Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Five Cents: The RENT They Should Have Made...

Entertainment Weekly announced today that Sony Pictures plans to introduce "Hot Ticket," a program which will screen concerts, plays, and games in a limited release in specially equipped movie theaters across the country. While the first to test the waters will be the trippy Cirque Du Soleil, supposedly (the article was in the Truths, Rumors, and Exclusives section so less hope it is not the middle one!) RENT will hit the screen in September, right around the time the show closes its Broadway doors after its extended run.

For years I was rallying for someone to just stick a five camera set-up in the Nederlander, film a performance, and release it as a feature film. Preferably with the original cast, but I figured that was pushing my luck. I knew the energy from the stage would transform the audience in their chairs, each one itching to jump up on the Life Cafe table along with the ensemble. It's what happens night after night in that small, dark theater just east of Broadway, so it certainly would also happen in equally dark movie theaters. Sadly, in November 2005 when Chris Columbus released his Chris Columbus' watered-down theatrical take on the heartwrenching tale, that was not the case, though. His bastardiz-- I mean, adaptation just left RENTheads begging for more, myself perhaps louder than any of them. He had the original cast (well, the majority of them anyway), and he still produced something that was dragging in parts, too bass-heavy in others, and just plain lackluster and yawn-worthy. With the inclusion of Closing Night footage and tidbits from the O.B.C., thankfully Sony's new plan appears on target to rectify the situation. And then some. I'll be the first to tell you otherwise come Fall 2008.

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