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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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June 8, 2024

Final season of love: ‘RENT’ comes to Rudder in farewell tour

The+rent+cast+perform+at+one+of+their+events
Photo by Photo Courtesy of MSC OPAS

The rent cast perform at one of their events

To end it’s almost three-decade run, the iconic musical “RENT” is stopping in Aggieland on its Farewell 25th Anniversary Tour before saying its final goodbye to the stage.

A Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Jonathan Larson’s “RENT” follows a year in the life of a diverse group of artists and friends struggling to pursue their dreams in New York. “RENT” is the third hit musical to visit the Memorial Student Center for the Opera and Performing Arts Society’s, or OPAS, “Let’s Get Together” 2021-22 season. The show can be seen in Rudder Auditorium on Feb. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. 

Lyndie Moe currently plays Maureen Johnson on the tour. Moe said working on “RENT” has taught her a lot of valuable life lessons and has allowed her to connect with an amazing and diverse cast and crew. 

“Sharing this musical with different people almost every night can be challenging, but it is far more rewarding than anything,” Moe said. “It’s an excellent opportunity to let out emotions through the masterful story Jonathan Larson created. Not only does it feel cathartic for me, but everyone else in the theater has the chance to tap into their feelings as well since the subject matter of the show is so relatable.”

Growing up, Moe said she never had an extraordinary connection to the show until experiencing an unexpected death in the family. 

“I was very late to the game in discovering it, but always knew Maureen was a character I had to play,” Moe said. “Now, the connection I have with the show is unbeatable. After losing my grandma [to] COVID[-19], returning to ‘RENT’ makes me feel very lucky. It was the last show she saw, so every time I’m on stage I feel a little more connected to her.”

Moe said she is excited for the Texas A&M community to join the cast on their journey of emotions. 

“The roller coaster that ‘RENT’ takes you through will leave you feeling reflective and appreciative of many things,” Moe said. “Sometimes life can get busy and we forget to cherish those we love, so I hope the A&M community realizes the importance of ‘No day but today’ and leaves a bit more inspired. Every city has its unique attributes, and each one leaves an imprint of some kind. I remember Texas cities are always filled with people being actively present in the moment, so I look forward to that the most.” 

Citing the show as a huge highlight of his life, Javon King, who plays Angel Dumott Schunard in the 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour, said the show’s themes affect him in his life beyond the stage. 

“I’ve had the great honor of this being my second time touring with this show,” King said. “Playing Angel and being a part of such a groundbreaking musical that has continued to touch lives across the globe for 25 years is truly a blessing. The show has such powerful themes of love and hope in the face of extremely difficult [health and financial] times. These are themes that I have and will continue to implement into my personal life.”

King said the show means so much to him that it’s hard to put into words.

“I am blessed to play Angel, who in my opinion, is one of the most iconic characters in musical theater history,” King said. “Getting the opportunity to play an openly gay and HIV-positive character as an openly gay Black man is truly one of the greatest honors of my life.”

One of his favorite moments in the show, King said, is getting to look people in the eyes as the cast sings “Seasons of Love.” King said he loves seeing how the music, and more importantly the lyrics, sweep the crowd with emotion. ]

“I’m excited for the A&M community to fall in love with the gorgeous music and story that Jonathan Larson wrote,” King said. “I’m hopeful that everyone who comes to see the show will leave with something that they can take with them forever.”

According to a press release, Jonathan Larson’s “RENT” has inspired viewers to choose love over fear and to live without regret. MSC OPAS Executive Director Anne Black said it has become more than a musical. 

“It’s a cultural touchstone, a rite of passage and a source of joy and strength for millions,” Black said.  “‘RENT’ has become a part of us forever. Whether you’ve never seen ‘RENT’ or have completely lost count, you can’t miss it this time around — the 25th Anniversary ‘Farewell Season of Love’ is your final chance to experience this celebrated touring production.” 
Tickets are now on sale starting at $25 at the MSC Box Office and online at www.MSCOPAS.org, with special ticket prices available for students.

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