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Vocal director takes Chamber Singers to see 20th anniversary of RENT

The+cast+of+RENT+performs+one+of+their+songs%2C+La+Vie+Boheme%2C+which+is+meant+as+a+mocking+toast+to+the+life+of+a+poor+artist.
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Vocal director takes Chamber Singers to see 20th anniversary of RENT

The cast of RENT performs one of their songs, La Vie Boheme, which is meant as a mocking toast to the life of a poor artist.

The cast of RENT performs one of their songs, La Vie Boheme, which is meant as a mocking toast to the life of a poor artist.

Courtesy photo

The cast of RENT performs one of their songs, La Vie Boheme, which is meant as a mocking toast to the life of a poor artist.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

The cast of RENT performs one of their songs, La Vie Boheme, which is meant as a mocking toast to the life of a poor artist.

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Vocal director Alex Underwood took the Chamber Singers to see the Encore traveling tour of RENT at Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.

The tour is in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning rock musical written by Jonathan Larson.

The story takes place in New York City during the AIDs epidemic of the 1980s and 90s, and follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists who try to chase their dreams while struggling to pay rent.

Underwood said that when a Broadway national tour comes to your town and you’re interested in performing musical theatre, you should strongly consider seeing it.

Thanks to a school discount from Fort Hays and some of the Chamber Singer’s fundraising money, the students were provided with an affordable option to see the production.

“I was thrilled that so many Chamber Singers took me up on the offer,” Underwood said. “Watching top-notch professional theatre is one of the best things students can do to get a sense of what they’ll need to do to be successful in the field.”

Senior Garrett Cole described the show as “absolutely breath taking,” and found the plot applicable to a lot of lower-class living situations today.

“I’ve seen the movie before on Netflix and never really cared for it, but the live performance is just flat out amazing,” Cole said. “Currently many of us struggle to do what we love, and we have to leave it for something else.”

Sophomore Tom Drabkin agrees with Cole, saying that RENT also shows us how much we’ve progressed as a society.

“When Rent first came out, the world was significantly homophobic, and now we have started to let people be themselves,” Drabkin said. “It is also just a good story about overcoming difficulties.”

Underwood described the production as “a rallying cry for help” for those devastated by the AIDs epidemic and said that it provided “a sense of healing and a reminder to take things one day at a time.”

“I think there are universal truths there, especially for anyone diagnosed with a terminal illness,” Underwood said. “Life can’t be measured in time or cups of coffee, but instead by love. I think that’s a beautiful and powerful message.”

21cleiker@usd489.com

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About the Writer
Caitlin Leiker, Staff Reporter

Caitlin Leiker is a sophomore, and this is her first year in newspaper. She is also involved in Chamber Singers, Musical, and Spring Play. Outside of school,...

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Vocal director takes Chamber Singers to see 20th anniversary of RENT