Claire Wilson ’18, Sports Editor
A light shines on a boy in the corner of the stage. He gives a quick introduction of himself and some context. The scene opens. The live band conducted by Mr. Griffa started playing softly. With that, the audience was treated to a riveting and touching revival of Jonathan Larson’s musical, Rent, with its heart-rending themes of love, loss, and integrity.
If you didn’t get a chance to see Rent the weekend of February 25th, you missed a stunning performance. It was incredibly well rehearsed, with both song and dance numbers nearly perfect. The play was somewhat of a gamble because of its mature content and its demanding scenes, but the actors rose to the challenge.
The actors made it seem like they were born to play their roles, especially seniors, such as Charlie Hobbs, who played Angel and Grace Cashman, in the role of Maureen. Hobbs owned the stage, playing a drag queen with impressive heels. He hit his notes and his choreography, that in part required swinging down poles and jumping two feet onto tables. Indeed, Hobbs’s characterization of Angel provided the compassionate heart for this singular production. Cashman’s character, Maureen, entered midway through the first act in a scene. The scene required a demanding mix of humor and irony that would have been intimidating or awkward for an actress with less skill than Cashman.
The play required passionate romance, but the actors brought their best to the Seldin stage. Senior, Zoe Smith, brought her character to life in the song “Take Me or Leave Me.” Her relationship with Cashman’s character Maureen was natural and vulnerable in exactly the way it was meant to be. The song was also noteworthy because of the two actors’ impeccable harmonization. The singing prowess of both Cashman and Smith was made evident in this piece.
Sophomore, Dylan Antonioli, was also terrific in his role as Tom Collins. His touching tribute to the character, Angel, moved the audience nearly to tears. Finally, freshman, Henry Jodka, and sophomore, Maddy Sead/junior Amelia Wyckoff, made a splash on the stage with their roller-coaster romance. Despite their young age, they were undaunted by these challenging roles and lit up the stage with their emotional romance.
In addition, senior, Luke Martocchio, played the villain of the story, wooed the crowd with his amazing voice.
Though the leads gave the play its emotion and depth, the ensemble expertly executed their choreography and singing. Many had few lines but managed to steal the audience’s attention nevertheless when the spotlight was on them. Senior, Ashley Parkinson, shined in her role as Alexi Darling, adding much needed comic relief in some of the more tense scenes. Another senior, Gabrielle Doré, had a chilling solo in the song “Four Seasons,” which resounded through the theater.
Everything from the set to the costumes to the makeup were excellent. Congratulations to the cast and crew of this amazing production, especially the six seniors, Zoe Smith, Grace Cashman, Charlie Hobbs, Luke Martocchio, Ashley Parkinson, and Bella Dore.