumes or anything but rather something similar to Chess in Concert (at the Royal Albert Hall).

Nikki DJ was fabulous and the stand out performance for me. Her "Over the moon" was hilarious and perfectly sung, and her "Take me or Leave me" with Jemma Alexander (who also was brilliant) was great. These two ladies need to return to the West End pretty fast.

Rory Taylors singing was fine, but I thought his acting lacked a bit.

Special mention to Tim Prottey-Jones and Beth Humphreys for their amazing soli in "Seasons of Love".

Didn't like Kerry Ellis' Mimi too much though - and it wasn't her age, as she didn't look that old as I expected, but Mimi isn't just her role. Was also quite disappointed by her "Out tonight"

For my taste the music was too loud (or the cast too quiet), as it drowned the cast from time to time. Some ensemble members were sometimes quite hard to understand.

I thought that the tiny bits of merchandise they were offering were quite overpriced. £5 for that thin leaflet (some may call it programme) and £20 for a t-shirt is way too expensive for my taste (and then only black t-shirts - I don't wear black when no-one's dead ;) ).

If I lived in the UK, I'd probably see this again before its end, but unfortunately I've got to be back in the office tomorrow morning...
"Some People are Worth Melting For." - Olaf, Snowman

#57 dan

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:24 PM

Have waited for a few days before 'reviewing' because I wanted time to digest what I saw & heard. This is my 'special' musical, maybe no longer my favourite, but certainly the show that I've seen the most & know the most about. I'd thought from the outset that Ellis was miscast, certainly vocally, but was willing to give the 'concert' side of things the benefit of the doubt. So much of it was great; the bulk of the cast were awesome, gave their absolute all & sold the whole concept well. But it isn't a concert piece. It has strands of really dense narrative amongst all of the shallow 'zeitgeist' stuff which is where I felt it came unstuck. Angel's death scene was completely out of context & jarred terribly with the scene before. Anyone that didn't know the score or the story would have been at a loss until they were told 'it's over'.   Angel himself seemed really out of breath in several scenes & was a bit patchy performance wise. As others have commented Rory Taylor has an amazing rock tenor voice but would have been better served standing behind a microphone for the duration. The guy playing Mark made so little of the role that you wouldn't have thought he was one of the two leads. This may have been the direction at fault because this central character was so rarely placed at the centre of the action; perhaps a clumsy metaphor about him being an unwitting narrator of their lives. Leon Lopez owned the stage every time he stepped on it, and my two least favourite characters ended up being the best performed which at least gave me a fresh view on the piece. Maureen & Joanne's songs used to be so tedious to me, but Jemma Alexander brought a real warmth to Joanne and Nikki Davis-Jones...well, 'Over the Moon' was hilarious and made a whole lot more sense than it ever has before.  All of my favourite lines and riffs went to Tim Prottey Jones, so were in fantastically safe hands. Somebody needs to cough up enough money to put this guy front & centre of something special, whether it is one of his own marvellous creations or just cast him. His Mark would have been something to see.

Ultimately it was great hearing the music live again. The five piece band only very occasionally felt underpowered, normally when the arrangement overused keyboards, but it sounded gorgeous otherwise. It needed to be fully staged or just a concert....the odd hybrid nature meant it could never quite reach it's potential to blow your socks off.

#58 JME52K

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:11 PM

Well I saw it today in Leeds and it blew MY socks off. Haven't seen it before so didn't really know what to expect. The music was slightly too loud in some parts but I pretty much followed the story and thought everyone was really good. The audience went absolutely nuts after every song. Is this how they always are? Lots of younger people which is always nice. The only time it sort of went off the boil a little bit for me was at the end when Mimi was breathing her last...and then she wasn't!  Sorry but I wanted to laugh when she said she saw Angel down a long white tunnel and she told her to go back. It isn't meant to be funny is it?

#59 poster J

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:01 PM

View PostJME52K, on 04 May 2013 - 10:11 PM, said:

The only time it sort of went off the boil a little bit for me was at the end when Mimi was breathing her last...and then she wasn't!  Sorry but I wanted to laugh when she said she saw Angel down a long white tunnel and she told her to go back. It isn't meant to be funny is it?

No, of course it's not.

It's meant to be some sort of hope to end on, and some sort of positivity.  In my opinion Finale B is the best part of the whole score.

#60 dan

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:16 AM

Finale B is my favourite song too. It summarises the theme of the whole show, however sentimental or unlikely the outcome.

It was full of 'young uns' when I saw it in Cardiff so great to know that it has the power to excite further generations, but this habiit of whooping & shrieking after every song really spoilt the flow of the show. Perhaps another reason why it should have been one thing or another? If you want to carry an audience along on a theatrical journey, interupting it with a thousand shrieking 17 year old girls every couple of minutes probably isn't the way to go.

Ultimately we should be happy that producers are happy to put money into an enterprise like this; Awesome talent getting the chance to sing an amazing score.




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