Sunday, March 31, 2019

Rent Live: What You Own / Voice Mail #5 / Finale / Your Eyes / Finale B / Seasons of Love (Finale)

Tune Up #1 / Voice Mail #1 / Tune Up #2 / Rent / Tune Up #3 / You Okay, Honey? / One Song Glory / Light My Candle / Today 4 U / You'll See / Voice Mail #2 / Tango Maureen /  Life Support / Out Tonight / Another Day /  Will I? / On The Street / Santa Fe / I'll Cover You / We're Okay / Christmas Bells / Over The Moon / La Vie Boheme / I Should Tell You / La Vie Boheme B / Seasons of Love / Happy New Year / Voice Mail #3 / Happy New Year B / Take Me or Leave Me / Without You / Voice Mail #4 / Contact / I'll Cover You Reprise / Halloween / Goodbye Love  

As it’s now official just past our 10-year-anniversary of seeing Rent Live on Tour, we figure it’s finally time to finish recapping the amazingness that is Rent Live on Fox:

What You Own - Here, we see that Mark has taken the BuzzLine job and is doing tabloid news.  After delivering a ridiculous headline, he looks up and says, “Oh my God.  What am I doing?”

Mark and Roger both reflect on the friendships and connection they had in New York while Roger is in Santa Fe and Mark remains in New York.  Eventually, Roger returns to New York to finish his song and Mark quits his job at BuzzLine to finish his film.

Jordan, in particular, continues to do a stellar job at depicting the trauma Mark is going through.  We were struck by just how present Mark’s trauma is here and how he must make a conscious effort to stifle it in order to work and just keep living day to day.  

The song’s chorus contains the line, “living in America at the end of the millenium,” and Jordan seized a brief moment, raising his hands and shaking his head no.  This universal signal - hands-up-don’t-shoot - had us catching our breath.  

The live audience screaming did take us out of it a little bit. Great vocals from both Jordan and Brennin.  It’s always satisfying to see Mark and Roger come back together after their time apart.

Voice Mail #5 - Roger, Mimi, Joanne and Mark’s parents all try and fail to reach them.  They are concerned about their children, but their calls continue to be screened by Mark, Roger and the rest.

The ensemble, including the lovely Keala Settle, continues to do amazing work. We love this cast.

We should note that it’s here, that the live-Sunday-night aspect of the performance began.  The previous night (filmed dress rehearsal) Brennin Hunt (Roger) broke his heel, and the cast was not able to restage everything on such short notice.  However, they were able to adapt the last few songs, beginning with the parents’ leaving their kids voice mails here.

While we would have loved to see the entire show done with Roger in a wheelchair (how amazing from a disability standpoint), we understand that with time constraints and the acute nature of the injury, it was just not feasible.  We are so happy that the needs of the injured actor were considered and accommodated during this time.  And we did absolutely enjoy the live-Saturday-night version that made up most of the show.

Finale - Mark and Roger are back together.  Mark’s preparing to screen his footage and he and Roger discuss how Roger’s written his song, but can’t find Mimi, though he’s tried.  Their power blows and Collins comes in with extra money from rewiring the ATM so it gives money to anyone with the code: A-N-G-E-L.  (We love him asking Mark and Roger, “What do you two do when I’m not here?”)

They’re singing together when Maureen calls for Mark and Roger.  She and Joanne have Mimi supported between them.  She’s super sick, having been living in the park, without adequate shelter or warmth.  Collins calls 911 but gets put on hold.  As it appears Mimi is using the last of her strength to stay alert, Roger says there’s something she should hear.

This is the first time we see Roger in a cast, his foot propped up on a nearby chair as he sits on the table with his guitar.  Mark fills in where he’s needed, taking Roger’s guitar, finding Mimi blankets and a jacket, and bringing Roger’s guitar back so he can sing to Mimi.

We love seeing these friends adapt to what each other needs, with no fuss or notion that Roger is a bother.  Maureen, Joanne and Collins manage to get Mimi inside when Roger can’t and Roger is still able to be there for Mimi, to sing to her, hold her hand, and talk to her, which is what she genuinely needs in this moment.

Your Eyes - Roger’s song is essentially a proclamation of love for Mimi.  He sings to her as she dies.  Brennin Hunt delivers a heartbreaking and perfect vocal under difficult circumstances, including imploring “Mimi!” as she loses consciousness while gathered limply in his arms. 

After a few long seconds, Mimi spontaneously revives.  Her fever breaks.  It turns out that she’s seen Angel, who urged her to turn around and listen to Roger’s song.  

Vanessa’s Maureen makes this moment.  When Mimi says that she jumped over the moon, Maureen exclaims “YES!” And it’s the perfect bit of levity in a tearful moment.

Finale B - The friends all celebrate together, watching Mark’s footage of all the friends throughout the past year.  The entire cast walks back onto the stage, all of them gathered around the table where Roger’s seated.  

The lights dim and the screens project a brief message about Jonathan Larson, who wrote the show.  Though he died just before the show opened, his vision, music and message live on.  Just before this, Angel returns to stage, too, and everyone sings, “No day but today.”

It’s full of love and tears and just the seizing of the present moment.

Seasons Of Love (Finale) - Then we see, oops, it’s not the end, because much of the Original Broadway Cast is there singing Seasons of Love together, with their present-day counterparts.

We loved seeing everyone singing and celebrating together.  And though we did feel for Brennin back on the table while several of the others came and stood with the originals, Adam Pascal did join Brennin, and they sang together.

We see a minute or so of the cast celebrating post-show, and we felt for Brennin, who remained where he was out of necessity.  But it was so good to see the rest of the cast come around him.  

(Particularly, when Jordan went to hug him and got on the table for optimal closeness.  It might seem like a small thing, but those of us who are physically disabled often miss out on good hugs because of balance or location reasons, and so it did our hearts good to see that Brennin was always thought of and included in this regard.)

If you get the chance to see this show, do yourself a favor and watch it. It is available at

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Rent Live: I'll Cover You Reprise / Halloween / Goodbye Love

Tune Up #1 / Voice Mail #1 / Tune Up #2 / Rent / Tune Up #3 / You Okay, Honey? / One Song Glory / Light My Candle / Today 4 U / You'll See / Voice Mail #2 / Tango Maureen / Life Support / Out Tonight / Another Day / Will I? / On The Street / Santa Fe / I'll Cover You / We're Okay / Christmas Bells / Over The Moon / La Vie Boheme / I Should Tell You / La Vie Boheme B / Seasons Of Love / Happy New Year / Voice Mail #3 / Happy New Year B / Take Me or Leave Me / Without You / Voice Mail #4 / Contact

I'll Cover You (Reprise) - In a gut-wrenching performance, Collins (Brandon Victor Dixon) sings what was Angel’s song to him, at the very beginning of their relationship.  Now, it’s Collins’s song to Angel as he says goodbye to her. We were seriously glad for the commercial break after this number, because we needed a moment. 

Watching this really felt like a memorial service.  The pain, grief, loss, devastation, memory-sharing…  It’s poignant and gut-wrenching and the performances were stunning.

We particularly noticed before the song began, how Joanne shared that Angel came to her asking legal advice “for everyone.”  Including CPS.  Which led us to feel even more for what Angel’s home situation might have been like.  (We see a grieving older woman in the front row of the service, beside a younger woman - Angel’s mother and sister?) and this had us thinking deeply about Angel’s family and whether she had ties there.  Whether she was protected and loved, or ostracized and shunned.

Halloween - Immediately following Angel’s memorial service, Mark is at a payphone, returning Alexi Darling’s call.  She, apparently jokes with him, and he forces a smile and manages, “Yes, I am still alive…” despite being utterly broken.  He agrees (after months of phone calls by Darling) to “sell his soul” to Buzzline.  Driven by losing Angel to make a change in his life.  Mark also reflects on everything that brought him to this point.  He wonders whether he’ll have to face his future alone.

This is, hands-down, our favorite number in this particular version of Rent Live.  Jordan Fisher’s performance is more sensitive than we’ve seen previous Marks. The actor mentions in pre-show interviews that “[His version of Mark] breaks.” And he does. Mark spends much of this number in tears due to the grief and trauma of losing a close friend to this devastating and largely ignored epidemic.

Goodbye, Love - We see here that Angel’s death has also deeply affected Roger, who is leaving to go to Santa Fe.  Mimi is not happy hearing this and walks away.  The couples all fight.  Eventually Maureen and Joanne make up, but Roger and Mimi do not.  Collins is devastated that “this family must die” and he’s super disappointed that they all seem to no longer believe in love, since that’s how Angel helped them all.

Roger wonders how Mimi could leave, and Mark asks how Roger could let her go.  Mark talks to Roger about not “escaping your pain.”  Roger says Mimi has baggage and Mark says, “So do you.”  Roger is super defensive and wonders who Mark is to try to tell him what to do.  Mark explains patiently, “A friend.”  But Roger challenges him, telling Mark he “lives a lie” because he “pretend[s] to know how we all feel” when he’s really “detached from feeling alive” and Mark says, “Perhaps it’s because I’m the one of us to survive.”

This particular back and forth is very vivid and continues showing us, the audience, what trauma actually looks like.  While Roger angrily yells at Mark (one way trauma can present) Mark repeatedly attempts to distance himself into emotional numbness to avoid reacting to Roger’s tirade.  On top of that, Mark steadies himself and keeps trying to reach Roger, and figure out if he’s jealous, or if he’s actually afraid of losing her.

Roger admits, “Mimi did look pale.”  Mark points out that Mimi’s gotten thin and is running out of time but that Roger’s leaving.  Roger can’t take Mark’s realness and turns to leave.  He says he’ll call.  But then finds out that Mimi has actually overheard everything and knows Roger doesn’t want her baggage, or to watch her die.  

He leaves, and Mark and Benny stay behind with Mimi.  Mark says he knows a rehab and Mimi says she could never afford it, but Benny volunteers to pay.  Mimi faces her own mortality and is also at a crossroads in her own life, doing her best to recover from addiction.

Meanwhile, Collins is being harassed by a security guard after he can’t cover Angel’s final expenses.  The guard uses a slur toward Collins after Mark interjects, “What happened to ‘Rest in Peace?’”  Benny intercedes and warns the guard to watch his mouth, because Collins is his friend and he’ll be in to take care of expenses.

Benny and Collins want to go out with Mark and get drunk, but Mark can’t because he has a business meeting to get to with Alexi.  Benny and Collins lovingly call Mark a “punk” and they leave.

We love this number so much. It is difficult to review it with any sort of distance as it feels utterly real and raw. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Rent Live: Without You / Voice Mail #4 / Contact

Tune Up #1 / Voice Mail #1 / Tune Up #2 / Rent / Tune Up #3 / You Okay, Honey? / One Song Glory / Light My Candle / Today 4 U / You'll See / Voice Mail #2 / Tango Maureen / Life Support / Out Tonight / Another Day / Will I? / On The Street / Santa Fe / I'll Cover You / We're Okay / Christmas Bells / Over The Moon / La Vie Boheme / I Should Tell You / La Vie Boheme B / Seasons of Love / Happy New Year / Voice Mail #3 / Happy New Year B / Take Me or Leave Me 

Without You - Mark tells us it’s now the coldest March on record.  Maureen and Joanne have broken up for good.  Roger and Mimi are constantly fighting - Roger is eventually hospitalized as well, and Angel has spent most of the year, thus far, hospitalized and in declining health.

We see the months pass via the song Without You, which Mimi sings.  Collins is in the hospital with Angel, “always at her side” according to Mark.  Mimi and Roger, Maureen and Joanne continue to be estranged.

Mimi sings about life going on, but how she’s dying without the one she loves by her side.  Tinashe is young and vulnerable and pretty perfect performing this.

Angel’s hospitalization is the most vivid aspect of the song for us.  It’s clear, through the time period referenced in the song, that Angel is hospitalized for months.

What’s also striking is just how far on the outside of all of this Mark is.  All six of his friends are front and center in this song (in various moments) and he is just the outside observer here.  He loves everyone so fiercely, yet there’s a distance he seems to have to maintain with his friends, which is heartbreaking to watch.

Voice Mail #4 - It’s July now.  Mark sits in front of a box fan, in a tee shirt, and claims it’s “too hot to answer the phone” when Alexi Darling calls him (again) to leave another voicemail about coming to work at Buzzline.  

Mark continues to resist Alexi’s pitches, despite how desperately he needs the money.

Alexi has always been a fun character, and she does not disappoint here. Good stuff.

Contact - This song takes us through Maureen and Joanne and Mimi and Roger having sex with each other...while simultaneously, Angel is dying.

The choreography here is the best in the entire show, in our opinion.  It supported the narrative beautifully.  Stunning work by Sonya Tayeh.  And Valentina is at her absolute best here.  Such a powerful performance, as we see Angel caught between death (which wants to take her) and life (where she’s fighting to stay.)  All the while, she says “Take me, take me, I love you!” While reaching out to Collins.

Roger and Mimi, Maureen and Joanne declare “It’s over!” all angry at each other.  Their attempts to reconcile and mend their respective relationships have failed.

Collins, meanwhile, tells Mark in a choked voice, “It’s over…” moments after Angel has died.

It’s haunting and strangely fitting that Mark, who is so isolated, is the one there to support Collins, who has just lost the person he loves most.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Rent Live: Voice Mail #3 / Happy New Year B / Take Me or Leave Me

Tune Up #1 / Voice Mail #1 / Tune Up #2 / Rent / Tune Up #3 / You Okay, Honey? / One Song Glory / Light My Candle / Today 4 U / You'll See / Voice Mail #2 / Tango Maureen / Life Support / Out Tonight / Another Day / Will I? / On The Street / Santa Fe / I'll Cover You / We're Okay / Christmas Bells / Over The Moon / La Vie Boheme / I Should Tell You / La Vie Boheme B / Seasons of Love / Happy New Year

Voice Mail #3 - After the power is restored, we hear Mark’s voicemails:  one is from his mom, wishing him a Happy New Year.  She and his dad are impressed his riot footage made the news.  Apparently, “even Mark’s father says Mazel Tov…”

There’s a second message from Alexi Darling who runs a “trashy news tabloid show” according to Mark.  Alexi also saw his footage and is sending him a contract.  She gives him 20 thousand ways to contact her, and the answering machine cuts her off before she is finished. (Alexi is fabulous. The end.)

Happy New Year B - Now that Mark’s made it inside, he’s able to break down the door from there, letting all his friends back in, too.  Benny arrives a bit too late.  He wants to give them their key back, and advises Mark, “You want to get this on film?” and Mark reluctantly says, “I guess.”  Turns out Mark’s camera ran out of battery, and Benny wants him to reshoot.  Everyone is mad now because it’s obvious that Benny’s just letting them back in because Mark’s potential footage of it might get him famous.

(Sidenote: We LOVE Mario so much here.  Basically everywhere he is.  All his vocals are so good.  And he’s just on point.)

Everybody talks and fights.  We can see that Mimi’s had a past relationship with Benny.  And Roger’s mad about it.  Angel tries to smooth everything over.  Collins and Angel want to make a resolution that the group of them will always stay friends.  Joanne, Maureen and Mark are all on board, but Mimi and Roger hesitate because they don’t trust each other right now.

Mimi and Roger do make up, and Mimi sends Roger on ahead with everyone else.  Saying, “I’m fine.  Go.”  We see Mark linger, as Mimi waits on a bench for her dealer.  She gets drugs from him and it’s clear she’s really struggling.

Take Me Or Leave Me - We love the new intro Mark gives, catching the audience up on what’s happened since New Year’s.  He says it’s Valentine’s Day and he doesn’t have a date.  Or a job.  And Alexi keeps calling him but he has not accepted yet.  So, he guesses, “I still have a soul.”

He says Maureen and Joanne are back together, but then we can hear them bickering and Mark advises, “Maybe check back next week.”

Joanne is impatient with Maureen’s lack of ideas for her second protest.  Maureen says she has an idea but Joanne doesn’t think Maureen “dressed as a cyber groundhog to protest the groundbreaking” will be effective.

Maureen’s upset too, because she’s apparently been on her best behavior lately.  Joanne points out that there was a woman in rubber flirting with Maureen, and Maureen laughs and says that there will always be women in rubber flirting with her.

Then they sing about taking each other for who they are, or leaving each other (if they can’t accept the other’s flaws.)  

The vocals here are stellar.  Vanessa Hudgens continues her streak of just generally being the most likeable Maureen we’ve ever seen, and her voice was so great.  Kiersey Clemmons was everything.  Love her voice so much.  And together they were fire.

Unfortunately, by the end of the song, it looks like, they are so mad that they leave each other.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Rent Live: La Vie Boheme B / Seasons of Love / Happy New Year

Tune Up #1 / Voice Mail #1 / Tune Up #2 / Rent / Tune Up #3 / You Okay, Honey? / One Song Glory / Light My Candle / Today 4 U / You'll See / Voice Mail #2 / Tango Maureen / Life Support / Out Tonight / Another Day / Will I? / On The Street / Santa Fe / I'll Cover You / We're Okay / Christmas Bells / Over The Moon / La Vie Boheme / I Should Tell You

La Vie Boheme B - The dinner party continues inside and Joanne tells Maureen she wants her packed to move out by next week because Joanne has seen Maureen kissing another woman right in front of her.  Joanne then goes on to update the Mark on what’s happening since Maureen’s protest.

Benny called the cops, Mark and Roger’s apartment has been padlocked and people are rioting on Avenue B.  Even though cops are attempting to sweep the lot, apparently, “no one’s leaving, they’re just sitting there, mooing!” (which was Maureen’s rallying cry from her protest.)

The dancing here is amazing, and the celebratory vibe is everything.  We love seeing everyone so happy.  But are horrified that Benny has had people locked out of their apartment building in the dead of winter in New York, and people with AIDS like Roger and Mimi no less…  What are they supposed to do to keep warm?  (Though now we are imagining sleepovers with Collins and Angel and possibly Maureen and / or Joanne) as friends take care of each other, and they surely would.

Eventually, Mark steps out to narrate that the party lasts all night, as do the protests, and that Roger and Mimi are oblivious to it all and “share a small, lovely kiss.”

Seasons of Love - Act II begins here with an additional scene narrated by Mark.  He says it’s now New Year’s Eve, 1991 and that 4 of his best friends (Roger, Mimi, Collins and Angel) have been diagnosed with AIDS.  And that “this could be the year that we lose one of them.  This could be the year that we lose them all.”

Mark sings a quiet, grieved solo here asking, “How do you measure a year?”  His camera is notably at his side.  He’s not filming this moment.  It’s a private one, just for him, as he comes to terms with the very real possibility of losing more than half his family in no time flat.

Upstairs, we see there’s a Life Support meeting going on.  Someone says that the holidays are the most difficult time for them.  Steve, who we recognize from an earlier meeting, says he’s gotten some discouraging news, and tears up.  The rest of the group rallies around him, urging him to take things one moment at a time.  We see Angel and Collins are at this meeting, too.  And the support everyone provides for each other is everything.

Below, on the sidewalk, Mark also continues to sing about the seasons of love, but he walks alone.  Still profoundly isolated.  Still seeming hopeless.  Still not filming.  It’s a stark moment, seeing just how on the periphery of his friends (who have all coupled up) Mark is.

Back up at Life Support, group leader Cy (Keala Settle) sings the big solo part of Seasons of Love, urging everyone to celebrate life and love.  Everyone’s leaving the meeting, but Cy, holds hands with Angel and sings to her.

On the sidewalk below, Mark and the others have caught the celebratory spirit and are hugging each other and connecting with one another.  Cy finally lets go of Angel’s hand, urging her, and everyone else to “measure your life in love.”

We really love the extra layer of context that’s been given to Seasons of Love here by using it to center the narrative on this group of people living with a terminal disease and how they are their own community and means of support.  It gave what is usually a stunning (on its own) number, with members of the cast simply lining the stage and singing even more depth.

Happy New Year - Mark takes a moment to narrate here.  It’s now been one week since Roger met Mimi, since Collins met Angel, Maureen started a major riot (which Mark apparently got great footage of).  It’s also been a week since Joanne dumped Maureen and since Benny locked them out of their apartment building.  Mark is not amused.

In this (really necessary, in our opinion) exposition by Mark, we’re reminded that, “It’s still winter!  It’s still cold…” and so in honor of the one-week-anniversary, Mark and Roger celebrate the New Year “the only way we know how,” according to Mark.  

“We try to break back in,” Roger says.  

Thanks to Mimi, we learn that they’re trying this all at 11:56 PM.  She’s brought wine and is eager to start fresh in the New Year, giving up her vices and going back to school. (Tinashe’s singing is particularly strong here and very enjoyable.)  She and Roger drink together and Mark takes away their bottle, admonishing them that it’s for midnight.  He’s wondering where everyone else is.

Over the course of the song first Maureen, then Joanne, then Collins and Angel all arrive.  Maureen eats chips and is the comic relief. (She and Mark play off each other believably.)  Joanne and Mark try to plot how to break back into the building and everyone admires Angel, who’s come dressed as Pussy Galore, to Collins’s James Bond.  Angel has come prepared with a blowtorch.  Mimi is impressed and Angel shares, “I was a Boy Scout...and a Brownie until some brat got scared.”

Mimi says they have two minutes left to execute their plan.  Collins asks, “Where’s everyone else?”  And seeing Maureen swing away on the scaffolding while Roger says, “Playing Spiderman!” is a favorite moment definitely.

Mark, it seems, has gotten back into the apartment, and he can see the answering machine light blinking.  A clear indication that Benny has had the power turned back on while they were locked out.

This is such a fun song and we love seeing all the friends work together for a common goal.  Everyone’s so happy and just in the moment celebrating with each other, even while being locked out of their building and having little to no way to fight off illness.  Mimi, for one, says she doesn’t mind the cold, because it’s really hot with Roger, OMG...

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Rent Live: Over The Moon / La Vie Boheme / I Should Tell You

Tune Up #1 / Voice Mail #1 / Tune Up #2 / Rent / Tune Up #3 / You Okay, Honey? / One Song Glory / Light My Candle / Today 4 U / You'll See / Voice Mail #2 / Tango Maureen / Life Support / Out Tonight / Another Day / Will I? / On The Street / Santa Fe / I'll Cover You / We're Okay / Christmas Bells

Over The Moon - Finally, we’re at Maureen’s protest where she shares about a dream she had.  She met a cow in the desert, who could only produce Diet Coke, because that’s all that’s drunk in CyberLand, according to Maureen’s dreams.  Maureen’s protest ends with her encouraging the crowd at large to moo with her.

Vanessa Hudgens’ delivery of this song in particular, made us fans of it for the first time ever.  She was so in it, so committed to Maureen’s unique style of protesting.  Where it could have been silly, we can see Maureen’s passion.

We also love seeing how bare-bones her production is, with Joanne and Mark running around backstage.  (Look close, and you can see Mark gawking at Maureen via the back curtain.  Hilarious.) Also, Maureen flies. So, there’s that. 

La Vie Boheme - Once Maureen’s protest is finished, we go to dinner with the whole group.  They find Benny there, as well, and make it their mission to shock him and his investors, as they have dinner.

We really love Jordan, as Mark’s, lead on the vocals here, and the rewrite of the lyrics that occurs partway through.  Instead of honoring “the death of Bohemia”, Mark says that “Bohemia’s showing shocking signs of life” and the rest of the song is a celebration.

We can hear beepers going off throughout the meal, reminders for various patrons at the table to take their AZT.

Mimi confronts Roger about being “invited then ignored all night long.” He says no one’s perfect and he’s got baggage.  Mimi tells him life is short and time is flying and “I’m looking for baggage that goes with mine.

Roger wants to disclose his AIDS status but before he can, Mimi’s own beeper goes off and she takes her own AZT in front of him.  Roger realizes they are in the same boat.

This was Mark’s big song from Act I, and Jordan delivered. Perfect. Also, the Life Cafe set was just glorious and lovely - so colorful. 

I Should Tell You - Roger and Mimi talk alone and Roger says he’s a disaster and he doesn’t know how to even begin to have a relationship.  Mimi tells him they should “make this part go faster” because she “has yet to be in it.”

This song is intense as it is sweet, Roger tentatively agreeing to let Mimi into his life.  Both seem scared, but by the end, they’re singing, “Here goes…” and step into the future together as a couple.

Great song, super important moment for the characters. The elevator lifting Roger and Mimi at the end of the song took Tara out of the moment a bit, but definitely a solid song.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Rent Live: I'll Cover You / We're Okay / Christmas Bells

Tune Up #1 / Voice Mail #1 / Tune Up #2 / Rent / Tune Up #3 / You Okay, Honey? / One Song Glory / Light My Candle / Today 4 U / You'll See / Voice Mail #2 / Tango Maureen / Life Support / Out Tonight / Another Day / Will I? / On The Street / Santa Fe

I'll Cover You - After Mark leaves, Collins and Angel talk alone.  Angel asks if Collins likes her new outfit.  He says he does.  It really suits her.  Angel says, “I think this might be the one.”  That what she’s wearing what makes her feel the most “like me.”  Collins says, “Then, I love it.”  Angel sweetly teases him, “Really?  You can fall in love with an outfit that quickly?”  Collins agrees and then asks, “Are we a thing?”  Angel replies, “Darling, we’re everything.”  Then they sing about being shelter for one another and it’s so sweet and wonderful.

We really liked the additional dialogue before the song begins, where Angel talks about feeling the most “herself.”  And we loved Collins telling Angel that he “loved” the dress that she felt the most herself in.  The song is sweet and light and fun. Valentina’s vocals as Angel improved steadily throughout the show, and this was a solid effort. Her physical presence, dance and portrayal of Angel remained spot-on.  Brandon Victor Dixon brought everything, as usual.  We love him and his performances.

We're Okay - Meanwhile, Joanne is under tons of stress juggling talking to her job, her parents and Maureen (on two pay phones and a huge early 90s mobile phone.)  “We’re okay,” is Joanne’s self-soothing mantra.

As usual, we LOVE Kiersey’s Joanne.  Loved the way she injected such a conversational tone into this song.  (The majority of the actors did this really well, which makes it so much easier to follow along with what’s going on for us.)

Just a really good (if short) number for her.

Christmas Bells - Next, we see Collins and Angel shopping for a new coat for Collins.  Collins says Angel doesn’t have to do this, but she says “Hush your mouth, it’s Christmas,” and continues perusing coats at a street vendor, rejecting lots of them (including the original Mark Cohen sweater, haha), while Collins continues to sing about how generous Angel is.

Meanwhile, we see that Roger has updated Mark on the recent turn of events with Mimi stopping by.  Mark’s happy that Mimi got him out of the house, and Roger’s bummed that he pushed Mimi away.

We also see Mimi, hitting up her dealer for some drugs before Maureen’s show.  Roger and Mark meet up with Mimi, and Roger apologizes.  Mimi says forget it, but Roger persists, wanting to make it up to her by inviting her to a dinner party.  Roger almost has it out with Mimi’s dealer, who is possessive and worried that Roger’s trying to steal her as his customer.

All around the stage, we hear everyone singing simultaneously, and at the end of the song, Maureen (Vanessa Hudgens) sails in on her motorcycle and asks, “Joanne, which way to the stage?”  Everyone observes together that it’s beginning to snow.

This song single-handedly made Tara fall in love with musical theater.  All the different vocals happening at the same time from different places make this song complex and always moving, very cool to listen to.  One of our favorite lines is Mark insisting, “But I am over her!” about Maureen, on their way to her show.   However, it seemed like there were some issues with the sound mixing?  Because some parts were lost and / or hard to follow.

Still, it actually snowed on the soundstage. They actually brought this number to life in a new and gorgeous way. So happy it was included in nearly its entirety!