20th Anniversary of RENT on Tour in Portland
*This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Broadway in Portland. Complimentary tickets were received to facilitate my review. Opinions are 100% my own.
Last night as my husband and I settled down in our (amazing!) seats at RENT, we honestly weren’t sure what to expect. Knowing little more than that RENT was a wildly popular and successful production with a well-known song, we expected a typical night at the theater. Let me tell you – RENT is anything but typical.
I was chatting with a couple seated in front of us at intermission, and I love the way one of the women described what RENT had done for her. She spoke about how she grew up attending the theater – and always came away feeling a little bored. Then she saw RENT- and it changed everything for her.
RENT is not the standard heart-warming story interspersed with a few tap numbers and elaborate set-changes. In fact, the set never changes – as the heart of the production is in the complex relationships and message-driven story. RENT pushes the envelope as it gives audience goers a gritty look at sex, drugs, and life on the fringe.
Although first produced 20 years ago, RENT is very much socially relevant for today’s time – dealing with topics like homosexuality, HIV, homelessness, and social change. And it wasn’t lost on us that we literally ran into a mob of protesters on the way to the show – and then watched a protest scene with police in riot gear on stage. RENT is very much in keeping with today’s society.
The immensely talented ensemble cast (quite possibly the most vocally talented cast I’ve seen perform to date!), gives emotionally-driven performances throughout. You can FEEL their angst, sorrow, loneliness, anger, and pain. RENT is both subtle and right-up-in-your-face with emotions, social issues, and the longing each of us has to connect and be seen.
What struck me most about RENT was the way each character really longed for community and meaning. I feel at the heart of RENT’s message is a charge to make each day count – and to start by loving and accepting those around you. Make a difference. Stand up for what you believe in. Fight for those you love. Measure your seasons in love.
The RENT 20th Anniversary Tour will be at Portland’s Keller Auditorium for four more performances. The schedule for the remaining Portland engagement is:
Saturday, January 21 2:00pm – ASL/ Audio Described Performance, 7:30pm
Sunday, January 22 1:00pm, 6:30pm – Open Caption Performance
Wheelchair seating is available at all performances. For information on ADA seating, please call the Portland Opera Box Office at 503-241-1802, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Portland Opera Box Office in person (Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm)
Tickets can be purchased:
U.S. Bank Broadway in Portland today announced that seats in the first two rows of the orchestra level will be available for $30 for every performance of RENT, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical. The $30 tickets are available for in-person purchases at the Keller Auditorium Box Office, located at 222 SW Clay St., on the day of each performance only, two hours prior to the show. The limited number of $30 tickets are available for cash only purchases and are limited to two tickets per person, first-come, first-served.
See you at the theater!!
*RENT is not suitable for young children. The show includes strong language, depicted drug use, strong themes of sexuality, and brief nudity.