“Rent” – this week’s Los Angeles theater review for LA Weekly

LtoR-Juan Lozano-Lauren Joy Gross

Dear readers! This week’s theater review for the LA Weekly is of the rock opera Rent, now playing at Hudson Theatres in Hollywood.

Click here to go to the LA Weekly’s theater page and scroll down to read it.

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Because of its repetitive musicality, rock opera Rent lives or dies on the vocal strength of its cast. This production has mostly excellent, robust and irrepressible singing that is only occasionally obliterated by the mediocre live band. The plot of Jonathan Larson’s legendary Broadway smash clings to its source material (Henri Murger’s novel and Puccini’s opera), gaining gravitas with its contemporary updating to Manhattan in the mid-90s. Tuberculosis becomes AIDS, the oppressed mobilize and artists sell out. Highlights include the hilarious “Tango: Maureen” (Reagan Osborne and Kate Bowman) and “Light My Candle” (Juan Lozano and the sultry Lauren Joy Gross as a sexed-up Mimi).

Jonathon Grant steals the show with his dynamite performance as cheeky drag queen Angel, especially in his athletic first solo “Today 4 You.” Director Kristen Boulé never finds the balance between the show’s rock and roll power and its quiet, reflective ballads. Commencing Act II in full house lights undermines the dreamy, multi-part harmonies of “Seasons of Love.”



Hudson Theatres

6539 Santa Monica Blvd.,



Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.;

Sundays, 7 p.m.

Continues through June 30, 2013.




Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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