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  • 'Rent: (Sort of) Live'

    So, "Rent: Live" ... (I promise this is not a rant.)

    As with any live Broadway show on TV, things get lost in translation. The viewing audience is used to that, and it happened here.

    The same viewing audience also is used to understudies going on in case one of the cast members can’t show up. Where are the understudies? "Rent: Tape Delayed" just doesn’t have the same effect.

    Stunt casting? I get it. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. And if you watched it, you saw both. We can’t all win. Same goes for making cuts and tweaking the original text. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t.

    Chances are if you grew up on the OBC or the movie, you’re pissed about tonight. I get that too.

    But think about this: For one night, Fox (of all networks) ran a show that focused on identity, gender, gentrification, tolerance, and the scourge that was AIDS. And the overall message was about the beauty of love amid life and death circumstances.

    So yes, you can quibble about the quality (or lack thereof) of the performances or the cuts due to profanity, et al. They’re all legitimate complaints/critiques that — with exceptions — I shared up until the last 15 minutes.

    And then I asked myself: “How do you measure a life in love?” And I was heartened that new generations will get to ask the same question.

    #rentlive #RentonFox

  • MYT Presents 'Rent'

    The student-run Metropolitan Youth Theatre presents its second production this weekend — the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical "Rent."

    Tickets are available at www.metroyoutharts.com for the show, which opened tonight and has three more performances — 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday — at 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Road, Suite LL, in McLean.

    Jonathan Larson’s rock opera, which ran for 12 years on Broadway, is an ambitious undertaking for the student-run company, which was founded in 2014 by two Northern Virginia high school students. Its mission is to educate young actors and technicians about the challenges they will soon face in the professional world of theatre.

    Students, most in high school, run all aspects of the company’s productions. Hayfield student Chad Vann is the artistic director and Lee student Sam Cornbrooks is the company’s producer. James Woods, who attends Metropolitan School of the Arts, is the musical director.

    MYT is supported by Metropolitan School of the Arts and DC Metro Theater Arts. “Rent” is the second show produced by the group, which presented “The Last Five Years” in a sold-out run in late January.

    You also can follow the company on Twitter (@MetroArtsYouth).

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    For more photos, see my album on Facebook.

  • MYT, MSA Promotional Photos

    This past weekend, I was tasked with taking promotional photos for the Metropolitan Youth Theatre Company’s upcoming production of “Rent,” which runs July 31 to August 2.

    Jonathan Larson’s rock opera, which ran for 12 years on Broadway and won both the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize, is an ambitious undertaking for the student-run company, which was founded in 2014 by two Northern Virginia high school students. Its mission is to educate young actors and technicians about the challenges they will soon face in the professional world of theatre. Students, most of them in high school, run all aspects of the company’s productions.

    Hayfield student Chad Vann is the artistic director and Lee student Sam Cornbrooks is the company’s producer. James Woods, who attends Metropolitan School of the Arts, is the musical director.

    MYT is supported by Metropolitan School of the Arts and DC Metro Theater Arts. “Rent” will be the second show produced by the group, which presented “The Last Five Years” in a sold-out run in late January.

    Tickets are available at www.metroyoutharts.com. You also can follow the company on Twitter (@MetroArtsYouth).

    Another set of promotional photos I shot recently are helping to promote this Sunday’s showcase by Academy students from Metropolitan School of the Arts.

    The special Mother’s Day performance of dance, music, and theatre pieces will reflect the progress the students have made in their arts studies at the Academy, which is concluding its second year.

    The performance will be held at 5 p.m. in the theatre at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Tickets are $20. To purchase, visit www.metropolitanarts.org/tickets.