A group of 20-somethings face a future filled with fear and uncertainty, amidst social and political unrest, poverty, drug abuse and HIV/AIDS: Mark, an aspiring film-maker; Roger, a doomed musician; Collins, a “vagabond anarchist”; Angel, a transvestite street busker; Mimi, a troubled dancer; Maureen, a wild-child performance artist; hot-shot law student Joanne; and Benny, the one who “sold his soul” and became a “yuppie”. As they face their many challenges, friendships become fractured, hearts and bodies get broken, and their will to survive is pushed to the limit.
Ultimately Rent is a powerful and passionate testament to hope, humanity, friendship, and above all, Love.
Rent premiered in 1996, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Pangdemonium is proud to be staging this 20th Anniversary production of this much-loved and acclaimed modern classic.
“Possibly the best RENT production in Singapore to date…the new Pangdemonium production is an extremely competent one - certainly one of the most competent I’ve seen outside of New York. This production directed by Tracie Pang surpasses (previous Singapore stagings) on many counts. Musically, RENT has never sounded better on these shores. Pang has assembled strong singer-actors accompanied by a fine orchestra led by Joel Nah.
Notably too, Pang’s cast is largely Singaporean, with the rest of its members hailing from Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and the US. And boy, what a cast! Ebullient performances, even by the minor players…Decked out in Moe Kassim’s costumes wit make-up by Bobbie Ng and Hair by Ashley Lim, these actors are incredibly photogenic and, more importantly, can belt out a number. Benjamin Chow, the brightest young musical talent to emerge in recent years, shines... the excellent Cameron MacDonald and Juan Jackson...Tabitha Nauser is smoking hot as Mimi...Fetching Aaron Khaled plays drag queen Angel with the requisite charisma…The always impressive Mina Kaye and Frances Lee…
Give yourself a treat and get the best seats in the house.”
“Seasoned with Love...Tracie Pang's acutely judged direction enabled everyone in her cast to flesh out their respective roles clearly and believably. The 17 actors in this incarnation of Rent in Singapore were consistently excellent, their unforced camaraderie and toasty harmonising bursting with joy.
Tabitha Nauser gave a finely nuanced portrayal that made her character warm and winning from the start. She also stunned the audience with sheer vocal power. Mina Kaye delighted as the night's main comic element, letting her rich, polished vocals speak volumes. Frances Lee lent authentic bustle with her brief, but very effective, appearances, including in the sizzling number Tango Maureen. Aaron Khaled, as drag queen drummer Angel, captured the audience's heart from the get-go as the fearless, giving soul. His bravura turn as a bopping, twirling Santarina stopped time. Juan Jackson had a voice like shirred cream which invested Larson's lines with great poignancy. Also, choreographer Andy Benjamin Cai's deft, simple moves conveyed so much with very little.
Twenty years after Larson's death, as the gulf between rich and poor widens further, Rent resonates stronger than ever.”
“Director Tracie Pang has assembled a mighty cast well-equipped with the lung capacity and acrobatic ability that this exacting undertaking demanded. Their scintillating singing and synchrony drew thunderous applause of Pangdemonium's audience on numerous occasions, while the awe-inspiring dancing and athletic feats left indelible memories in the audience's minds...The mostly Asian cast pulls this three-hour play off without a hitch, with nuanced expressions and compelling emotions that yielded magnified emotional reactions from their viewers.
Besides an intricate, transforming set that makes one wonder how its crew fit its sizeable components into the lift of the National Library Building, Rent also had a live band to boot, which delivered every note and melody flawlessly…
These are the weapons that Pangdemonium's 2016 staging of Rent wield against the 21st century's many forms of provincialism: Adept acting and resonating storylines which will melt the hearts of even the most contrite of conservatives.”
“This cast is made up of sterling performers, hitting the high notes while dancing and pirouetting across the urban set. Life, love and death are evocative subjects not normally so well drawn out through song; these players drew hushed crowds during death sequences, and rousing applause for the big tunes and at the end.
Most impressive were the key players: Benjamin Chow as narrator Mark, Cameron McDonald as Roger, Tabitha Nauser as the golden voiced street girl Mimi, and Aaron Khaled as effervescent lovestruck Angel. This musical’s love-based theme is a proper heart-tugger, and Pangdemonium’s slick production does it great justice.
Make sure you bring some spare mascara.”
Erwin Shah Ismail
Seong Hui Xuan
Drama Centre Theatre
7 - 23 Oct 2016
Power To The People
“WOW! One of the best productions of RENT I've ever seen...Tracie & Adrian - you've surpassed yourselves! I can honestly say Jonathan Larson is smiling up in heaven. What a triumph of a show!! And the roles couldn't have been better cast if you tried. So many gorgeous duets and the ensemble's harmonies almost made me cry! Andy Benjamin Cai such masterful choreo!! The band absolutely slayed it - Joel Nah you genius! A MONSTER success. DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!! It will rock you to the core the way a great musical should.
I haven't been this excited about a musical in ages!”
“I actually auditioned for this run of #RENT. And am I glad I didn't get cast because I wouldn't have had the deep pleasure of watching this PHENOMENAL cast, band and crew take this production to the HIGHEST of levels last night. I was bubbling over in my seat with raw pride, emotion and elation. Your commitment and purpose as individuals and as an ensemble absolutely floored and humbled me. Some of the best portrayals of these characters EVER, including that stellar ensemble.
The set, and the band... man, I could go on forever. My heart is still swelling. Thank you guys for all you put into this and everything else you do. Congratulations Pangdemonium and everyone and THANK YOU. VIVA, LA VIE BOHEME!!”
“Thanks so much for the wonderful productions you've put on. We loved all of them. There is something special about the acting, the direction, and the productions that connect the plays with us. Catherine and I saw Rent on Broadway (separately, a few years apart) and frankly we were a little skeptical going to Saturday's RENT performance.
But we were blown away by the Pangdemonium version - it made us laugh, it made us tear, we had an amazing time.”
“This is the best production of Rent I've seen in the last ten years, and I dare say comparable to the Broadway versions I've seen before that. This production starts and ends with great singing, from the individual performances to the big counterpoint set-pieces to even the tiniest features from the ensemble, which is top-notch and give the big chorus numbers a real full-voiced strength, and there are many strong directing notes by Tracie Pang...
All in all, it’s the best Singapore musical I've caught in a very, very long time, and I'm happy to see a mostly local cast out-sing the usual traveling casts that do big-budget productions at Esplanade / RWS / MBS.”
“If I could use one word to sum up my #RENT experience: PERFECT. From the stage set up, props, cast, ensemble, vocals, dancing, music, cast, lights, sound, costumes, wait have I already mentioned cast?? They were simply AMAZING.
Huge kudos to the #Pangdemonium team for such a spectacular performance!”
“Rent is yet another dreamteam production from Pangdemonium. Tracie Pang’s direction is sharp and observant, showcasing the very best aspects of the cast, allowing them to shine in almost every scene and revealing the multiple layers of each character.”
“Pangdemonium spared no effort to cast the most talented ensemble I have heard to date, almost rivalling the closing Broadway company and far better than the off-Broadway company.
Thank you, Pangdemonium, for again braving the authorities to stage this musical in its entirety.”
“The stellar cast and amazing set design certainly lived up to every one of my lofty expectations. RENT's message of love, tolerance, acceptance, friendship and family are just as powerful today as they were when it first opened 20 years ago on Broadway.
Thank you @pangdemoniumtheatre for bringing this incredible rock opera to Singapore. It was a treat from start to finish!”
“Wow. Just attended tonight's performance, I think my entire section left in tears. Mad respect to your entire production, please give our congratulations to them. Let me just add that my husband and I have collectively seen Rent in London, Boston, New York and San Francisco.
You guys can go toe to toe with any of them. Bravo!”
“I don't normally catch theatre productions, but RENT by @pangdemoniumtheatre was just all sorts amazing and cathartic. I haven't felt this way in the longest time, sitting in a theatre with the lights dimmed, feeling waves of emotion flood through my body, overwhelmed and vulnerable all at once.
The last time I saw or did theatre was back in secondary school. I can't wait to dive back in in 2017 with fresh eyes and a renewed perspective.”