- Tracy Heck
Broadway In Detroit returns with 25th anniversary farewell tour of 'Rent'
The company of RENT: The 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour. Photo by Amy Doyle.
It was a long 19-month pandemic pause for Broadway in Detroit, but on Tuesday evening the curtain rose at the Fisher Theatre for the 25th anniversary, and final run, of iconic musical, Rent.
Things were a bit different with patrons showing their vaccine cards or negative COVID tests before entry and the presence of masks throughout the show, but it didn't seem to hinder the performance for anyone.
The well-loved musical was the perfect way to kick off the season of shows and immediately had the packed crowd roaring with applause.
The late Jonathan Larson adapted the production from Giacomo Puccini's opera, La Boheme, about class differences and choosing love over fear, but with a focus on the 1980's HIV/AIDS crisis.
However, Rent's message continues to ring true in this post-COVID world as people struggle to find their sense of self and their place in society.
The idea of living without regret and the triumph of friendship and community remains as prevalent as it did 25 years ago.
There were a few noticeable transitional issues, but for the most part, the energetic cast, who just recently returned to the road, hit all of their notes and fed off the enthusiasm of the crowd.
Show leads Cody Jenkins (Mark Cohen) and Roger Davis (Coleman Cummings) impress throughout, but Aiyana Smash as Mimi Marquez and Javon King as flamboyant drag queen Angel Schunard steal the show.
As Smash seduces Davis, she is also grabbing hold of the audience and holding their rapt attention throughout while King lights up the stage with his vast vocal range and impressive acrobatics.
The full cast delights with a rousing rendition of Rent classic, "Seasons of Love" and Lyndi Moe's Maureen Johnson shines with her over-the-top performance of "Over the Moon."
Rent will be at Fisher Theatre through Sunday, October 24. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for each show at the box office or online here.