Casa Manana brings Broadway’s production, RENT to Fort Worth and boy did they do it right. One of the challenges in presenting a production that is as well-known as RENT is that the audience will come in with preconceived expectations. But if the applause and cheers from the audience after various musical numbers is any indicator the audience loved it.
RENT is a story of a group of poverty stricken artists trying to make their way and survive while dealing with addiction, loneliness and diseases. The setting is an old studio in the East Village of New York City.
This production was directed and choreographed by Tim Bennett. Mr. Bennett brings a plethora of experience in theater, from director at Casa Manana, entertainment director for Carnival Cruise Lines, resident director in Las Vegas and much more. The choreography in this production was fast paced and powerful yet seamless.
The cast did a phenomenal job in portraying the characters as depicted in the movie. They were great actors and even stronger singers. This is an emotionally charged show and these actors did not disappoint. They had the audience laughing, crying and cheering throughout the entire show. Mackenzie Bell did a superb job in projecting the energy of Maureen Johnson. Kalyn West captures the audience from her first moment on stage as “Mimi Marquez” and doesn’t let go even for a minute. She brings explosive energy, strong emotion, and even glitter. Her costumes change indicating a turn in her life. She captures the essence of each flawlessly. The entire cast works so well together, they have you believing that they are real friends trying to survive. The dance numbers are impeccable. Props to the lighting crew, as well, on this one. This is one where the lighting could have taken over, but it was enough to contribute to the story but not overtake the scenes.
Overall this was a spectacular show. This soap opera meets Rock concert is without question, a “must-see”. The cast brought down the house with their rendition of “Seasons of Love”. The roars, cheers and applause was deafening.
For ticket information contact the Box Office at (817) 332-2272.
3101 West Lancaster Avenue
Fort Worth, TX