Here’s my nice 🙂 review of 9 Works Theatrical’s staging of Rent:
- — Carla Guevara-Laforteza as Maureen was riveting and smashing; her portrayal stole the show from everyone who was on the stage with her. Watch out for her Over the Moon performance, which brought the house down. (And if my poor memory serves me right, it was better than Monique Wilson’s.) She also started the production rolling — it had a rough start (the bad news: she won’t be onstage until the last quarter of Act 1). Carla was also hot as a lesbian.
— Pleasantly surprised with Oj Mariano’s Tom Collins considering this is his acting debut. There is a believable chemistry between his character and Angel (Job Bautista).
— I wonder if Mikey Arroyo was Noel Rayos’s peg for the smirking Benny. This made him really irritating.
— I liked the voice of Nicole Asensio (Mimi)
— I liked the ensemble; Gary Junsay in particular looked really pissed.
— I also liked Jenny Villegas as Joanne but my lesbian friends don’t agree because they found her old and unfashionable relative to Maureen.
— Fredison Lo (Mark) is extremely cute
— Everyone had their accents down pat
Now, for a few unsolicited suggestions:
- — The other actors would need to step up. Hunching over with your trench coats does not automatically make you starving, derelicts, cool, hip and dying.
— There should be sexual chemistry/tension in Would You Light My Candle; I don’t understand why Gian Magdangal’s Roger is so disgusted with Mimi’s… goods.
— The chemistry problem goes on throughout the play, I just couldn’t find myself rooting for these people. (Mark was practically a cardboard, save for his number with Joanne, The Tango Maureen.) Benny could have razed their apartment building to the ground for all I care.
— Angel was cute as a button, which is a problem. She should be a diva, the star! But that’s hard with Carla being so good as Maurene.
— Demmit, Will I is my favorite number — please work on this.
— Audio was awful
At the post-show press conference, I liked the question of Michelle Katigbak (The Philippine Star) because the actors’ responses addressed my nagging thoughts behind the acting snags: for the younger ones, how do you relate to the material?
Fredison answered, by reading books and articles on the Internet.
But Rent is real life, it’s out there.
Meryl Streep will not like.
* * * *
Rent runs on February 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28, at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza