Who wouldn’t be excited in watching a world renowned musical especially if you get to be treated out by a friend. I was asked to accompany a good friend of mine to watch “Rent – the Musical” held last February 14, 2010 at the RCBC Theater. The musicale was a remake of Jonathan Larson’s Rent that has garnered a lot of controversies and praises from the time that it was first staged. I am the kind of listener who is very empathic with the kind of message the song or the piece portrays. I believe that every melody and rhythm suggests a deeper meaning than what is simply conveyed in the lyrics of the song.
The genre of the music mainly caters to the young audience since the plot of the play mainly revolves around issues that involve the youth. A number of sensitive issues were tackled during the musicale, some of which includes homosexuality, a contagious disease – HIV AIDS, under employment, forbidden love and boundaries of friendship.
The pieces performed were Rent, One Song Glory, Light My Candle, Today 4 U, You’ll See, Life Support, Out Tonight, Another Day, Will I?, On the Street, Santa Fe, I’ll Cover You, We’re Okay, Christmas Bells, Over the Moon, I Should Tell You, Season of Love, Happy New Year, Without You, Contact, Halloween, Goodbye Love, What You Own, and Your Eyes. One of my favorites was Season of Love because the song was upbeat and conveys a very powerful message. The music was structured in a sense that it allows you realize that the human life is short, asks what its purpose is, and finally justifying its own answer. The tempo of the song varied from slow to fast and vice versa in order to emphasize and stress out its message, in other words, the song exhibits a marcato or where certain sections or parts are accented. The volume of the song was loud enough to pound in the ideas but not too loud as to overwhelm the audience, the volume of the song was rather soothing at the beginning. I have mentioned earlier that the target audiences are basically the youth, the rhythm and the melody of this song can be classified as vivace, something a young person can easily appreciate.
Another one of my personal favorite is the song entitled Goodbye Love because the approach is something that “speaks” to the heart. The song can be classified as appassionato or one that is passionate. The melody of the song suggests sorrow and pain and the hopelessness that the characters are feeling from an incurable disease. The song can also be classified as a love song only that it sent chills down my spine rather than give me butterflies in my stomach. To a degree, yes, it was a bit creepy – but that’s just me.
The form of the compositions was mostly upbeat and cheerful despite the fact that the topics or messages being conveyed are those that speaks of death and hopelessness. If we are to analyze the original setting of the play, it was around the year 1996 where the disease – HIV AIDS – was newly discovered and people knew little about it except for the fact that those who acquire the disease dies.
From the scale of one to ten, ten being the highest, I would give this musical a rating of nine. The music was great and so is the story. The messages portrayed where delivered in a fashion that is both striking and inspiring. The only thing that is holding me off from giving the perfect score of ten for this particular performance is that this is a remake, and if this is a remake the whole set up should be way better than it was first staged. I’m not saying that I was able to witness the first time this was staged but my expectations for a show that won a Pulitzer Prize was not met.