“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” – Christine Dolen Reviews for the Sun Sentinel!

“This ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ goes the distance”

– Christine Dolen, The Sun Sentinel

Wrapping up the first season in its sleek new home at the Pompano Beach Cultural Center, Outre Theatre Company has transformed its large-scale performance space into a place where the storytelling feels intimate, provocative and wildly theatrical.

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” that difficult-to-categorize musical by John Cameron Mitchell and composer-lyricist Stephen Trask, kicks butt and takes names. If you happen to be wearing socks, stars Mike Westrich and Kat Gold, backed by the tight Angry Inch band, will knock them off. Maybe make them spontaneously combust.

First produced off-Broadway two decades ago, the Obie- and Tony Award-winning “Hedwig” intertwines its narrative with a score that hops from glam rock to punk to aching laments.

Genderqueer and sexually frank, full of humor and rage and sorrow, the musical leaves a bit of room for topical cracks. As the complicated title character, Westrich obliges with coolly delivered zingers aimed at the current president, his wife, TV talker Megyn Kelly and a nearby theater company.

Between the show’s powerful musical numbers, the actor fills the audience in on Hedwig’s rocky life story.

Born Hansel Schmidt, the self-described “slip of a girly boy” grew up in communist East Berlin. Abandoned by his father, unnaturally close to his aloof mother, Hansel was wooed and won by a G.I. named Luther Robinson, who proposed and offered a new life in the United States. One hitch: Gay marriage wasn’t legal, and a physical exam would be required to prove Luther was marrying a young woman. Hence, the quickie botched gender-reassignment surgery that would make Hedwig’s sex life way more complicated going forward.

Life in a Kansas trailer park proved no easier. Abandoned by her hubby, Hedwig keeps body and soul together by doing many things — some illegal — and eventually meets the guy she considers her soulmate.

Tommy Speck is a glasses-wearing Army brat, a devout Christian with musical ambitions that Hedwig encourages by writing what will prove to be Tommy’s best songs. She rechristens him “Tommy Gnosis,” his new last name being the Greek word for knowledge. His career ascendant, Tommy headlines large venues (including one that is supposedly next door), leaving the discarded Hedwig to a life of playing “seedy” clubs like the one in which we find ourselves.

Remarried to a former drag queen named Yitzhak (Kat Gold), the stoic frequent object of Hedwig’s verbal abuse, the not-so-glam rocker has just been caught up in a scandal involving Tommy. And so, reflecting on her life between killer musical numbers, Hedwig is melancholy, playful, cruel, funny and moving.

Staged by artistic director Skye Whitcomb, Outre’s “Hedwig” is magnetic.

Sporting a big-hair blond wig and the character’s exaggerated glitter makeup, Westrich exercises absolute power over a rapt audience, though a few seem nervous that Hedwig may stroll over to flirt or perch on a lap (the jitters are justified, by the way).

Westrich is, plain and simple, among South Florida’s finest musical-theater actors, and his moving, emotionally varied, unwavering command in “Hedwig” is magnificent. He also happens to possess a great rock voice and delivers powerhouse performances of the songs, including the haunting “Wicked Little Town.”

As Hedwig’s taciturn other half, Gold communicates with looks and grimaces, but wow, can she sing. Sometimes playing guitar, Yitzhak chimes in on many songs with backing vocals or duet passages, and Gold’s powerful voice blends perfectly with Westrich’s. When she claims the spotlight to sing “The Long Grift,” she owns that moment (and many more).

Musical director Caryl Fantel, going for a goth vibe, plays the keyboard (and does her own bits of backup singing) in the onstage band, which also features Rupert Ziawinski on bass, Greg Minnick on guitar and Evan Kline on percussion.

Set designer Daimien Matherson, costume designer Erin Charles, lighting designer Cliff Spulock and sound designer Todd Silver provide the intimacy, era touchstones and musical mix necessary for “Hedwig” to land as it should.

South Florida’s rich 2017-2018 theater season continues, but Outre’s “Hedwig” will make itself scarce way too soon, closing April 8. Westrich, Gold and the show easily claim a place among the season’s best experiences.

Outre’ Announces Its Fourth Show of 2017/18

The Outré Theatre Company is proud to announce the fourth show of its 2017/18 season will be the outrageous and groundbreaking Hedwig and the Angry Inch by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, starring Mike Westrich as Hedwig.
 
“Weve been wanting to produce Hedwig for quite a while,” said Outré’s Artistic Director Skye Whitcomb. “Now we find ourselves in the perfect venue, the perfect timeframe and political climate, and with the perfect actor for the role. I’m really looking forward to getting to work on it, and I think it’s an incredible show to cap off our first season at the Pompano Beach Cultural Center.”
 

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, text by John Cameron Mitchell, music and lyrics by Stephen Trask
March 22 – April 8, 2018
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm
Tickets: $39 adults, $19 students and industry
Tickets available at www.ccpompano.org or by calling (954) 839-9578
 
Outré completes its sixth season with this Tony Award-winning celebration of the genderqueer and the outsider, starring the multitalented Mike Westrich as Hedwig. Styled in a cabaret/rock show format, the musical allows Hedwig to tell their story, from their lonely childhood in East Berlin to their botched gender reassignment surgery to their search for love and completion. 

 
About Outré Theatre Company
Outré Theatre Company is a young, vibrant theatre company in beautiful South Florida. Outré believes that theatre is a living art form with the power to reimagine and reexamine ourselves and the world around us. They strive to create theatre which stimulates thought, provokes reflection, and encourages activism. www.outretheatrecompany.com
 
About the Cultural Alliance
The Cultural Alliance is comprised of highly regarded performing arts organizations based in South Florida. The eleven resident companies of the Pompano Beach Cultural Center offer exciting individual performances, while also collaborating on special events and education programming. For more information, www.ccpompano.org.
 
About the Pompano Beach Cultural Center
The Pompano Beach Cultural Center and Library is a mixed-use City of Pompano Beach facility. The 47,000closeAn error occurred. square foot facility showcases a Cultural Center and Library under one roof. The Cultural Center features the best of regional talent in South Florida along with the finest international talent. A home to a 400-seat theater, an art gallery, and a state-of-the-art digital media center, the Cultural Center brings all disciplines together, not just under one roof but onto one stage.

Outre’ Announces Its 2017/18 Season

The Outré Theatre Company is proud to announce its 2017/18 season, its sixth full season and its first as a resident theatre company of the brand new Pompano Beach Cultural Center!
 
“We’re really looking forward to our new home in Pompano Beach,” said Outré’s Artistic Director Skye Whitcomb. “It’s been a great experience working with the Cultural Arts Creatives in preparation for the season, and we’re very excited about the shows we’re planning on producing. We live in perilous, quickly changing times,” Whitcomb continued. “Our season reflects our commitment to thought-provoking work, and it also reflects the political and social climate we find ourselves in.”
 
Outré Theatre Company’s 2017/18 Season:
 
1984 by George Orwell, adapted by Andrew White
July 13-30, 2017
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm
Tickets: $39 adults, $29 seniors, $19 students and industry
Tickets available at www.ccpompano.org or by calling (954) 839-9578
 
Outré begins its sixth season with a disturbingly timely adaptation of George Orwell’s seminal dystopia 1984. This adaptation, written by Andrew White, premiered at the Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago, and later moved to the Steppenwolf Theatre. This haunting look at fascism and doublethink will be Outré’s first production in the Pompano Beach Cultural Center!
 
American Idiot by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer
November 2-19, 2017
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm
Tickets: $39 adults, $29 seniors, $19 students and industry
Tickets available at www.ccpompano.org or by calling (954) 839-9578
 
Outré brings Green Day’s punk opera American Idiot to South Florida. Written as a response to the political climate of the era of “extraordinary rendition,” the Patriot Act, and “freedom fries,” American Idiot follows three friends as they struggle to choose between their dreams and the gray anesthesia of suburbia.
 
Reservoir Dolls adapted by Erika Soerensen
February 1-18, 2018
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm
Tickets: $39 adults, $29 seniors, $19 students and industry
Tickets available at www.ccpompano.org or by calling (954) 839-9578
 
Outré is proud to bring an East Coast premiere to the stage of the Pompano Beach Cultural Center: Reservoir Dolls by Erika Soerensen! Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 indie hit breakthrough Reservoir Dogs is reimagined with an all-female cast. A group of thieves assemble to pull off the perfect diamond heist, which turns into a bloody ambush when one of the women turns out to be a police informer. Soerensen’s work is a thoughtful, funny, and bloody commentary on our perception of women and violence. Outré’s production of Reservoir Dolls will also be the first production of the play to be directed by a woman, Assistant Artistic Director Shannon Ouellette.
 
A fourth production, which will be announced at a later date, will run March 22 through April 8, 2018.
 
Season subscriptions for 1984, American Idiot, and Reservoir Dolls are available for $99 for adults, $74 for seniors, and $49 for students and industry. Both season tickets and individual performance tickets may be purchased online at www.ccpompano.org, or by calling (954) 839-9578.
 
About Outré Theatre Company
Outré Theatre Company is a young, vibrant theatre company in beautiful South Florida. Outré believes that theatre is a living art form with the power to reimagine and reexamine ourselves and the world around us. They strive to create theatre which stimulates thought, provokes reflection, and encourages activism. www.outretheatrecompany.com
 
About the Cultural Alliance
The Cultural Alliance is comprised of highly regarded performing arts organizations based in South Florida. The eleven resident companies of the Pompano Beach Cultural Center offer exciting individual performances, while also collaborating on special events and education programming. For more information, www.ccpompano.org.
 
About the Pompano Beach Cultural Center
The Pompano Beach Cultural Center and Library is a mixed-use City of Pompano Beach facility. The 47,000closeAn error occurred. square foot facility showcases a Cultural Center and Library under one roof. The Cultural Center features the best of regional talent in South Florida along with the finest international talent. A home to a 400-seat theater, an art gallery, and a state-of-the-art digital media center, the Cultural Center brings all disciplines together, not just under one roof but onto one stage.

2016/17 Season Auditions

The Outré Theatre Company, in conjunction with Showtime Performing Arts Theatre, is proud to announce auditions for its 2016/17 season. Auditions will be held July 17 from 6 pm until 10 pm, and July 18 from 6 pm until 10 pm, at the Showtime Performing Arts Theatre in Boca Raton. Auditions are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. To schedule an audition, please email auditions@outretheatrecompany.com with an electronic copy of your headshot and resume, your preferred audition date and time, and which role(s) you are interested in. Auditionees should prepare two contrasting monologues, not to exceed two minutes each. Musical auditionees should also prepare 16 bars of a rock-tempo song. An accompanist will be provided. All roles are paid.

The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer. Doug Wetzel, director.
September 22 – October 9, 2016
Rehearsals begin August 30

Ned: Male, late 20s – early 30s. Writer and activist. Relentless and opinionated.

Ben: Male, 40s – 50s. Ned’s brother, lawyer, conservative.

Emma: Female, 30s-40s. Physician, devoted, strong willed, HIV pioneer.

Bruce: Male, 30s. Banker, successful, closeted, reluctant.

Felix: Male. Reporter, conservative, outgoing, masculine. Latino.

Craig: Male, 20s. Emma’s patient, AIDS sufferer.

Mickey: Male, 30s – 40s. Jewish, volunteer.

Tommy: Male, late 20s. Southerner, outgoing.

Hiram: Male, late 30s – 40s. Mayor’s assistant.

Grady: Male, late 20s-30s. Volunteer, African American.

Examining Doctor: Male, 40s – 50s. Superior, authoritative.

NOTE: Some roles may be double-cast. Actors of color are encouraged to audition.

The Who’s Tommy by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff. Skye Whitcomb, director.
December 1 – December 18, 2016
Rehearsals begin November 1

Captain Walker: Male, 30-45. A former soldier with lingering guilt. He murders his wife’s lover after coming back from a POW camp, resulting in Tommy’s trauma-induced blindness, deafness, and dumbness. Father to Tommy and husband to Mrs. Walker. Range: F3-C#5.

Cousin Kevin: Male, 18-25. A bully with sadistic tendencies. Tortures his cousin, Tommy, when they’re young and later seizes the opportunity to profit from Tommy’s success. Range: Ab2-B4.

Gypsy: Female, 25-35. A brazen drug dealer and prostitute. Tommy’s parents bring him to the Gypsy to experiment with unusual cures. Range: G3-F5.

Mrs. Walker: Female, 25-40. A weary middle-class woman. Mrs. Walker is tired and frustrated from trying to care for and cure Tommy. Tommy’s mother and Captain Walker’s wife. Range: G3-D6.

Sally Simpson: Female, 15-18. A bold, sensitive, and excitable teenybopper. Sally develops a fan crush on Tommy and rushes the stage to be close to him. Range: F3-D5.

The Specialist: Male, 30-45. A doctor with modern ideas about how to cure Tommy. Tommy’s parents hire him in their desperation to find any cure for their son. Range: G#3-F4.

Tommy/Narrator: Male, 18-25. An embittered young genius stricken deaf, dumb, and blind after a childhood trauma. Tommy discovers that he is a natural master of pinball, and later becomes a cult-like hero figure to masses enthralled by his story. Captain Walker and Mrs. Walker’s son. Range: Db3-B4.

Uncle Ernie: Male, 30-45. A lecherous, drunken bachelor. Ernie molests a young Tommy and later runs a children’s camp seeking to profit from Tommy’s popularity. Mrs. Walker’s brother and Tommy’s uncle. Range: G2-Bb4.

Ensemble: Males & Females, 18+. To play Soldiers, Nurses, Harlots, Lads and Lasses, Guards, and Reporters.

TBA (non-musical)
February 16 – March 5, 2017
Rehearsals begin January 17

TBA (musical)
May 25 – June 11, 2017
Rehearsals begin April 25

ROOMS Is On Its Way!

She wants to see every room in the world.

 

He just wants to stay in his.

 

The Outré Theatre Company is proud to announce a concert production of Rooms: a rock romance, part of Outré’s signature concert series! Starring Noah Levine and Erica Mendez, and directed by Managing Director Sabrina Lynn Gore, Rooms was nominated for Most Outstanding Musical for the Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Drama Desk Awards, and the Helen Hayes Awards. Outré is thrilled to present the South Florida premiere of this one-of-a kind musical.

 

The year is 1977. Punk rock and the New Wave have swept the world, and bands like the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, and the Clash are seizing the spotlight. Monica, an ambitious singer driven to make a name for herself, meets Ian, a reclusive guitarist who only wants to be alone with his music. Together, the two take the punk world by storm, traveling from Glasgow to London to New York, and along the way, they discover that more than music connects them. Struggling with the pressures of fame. Struggling with alcoholism, bulimia, and an unplanned pregnancy, Monica and Ian strive to find happiness in their music and in each other.

 

Rooms is not just a punk rock show,” says director Sabrina Lynn Gore. “It’s about relationships. It shows us that how no matter how you try to resist, you can’t fight the innate need for human connections. I think it’s going to speak to a lot of people.”

 

Rooms: a rock romance will be performed for two nights only, February 27 and 28, at the Stache Drinking Den, 109 SW 2nd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. Performances are at 7 pm, and tickets may be purchased at the door or online at www.outretheatrecompany.com. We can’t wait to see you there!

“Back of the Throat” – The Sun-Sentinel Review!

Mind Games in “Back of the Throat”

by Rod Stafford Hagwood

 

Is he a terrorist? Are you?

That’s the text and subtext of playwright Yussef El Guindi’s “Back of the Throat,” being staged through Nov. 9 by Outre Theatre Company at Boca Raton’s Sol Theatre.

The taut, stomach-in-knots play is set in the paranoid days following the 9/11 attacks. Arab-American Khaled (Rayner Garranchan) is being casually questioned by two Homeland Security agents in his New York studio apartment. “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about,” he is reassured. Not told exactly why he is a person of interest, Khaled responds: “It’s like battling ghosts.”

Over the next 80 minutes with no intermission, the web widens, and the noose tightens. The feds — Bartlett (Jim Gibbons) and Carl (Tim Gore) — keep finding titles on Khaled’s bookshelves that raise their doubts from elevated yellow to severe red. Answers to seemingly innocuous questions are turned jujitsu style back on Khaled, who is desperately trapped by insinuation and innuendo.

“It’s not profiling,” Bartlett says, noting that all the 9/11 terrorists are of Arab descent. “It’s deduction.”

“You know what I resent?” Carl asks after things have escalated. “What you make us become.”

In flashbacks, we get glimpses of what happened before Khaled answered the door. Carl and Bartlett interview three women, all played by an on-her-game Faiza Cherie, as they home in on ties with known terrorist Asfoor, played by an equally terrific Freddy Valle. There, the script reveals its brilliance: The interrogators are not sadistic madmen. That would be too easy. We are shown how they arrive at such a terrible place.

Visually speaking, “Back of the Throat” works when it really shouldn’t. The play isn’t so much designed with sets and lights as it is plunked down in the middle of the very intimate Sol Theatre with a few pieces of furniture serving minimal purpose.

And yet, the acting is visceral down to the pores, oozing flop sweat and the smell of fear. Is Khaled the victim of a Salem-like witch hunt (if he floats, kill him. If he sinks, well, that’s our bad) or is he a left-wing, militant Maoist who is into bestiality?

“Back of the Throat” throbs with that question. The implications are so awful, and the play’s execution is so engrossing, applause seems almost irreverent.

 

Outré Is Coming To The Broward Center!

Outré is coming to the Broward Center! Outré is thrilled to announce that its productions of Othello and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson will be performed at the Broward Center in the Abdo New River Room! We will also be adding a staged reading of Marie Antoinette: The Color of Flesh to be performed at the JM Family Studio Theatre in the newly built Education Building, opening this year at the Broward Center. We’ll also have some more announcements to make later in the season.

Our first show of the 14/15 season, Back of the Throat, will be performed at Sol/Evening Star in Boca Raton. So join us in Boca at the beginning of the season, and then join us on our journey to the Broward Center!

Thank you to everyone who has supported us as we make the transition into this next exciting phase of Outré! It’s gonna be one hell of a season 3!

Riveting, Creepy ‘Thrill Me’ Impresses at Outré

Reviewed by Hap Erstein for Palm Beach Arts Paper

The year was 1924, but the “thrill killing” of a 14-year-old boy by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb was so brutal and senseless that it was already being labeled “the crime of the century.”

Over time, the case would continue to capture the nation’s imagination, in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rope, Ira Levin’s novel Compulsion and John Logan’s play Never the Sinner. And most recently in Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story, composer-lyricist-playwright Stephen Dolginoff asks, “Why not a musical?”

Indeed, boiled down to its two-character essentials and then heightened with the impact of music, Thrill Me is a creepy experience, a description that would surely please Dolginoff. He would also be pleased, I suspect, by the production at Outré Theatre Company in Boca Raton, a stark, chilling presentation, thanks to the dead-on performances of Mike Westrich (Leopold) and Conor Walton (Loeb) and the assured, minimalist direction by Outré’s artistic director, Skye Whitcomb.

Both real-life characters were born to wealth, with too much time and money on their hands. And in the case of Loeb, he is drawn to the writings of Nietzsche, which leads him to believe that he is a superior being, above the laws of man. As depicted here, Leopold is drawn to Loeb on a sexual level, a weakness that Loeb uses to exact a contract, signed in blood, that the two of them will be jointly committed to a life of crime.

When the thrill of robbery wears off, Loeb gets it in his head that murder must be next. In a song of icy calm — an understated tour-de-force for Walton — he proposes that they kill his own brother, then mercurially changes his mind to opt for a random homicide. And little Bobby Franks, in the wrong place at the wrong time, becomes their victim.

Events are narrated in flashback by Leopold from the vantage point of 1958, his fifth parole hearing, in which he dredges up oft-told memories of his relationship with Loeb, the murder and their trial, defended by the wily Clarence Darrow — the best lawyer money could buy — who maneuvered them away from the death penalty. Westrich carries much of the storytelling burden and is very effective, but it is Walton who is particularly unnerving, creeping onto the stage in Leopold’s mind.

Dolginoff’s score has a period feel and a dramatic insistence, showcasing the two performers’ sweet, fevered harmonies on duets. Kristen Long accompanies on keyboard very effectively, with simple arrangements that keep the focus on the two voices.

Whitcomb stages Thrill Me with unflinching assurance and deadly unease. In its short past, Outré has overreached with some of its show choices, but this unnerving chamber musical plays to the company’s strengths and suggests the dramatic power of which the troupe is capable.

 

 

The 2013/14 Season

Artistic Director Skye Whitcomb and Managing Director Nori Tecosky have announced Outré Theatre Company’s 2013-2014 season.

“Our sophomore season is really very eclectic,” Whitcomb remarked. “We have two brand new works, we have caustic dark comedies, we have Shakespeare – we’re really trying to show how some themes thread their way through the centuries. This year our focus is on how often people skirt around uncomfortable truths, whether those truths are about ourselves or about others. You can see that in all the works we’re producing this year, from works that are five hundred years old as well as works that are still being workshopped.”

The season opens with a reading of a new work, Flashing Lights by Edward Excalibur, produced under the auspices of the South Florida Theatre League’s Summer Reading Series and sponsored by WLRN. Being produced on July 29, Flashing Lights examines the disintegration of a couple’s relationship as they deal, each in their own way, with the effects of tragedy.

Outré follows this up with a South Florida premiere, a one-weekend only performance of the outrageously successful off-Broadway hit Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. This reimagining of America’s first populist president casts him as a rock star, and examines the thrills and terrors that populism brings. Continuing Outré’s penchant for incorporating the band into the action of their musicals, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson will perform September 20-22.

In November, Outré brings us back to the Bard, one of the original bad boys of theatre, with Much Ado About Nothing. The original romantic comedy, Much Ado follows the rock-strewn path towards romance followed by Benedick and Beatrice, this time set in modern-day Venice, California. Mistaken identities, lavish parties, and a beach cop riding a Segway – what could possibly go wrong? Much Ado plays November 1-17.

Outré begins the new year with a concert of a brand-new musical, The Journey by Outré’s resident musical director, Kristen Long. Set in present-day New Orleans, and featuring a bluesy rock score, The Journey shows us the differing lives of five individuals as they strive for what they desire and what they need. Playing for one weekend only, The Journey graces Outré’s stage on January 17-19.

The next full production comes in March with Noah Haidle’s blacker-than-black comedy Mr. Marmalade. Haidle’s work centers on a four-year-old little girl with an imaginary friend, Mr. Marmalade. Innocent, right? What if that imaginary friend is a cocaine addict who beats his personal assistant and has a penchant for porn and sex toys? In that case, you have Haidle’s I-can’t-believe-I’m-laughing-at-this Mr. Marmalade, playing March 28 through April 13.

Outré finishes its sophomore season with the musical Grey Gardens, playing May 23-June 8.  Based on the 1975 film, the musical follows Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter “Little Edie,” aunt and cousin to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, on their descent from wealth and power to decrepitude and decay. Powerful and haunting, Grey Gardens examines what happens when sedentary complacency prevent us from pursuing and holding on to our dreams.

Season ticket packages will be available August 1, and can be purchased either by calling 954-300-2149 or online at www.outretheatrecompany.com. Single production tickets will be available August 19. For more information, call 954-300-2149 or email info@outretheatrecompany.com.

Tick, tick. . .BOOM! Time well spent at Mizner Park

BY: MICHELLE F. SOLOMON

“Too often in our lives, we sacrifice,” starts the director’s note for Outré Theatre Company’s production oftick, tick. . . BOOM!, a semi-autobiographical tale of the life of Broadway musical composer Jonathan Larson. But are we really? Sacrificing, that is.

tick, tick. . . BOOM! was loaded with layers when Larson wrote it, but became even more layered after his sudden death a few years later. The events surrounding BOOM!are what was going on in Larson’s life as he was trying to create what became the mega musical Rent, which changed the face of modern Broadway theater. Although Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice had written Broadway musicals with a rock music score, Larson did something different. With Rent, he told a contemporary tale of a group of twentysomethings living in the 1990s, when AIDS had seeped into many corners of young lives, gay and straight.

Read the rest of the review here.