Sunday, May 04, 2008

On doors and RENT

Right as I read the story about John Bale breaking his hand by punching a door, a commercial for Duranautic Doors was on. It made me giggle. What didn't make me giggle is having to add a Royal to the list of really stupid baseball injuries for the year. As dumb as Hunter Pence walking through a glass door? Nah...but still pretty dumb.

This is completely unrelated to everything -- one of the "Other Things" promised in the blog title. I saw RENT last night at Omaha's Orpheum Theatre. The cool thing about a great performance is that, no matter how well you already know the story and regardless of the fact that you know every word to every song, you can still become lost in the story, moved by it like it was the first time you've seen it.

...unfortunately, this wasn't a great performance.

Our Mimi Marquez (I think it was Jennifer Colby Talton, but I could be wrong)was terrible, which ruins a great deal of the show. She sounded really meek, like it was her first performance and she was too nervous to sing out. She had a nice voice, but never let it rip the way I feel like a Mimi should. "Out Tonight" should be a loud, confident, forceful demand, not a mere suggestion that just in case you didn't already have plans, maybe we could hang out or something. To her credit, she was decent in "Goodbye Love," but for everything before that I wanted to go shake her and yell at her to just sing out, dammit.

Luckily, both Roger and Mark were really good (played by Heinz Winckler and Jed Resnick, respectively), especially together in "What You Own." Fun fact: Winckler was the winner of the first South African Idol.

The best in the show was Anwar F Robinson as Collins, which says a lot because Collins isn't normally my favorite character. The reprise of "I'll Cover You" was heart-wrenching.

I had to take a theater class last semester to fulfill some arts requirements, and my teacher (who is awesome) preached a 10 Commandments of Theatergoing. I wish more people would adhere to these things -- simple, common-courtesy things like not leaving your seat three freaking times during the show (my seat was directly atop an aisle). More disturbing was the fact that the Orpheum's ushers were actually seating latecomers in the middle of numbers! I can understand not wanting to wait all the way until intermission to seat them (even though that is technically the proper way to go about it), but for pity's sake don't seat them in the middle of songs! "One Song Glory" is such a powerful, intimate glimpse into Roger's musical aspirations as he struggles with the reality that he has AIDS, but all I saw was the back of a Simple Plan* hoodie, worn by a girl who was standing with an usher who had no business seating anybody at that time. Shame on the Orpheum for doing that.

*I wasn't aware they had any fans. Guess I was wrong -- they have one, and she is an offensive audience member.

Overall, I'm glad I went, at the very least so I can say I've seen RENT. But it wasn't up to the standards I've been able to expect from shows brought in by Omaha Performing Arts. Sigh.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the crazy ways baseball players manage to hurt themselves. It's absurd. I mean, Felix Pie? Just... wow.

Also, I saw that same Rent tour in January (in Boston, though)! I loved Jed Resnick and I thought Heinz Winckler had a great voice and an even better name. His acting wasn't great, though--so you didn't really miss much while Miss Simple Plan was in your way.