RENT on Good Morning America

This morning I got up at the buttcrack of dawn in order to get to Bryant Park by 6am. “Why?” you may ask? Because the current cast of RENT, alongside original cast members Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, were performing as part of the Good Morning America (GMA) Summer Concert series, and I had good enough fortune to get a VIP entrance with a fellow “RENThead” friend who worked at ABC.

Yes, yes, as you are probably already aware, I’m a long-time RENT fan, so although it was not *fun* trying to catch the subway when it was nearly pitch black out, I did it anyway (for the sake of the LOLz).

After 7am there were a few sound checks–first with Adam and Anthony (practicing “What You Own”), then with the full current cast, which just happens to feature two additional original cast members: “Seasons of Love” soloist Gwen Stewart and former ensemble member Rodney Hicks (now playing Benny). Tracie Thoms, who played the role of Joanne in the 2005 movie remake of the musical has also joined the production for it’s final months. (RENT will close September 7, 2008, making it the seventh longest running show in Broadway history.)

During sound check, one of the current members of the Bway cast handed Anthony their camcorder and Anthony went gonzo filming them as they rehearsed “Seasons”–to the point where he was directly in the audience’s sightlines, up in all the performer’s faces. I guess once a “Mark” always a “Mark.”

During the live show Diane Sawyer interviewed Adam and Anthony and talked about the plans for them to reprise their original roles as part of the final national touring company of RENT which begins on January 6, 2009 in Cleveland, OH. She asked the men how they and their “mid-30-year-old” bodies were holding up in rehearsals. (Um… try LATE-30s… both Adam and Anthony are just a couple years shy of 40!!) They said that they were holding up pretty well, and that the music pretty much came back to them quickly.

I find it slightly sad to see near 40-year-olds pretending to be early 20-somethings on a nightly basis, but hey, I suppose it’s nice work if you can get it. In fact, judging by the crowd reaction, many of today’s younger RENT fans don’t seem to be perturbed by the age difference whatsoever. One young woman in the front row held up a sign that said “Tomorrow is my birthday and all I want was a kiss from Adam Pascal.” When the warm-up comic read this sign aloud, the audience in my area kinda groaned an uncomfortable, “Um…. ew.”

What do you think–are Adam and Anthony really too old to be taking a crack at Roger and Mark one last time?

4 thoughts on “RENT on Good Morning America”

  1. HELL NO!!! They are the originators of the roles, and still do them the best! Just because the world thinks youth is more important/innovative, is no reason for this show to buy into that.

    Roles are played by great actors, and we don’t need younger versions to update them.

    As long as Adam and Anthony are physically able and willing to do it, I will be there front and center! They brought these characters to life, and will always do them best of all for that reason.

  2. Ha. Too old? Yes.

    Will I go see them if the tour stops in MA? Yes. Wish I could have been there with you guys.

  3. Adam and Anthony are Roger and Mark. They just are and I’ll always see them that way. They made the roles famous and let me tell you that when they returned to the show last summer, it was like not a day had passed. They are wonderful and I’ll be there when the tour comes around.

  4. Look at the pictures of the current cast’s “Roger” and “Mark”, and Adam P. and Anthony. A&A look just as good (or better) than Will and Adam K..

    With age comes experience that you can’t get any other way. A&A bring this type of knowledge to the roles they helped to ‘flesh out’. Their off-stage lives practically mirrored those of their characters.

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