Uncategorized

‘RENT’ takes Ring Theater by storm

“RENT,” the record-breaking rock opera, was the epic finale to the University of Miami’s Department of Theatre Arts’ high-energy season.
The Tony Award-winning musical, which was written by Jonathan Larson and based off of Giacomo Puccini’s legendary opera, “La Bohéme,” first premiered in 1996. It is about a group of young struggling artists during the 1980s on the Lower East Side of New York City. With its powerful contemporary rock score, the musical addresses issues such as poverty, drug-abuse, bisexuality and AIDS. Students and faculty have been developing, designing and rehearsing to adapt “RENT” to the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre’s unique circular stage.
“With the Broadway production, there was often too much activity on stage to follow the story,” said Christine Kellogg, co-director and choreographer.
In rewriting much of the choreography, her and co-director, Bruce Miller, chose to focus on the plot.
“Doing it in the round theater has actually helped to tell the story… perhaps better,” Kellogg said.
These fresh transformations suited the long standing Broadway hit’s live-for-the-moment “No Day But Today” anthem.
“It’s about living for the here and now,” said Matt Mickenberg, a recent graduate of the musical theatre program who played Mark Cohen, the story’s narrator. “Forget about regretting things and just do it.”
This attitude, combined with the emphatic energy of the cast, made this unique UM performance one of most fun productions he has been a part of, according to Mickenberg.
Considering the style of music and the themes explored, the theatre department chose “RENT” to appeal to a broader college-aged audience.
“This is much more topical for this generation,” Kellogg said. “Many of our actors already knew the words and the score.”
The Broadway production ran for 12 years, making it the eighth-longest running show in history.
Kellogg, a former choreographer and professor from the University of California at Los Angeles who came to UM last year, was excited about the performance at UM.
“There are some extremely talented students here, and the tech team’s pretty spectacular,” she said. “There was a good vibe with everyone.”
Mickenberg put it more simply: “It just rocked.”
David Sargent may be contacted at dsargent@themiamihurricane.com.
July 22, 2010

Reporters

David Sargent

Contributing EDGE Writer


2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “‘RENT’ takes Ring Theater by storm”

  1. Jonathan Twiggar says:

    RENT was one show I REALLY wnted to see while covering theatre at UM. I’m glad someone finally got it on campus.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami football great Cortez Kennedy, a Pro Football Hall of Famer remembered for his w ...

The Hurricanes are still alive in their quest to make it to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. ...

When Edgar Michelangeli stepped up to bat on Saturday, there was pressure. So much pressure. There w ...

On a day when the newest University of Miami football players – including heralded prep quarterback ...

How much does 44 years of history weigh? That is what these Miami Hurricanes baseball players carry ...

Victor Oquendo, BSC ’09, is following in his parents’ footsteps. ...

The Rosenstiel School’s final lecture of the 2017 Sea Secrets series focused on using science diplom ...

Researchers believe they have found a new way to monitor the intensity and location of hurricanes fr ...

The University of Miami welcomed nearly 3,800 new graduates into the UM alumni family during six cer ...

Speakers urge UM’s graduating students to use their skills and talents to make a difference. ...

Joe Gomez drove in the winning run after Andrew Cabezas pitched 6.1 no-hit innings of relief. ...

University of Miami women's golf sophomore Dewi Weber was selected as a Second Team All-America ...

Miami's Estela Perez-Somarriba will take on No. 64 Ana Oparenovic Wednesday at 8 a.m., while Si ...

Dee Delaney is eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer from The Citadel, where he was na ...

Joe Gomez played the role of Hurricane hero Tuesday , lifting sixth-seeded Miami to a 6-5 win over 1 ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.