RDC production Rent lands on flat note

The latest production by Red Deer College Arts’ students was a solid effort but in the end fell short.

Rent opened on the College’s mainstage last week.

Performances run Feb. 16-19 on the Arts’ Centre mainstage, with curtain at 7:30 p.m.

There is also matinee on Feb. 19 at 1 p.m.

The production is directed by Thomas Usher, a theatre studies instructor at RDC.

Set in a depressed area of New York City, Rent follows the experiences of a group of poor young artists who reject help from their parents to live freely as artists. Clearly, it’s not an easy, charmed path. They take over an old warehouse with no heat or power, and live under the shadow of everything from the threat and reality of AIDS, drug addiction and poverty. The warehouse is also managed by Ben, a former friend who has married into money and now demands rent for the past year.

While celebrating their decision to live life without rules at the Life Café, Ben padlocks the entrance to the warehouse. Naturally, this sets off an explosion of conflict.

The acclaimed production has landed Tony Awards for Best Music, Best Score and Best Book (penned by Jonathan Larson) as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Best Drama. A movie version was released in 2005 as well.

Capturing the essence of the story also meant learning about the times when the show is set. Although it’s not that long ago, there have been significant societal changes. More is known about AIDS now, for example, and the potential longevity of those infected with it these days has changed as compared to what it was in the mid-1990s.

The RDC set was superbly done and had many different elements to it. Actors were able to access several levels of the grunge looking and graffiti ridden stage giving the overall feel of the play a realistic one.

The live band, which was tucked away in a corner of the stage, was also a great addition to the show.

The acting throughout the play was reasonably good, however, when attempting to pull off a production that’s a musical, vocals have got to be a strong point.

Unfortunately this wasn’t the case for RDC’s Rent. Most of the actors weren’t strong in the singing department and many of the songs seemed too technically difficult for them to tackle.

Some of the actors had shining moments including Shane Gramlich, who plays Roger Davis, Nevada Banks, who plays Mimi and Amber Whitebone, who plays Joanne Jefferson.

The production overall ran quite smoothly. The show was well-rehearsed and enjoyable from that point of view.

What lacked was vocal talent. And sitting through a three-hour musical when the vocals are weak can be tough.

For ticket information, call 403-340-4455.


Just Posted

Dan Davidson up for five ACMA Awards

Davidson will head to Red Deer with Brett Kissel in the New Year

Blackfalds RCMP respond to serious collision

Car collides with moose, driver suffers life threatening injuries

RCMP offer crime prevention tips for the holiday season

Red Deer RCMP give tips so holidays aren’t marred by theft or damage

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Local family donates series of books to University of Lethbridge

Presentation recently made at the Dr. Dorothy Lampard Reading Room official opening

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Most Read