A Jagged Musical Weekend Part 2: 9Works Theatrical Stages "Rent"

I am a Rent-head.  So, I was sooo excited when I learned that there will be a staging here in Manila.  I even almost auditioned for it.

Expectations are high, since Rent is very popular.  I, of course, have seen and own a copy of the movie.  I have also seen a few scenes of the video recorded stage production, but not by the original cast.  This is the first time that I would see Rent, live.

This is my second most awaited musicals for 2010, but the decision to watch this was almost like a last minute decision.  Contradicting, I know.  So, it was really hard for us to get tickets and get good seats.  Fortunately,  there are still available seats for the date that we are available to watch.  It was a the Orchestra Side, not too good, but not to bad either.

There are a lot of sponsors and their advertisements are being showed on a projector so, there's no house music.

I find it a little funny that the audience did not notice that Gian Magdangal, the one who plays Roger, was already on stage.  But the crowd did start to hush.

this Php 300.00 production book is worth it

Knowing the story and the songs a little too well would demand very high expectations. You could really say nothing about the voice quality of the cast.  They are all great.  It's just that I would have wanted a more rocker voice for Roger.  There's no doubt that Gian Magdangal had a difficult time portraying the role.

At the beginning of the show, I thought Ring Antonio would play Joanne.  But as I expected, she was the one who sang the female solo for Seasons of Love.  It's not that Jenny Villegas did a terrible job.  She actually was great.  It's just that it would have been sweet if the solo parts were given to the main cast as well.  Their ensemble was carefully hand picked!  Looking at their credentials, they could rival that of the main casts'.  I'm not really sure what the plan is, but it seems to work.  People would even start to wait for the scenes wherein they would be the stars.

the centerfold poster inside the production book;
meant for signing, but the cast did not go out that night to thank their audience 

I think it was Cara Baredo we saw as Mimi.  I know that "Out Tonight" is really difficult; with her dancing and singing and all.  But I was expecting higher a voice.

It seemed the Fredison Lo studied the mannerisms of Anthony Rapp in playing Mark Cohen.  His hand gestures and body movements are very much like Anthony's.  But then again, Anthony has defined who Mark Cohen is.  So, I guess, he better go with it, right?

I'm not really thrilled with Noel Rayos as Benny.  He was too gay for me.

Carla Guevara-Laforteza was a good Maureen Johnson.  Same as Jenny Villegas.  Their rendition of "Take Me or Leave Me" was superb.

I hated our seats when it was during "Without You" and "I'll Cover You (Reprise)", because I didn't get to see much of OJ Mariano's acting.  But he sure does have a wonderful voice, and like every time I hear "I'll Cover You (Reprise)", I cried.

One reason why you should see this staging of Rent is Job Bautista.  I could not believe that this is his theatrical debut!  Angel is a very demanding role.  You could not be too great and at the same time you have to be.  For me, he played it just right.  Although, you would have the tendency to miss him.  He was about to fall short in my expectations during "Today 4 U" until he jumped to the table and made a split!  That was his winning moments.  And of course, in "Contact".

Of course, nothing beats the original cast, but this staging of Rent would still make you proud as an artist and as Filipino, that we can do it.  That's why it was a bit sad that the national anthem was not played at the beginning of the show.

our reserved tickets from RentInManila.blogspot.com

I would also want to watch this staging of Rent again, but for free and better seats only.

They are all lucky to be in this production.  They should all make the most out of it. 

If you are a Rent-head like me, you would not miss this show.  They are not perfect, but the love for the show, the songs, the story and Jonathan Larson, should be enough reason to watch it.

You can still catch the show on February 26 - 28:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8:00 PM
Saturdays at 3:30 PM and Sundays at 4:30 PM
at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza

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The Jagged Barn

Your oblivious but observing blogger.


  1. good for you, i myself couldn't catch rent while it's run. though i'd want to watch it if i had the time, and avenue q as well.

    btw, i have some awards for you over at my blog. check them out. :D

  2. hi! i won't be able to see avenue q.. well, so, far.. but maybe i would. heheheh! thanks for the awards! i'll have the repost soon! :p

  3. wow you do love watching plays! how about movies???

  4. Hi PJ! I love watching movies too. I just don't have time watching in cinemas. Most of the time, either I download or watch it on DVD. I'll try writing a review in the near future. I'd just need to see a very good one. There's not much lately.