September 18, 2021

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‘Rental’ original cast members reunite at a live streamed event

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It’s been more than five hundred and twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes since “Rental” stars Anthony Rap, Adam Pascal and Daphne finally reunited Rubin-Vega, but they were caught on Wednesday recalling their experience on Jonathan Larson’s hit Broadway show.

The actors joined Sirius XM host Seth Rudesky and producer James Wesley for a conversation about their time on the groundbreaking musical. The live stream event was held to support actor funding.

Recalling his auditioning experience for the role of rapist Mark Cohen, he said he had “made a mistake” in his auditions and callbacks. He first sang “Lose My Religion” by REM and spread a verse.

“I’m a big rock and roll / pop fan,” Rap said, “I actually spread it, I jumped a verse. My audition co-original music director Tim Will helped me and I got caught right where I was. However, you know, I got the role. ”

Pascal first learned about Roger Davis’ audition from Edina Menzel’s then-boyfriend. (Menzel plays Moran Johnson in the original production of “Rent”) Menzel and Pascal grew up together and have known each other since elementary school.

“I was a huge fan of musical films. “Hair,” “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Tommy” and “Greece” – I swallowed them and I watched them over and over again, “Pascal said.” I had a direct connection to the storytelling combination of rock music. ‘Go with your guitar and sing a song’ ‘I didn’t have the luxury of Wales in my first audition, it was just me and my guitar and [casting agent] Barney Telsey. “

“Rent” launched Off Broadway in 1994 for limited runs with 199 performances. Rap said the response at the time was optimistic.

“A thousand people saw it in 1994 and the response was great despite the need for it to work,” Rap said. “My friends who came, my brothers who came, had a strong opinion, like, ‘It’s special and exciting. Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either.

Pascal recalled a scene from a particular scene that had changed. When he sings “The Glory of One Song,” the direction of the stage first makes him sit at a table and then come out across the stage during the chorus. Since he did not know the songs, he had to return to the table to read the notecards with the words.

“The song was blocked because I can’t remember the songs, and these orange index cards had the lyrics written to me and they were taped to the table,” Pascal said. “I would sit at the table and just look at my shoulders and take a look at the lyrics once in a while. Michael (stage manager) said, ‘You can get rid of these cards. I’ve seen you 100 times, you don’t look at them anymore. ‘

For Rubin-Vegar, “Rent” was a memento because it showed her as a colorful woman in the lead role on stage.

“Especially looking like me, I think it’s historic,” says Rubin-Vega. “I don’t take it lightly, especially after watching ‘American Idiot’ and ‘Hamilton’ and beyond.”

In the middle of the conversation, Rap performed “The Kite” from another show starring him, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

“Rent” was important in Rap’s career and he says it’s no surprise that the show’s legacy still survives.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” Rap said. “It certainly turned out to be what changed my life.”

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