We are happy to welcome guest celebrity blogger Telly Leung, whose Broadway credits include Flower Drum Song, Pacific Overtures and the final cast of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent. Leung, who will play the role of Angel in the Hollywood Bowl's Aug. 6-8 starry production of Rent (directed by Neil Patrick Harris), will blog for Playbill.com all week; his fourth entry follows.
Like I said - "It ain't yo' mama's RENT!"
What I love about this new production of RENT at the Hollywood Bowl is that it gives all of us who have done the show before an opportunity to revisit the show and try new things - while still keeping in the spirit of RENT.
Tim Weil, the original music director from the NYTW workshop production Off-Broadway, has expanded the orchestrations.
Neil Patrick Harris, ex-RENT-actor-turned-director, has come up with new ideas for staging, blocking, and acting intentions.
Cast alumni (like Aaron Tveit, Tracie Thoms, King Aswad, Miri Park, Gwen Stewart, Yassmin Alers and myself) are constantly being challenged to re-create something we know in our bodies so well for this new production, and to constantly COLLABORATE and CREATE (in a very short amount of time) a fresh, new perspective on RENT with our new cast mates.
Angela Wendt (the original costume designer) has come up with new costumes for our expanded ensemble of 25 -- and she's even collaborated with Neil to create some new looks for the characters. There are even some new make-up and wig choices! Check out my new wig from tonight's first dress rehearsal at the Bowl! I think Angel looks good as a blond!
?So - for all you RENTheads and RENT fanatics out there - just TRUST ME when I say that we are keeping the spirit of what the show is - but also making significant changes to the original look and sound of the show that we all love so much. But, how exciting - to see and hear a show we all know so well in a completely new way!
Tomorrow we are back to our rehearsal room, and YES - there's a gig at the Bowl tonight, which means our crew had to strike the set tonight, when we were done with dress, and get it ready for a concert tomorrow - only to put the set up AGAIN for our dress rehearsal at 10 AM on Friday morning! Don't know HOW they do it! Do they sleep?
One more blog entry coming your way, folks!