“Rent” debuts at Keith-Albee

The 20th anniversary tour of the Broadway musical “Rent” made its debut Thursday evening at the Keith-Albee Theatre.

“Rent” made its original debut in 1996, bringing awareness to disease, drug abuse and the AIDs epidemic, while showing the challenges of struggling artists in New York.

During the award winning musical, members of the audience sang along to fan favorites as the cast performed all of their musical hits.

For other attendees, “Rent” served as an emotional release from current world issues and struggles that students may be facing in their own personal lives.

David Jones, a senior majoring in mathematics, said “Rent” moved him emotionally and he felt like it helped him with his own personal life situations.

“’Rent’ was the musical that I needed at this point in my life and at this point in history. Seeing a musical that is so hopeful, but also so despairing, is exactly what I think all of us needed right now,” Jones said.

However, Jones was not the only attendee who was filled with emotions.

Azyn Chahryar, a Marshall alumnus, said this was her first time seeing “Rent” from beginning to end.

Chahryar said she cried halfway through the show due to the superb performance of the cast.

“It was definitely a great show,” Chahryar said.

For other attendees, this showing was definitely not the first time they had seen “Rent.”

The entire theatre was packed full of fans who knew every song word for word.

People sang along, they cried and some even gave commentary between scenes.

It was the place to be on a Thursday night, especially if you wanted to spend time with close friends and see a Broadway classic, like Sarah Fowler did.

Fowler, a native of Huntington, attended “Rent” as a part of her girl’s night out with two of her friends.

Fowler and her friends praised the show, saying it really highlighted their girl’s night out experience.

“It’s great that we get shows like this in Huntington,” Fowler said. “We were so excited to be able to attend.”

Others like Kelsey Tyson, a ceramics art major, had only seen the movie “Rent” and not the live production.

“Every emotion that I felt during the movie, I felt during the production,” said Tyson.

Tyson said she loved the musical and spoke very highly of the performance and the relationship that was portrayed amongst the cast members.

“The actual community that the actors and actresses put on made it seem like they were really friends,” Tyson said. “That was my favorite part.”

Darius Booker can be contacted at [email protected].