As the lyric goes, "I can't believe this is goodbye". "Rent" has played such an influential part in my life, and has shown me early on that theater can be much more than those kitchen sink dramas or Rogers and Hammerstein musicals the drama club puts on in high school. When I was a junior in high school, I caught a preview performance before the its official opening on Broadway and after its acclaimed sold out run at the New York Theater Workshop. What I saw on the Nederlander's stage literally rocked my world: I was exposed to these characters whose lives burned incandescently, a staging that moved the plot wittily and forcefully without the aid of huge sets, and a score that to this days stirs and surprises me. Having said all that, let me say that the film of "Rent" with the the final cast is a triumph. Not only do each and every one of them give impassioned, fully realized performance, the actual film work truly captures the excitement of being in the theater. Much of the time filmed performances lose the magic of being there. Hopefully they release this film on DVD!
Rating: ***** (out of *****)