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I finally got to watch Rent live on-stage.  And it was a dream come true. Knowing it has already closed in Broadway and there’s less than 1% chance for me to go to New York and watch it in Broadway if ever it was still running, 9Works Theatrical bringing it to life and giving me a chance to see it here in Manila was a dream come true.

I don’t know where to begin.  I guess I am still in awe.  There are a few criticisms I could give since I’ve watched the original version on the DVD and I have a point of comparison… but what the heck!  A great play is a great play. I think the only thing I could give are praises.

Carla Guevarra-Laforteza and Job Bautista are definitely my favorite.  Goodness, the way they brought life to Maureen and Angel was spectacular. I even liked Carla’s portrayal of Maureen even better than the ones who played it on Broadway. She’s amazing! I guess nobody could ever doubt that since she played Kim after Lea Salonga. Her acting was so natural.  The way she and Jenny Villegas, who played Joanne, blended was superb.

Angel, played by Job Bautista is simply wonderful!  I love her outfits! It is so kalurky! She’s portrayed Angel just as I have imagined it. I would definitely give the night to her, err… him… whatever!  Hahaha!

And Mark Cohen!  Goodness, I think I’ve got a crush on Fred Lo.  Mark Cohen has always been my favorite character in the play and I am so glad that Fred Lo was able to live up to the character.  I must say he brought a different light on him in such a refreshing way.

Joanne was also good especially her voice.  And when he and Mark did the tango… I love it!

The Mimi I watched didn’t live up much to my expectation.  She a great singer and actress, that is no question. And she’s given a good performance. Unfortunately, she just didn’t seem to connect with her character or with Roger’s character.  I am not sure about the other one who played Mimi.  I wish I could have watched her as well since I met her before the start of the 8PM show so I could have gotten a point of comparison. I did love Nicole when she got to the part where she sang one of my favorite songs… Without You. She didn’t disappoint me there.

I don’t watch GMA 7 so I never knew who Gian Magdangal is but his performace as Roger was good.  His expressionless facial feature was so Roger.  At the beginning, I was wary as he didn’t come out strong as compared with the ones I’ve watched on DVD.  But when he finally sang… I was lost. When I asked him to sign an autograph, he wrote down “one song glory.” One song glory indeed!  He did get me when he started singing that on stage.

OJ Mariano played Tom Collins and it’s his first venture into theater.  My bestfriend got a crush on him and now our profile pictures on our Facebook account is me with “Mark” and she with “Collins.”  He’s good and he and the Angel here connected unlike Mimi and Roger.  And to think that this is his first theater experience, I cried when he cried over Angel’s death.  Sorry for the spoiler!

Ring Antonio, one of the ensembles, was the one who sang the solo in the song Seasons of Love.  And I love her!  I would have liked to give the night to her, but Angel was simply fantastic.

Overall, everyone’s performance was good. Unfortunately, this was their closing night.  The last performance.  I hope someday there could be a repeat performance, though. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of watching it over and over again.  In fact, when I did get home, I watched the DVD Live on Broadway.

After the show, we got to take pictures and sign autographs with  some of the major characters in the play.  They were so nice and accommodating.  It’s a good thing Angel and I got the 8PM showtime because I doubt if we could have met with all the actors after the 4:30PM show.

Rent in Manila Cast

I’ll never forget this night. Thanks to Jonathan Larson really for bringing about this play about love and about living life to the fullest!