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Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I have to admit, that for all of the press and posturing that has gone on with respect to this off-Broadway return and its "re-envisioned" direction and presentation, I am a bit surprised that virtually nothing has been done to separate this version from the original in terms of advertising. It might be a wise choice given the intensely loyal RENT-heads and the relatively short time since the original production closed. The clean original logo, as well as ads with "No Day But Today" playing in the background, might draw them in, and it will likely draw in those folks who missed it the first time around. It is hard to imagine, isn't it, that anyone has missed this classic. But consider that anyone born in 1996, when the show premiered, would now be only 14 or 15 years old... just old enough to be a part of the show's target audience (at least the youngest end of that scale). This way, a new generation can feel like it is experiencing what their older brothers and sisters, and even parents did, "way back in the '90's."
Then, too, as my buddy Mike pointed out, the word "rent" doesn't just mean "money paid to a landlord," but it also means "torn to pieces." The logo certainly gives off that vibe, and the show supports that, too. Let's face it. In many ways, these characters are torn apart, ripped into pieces, fixed up and torn again.
How all of this will impact the enjoyment of this new version remains to be seen. (If it impacts anything at all.) But it certainly leads you to believe you are seeing the "authentic RENT." What happens when you get into New World Stages, and the new RENT is not as much like the old as you'd expect? (I'll tell you in my review next month...)