SOLUTION: UCF Contemporary Pop Music and Theatrical Tradition Discussion Paper

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Running Head: PERFORMANCE REVIEW ASSIGNMENT

Performance Review Assignment

Student’s name
Affiliation
Course name and number
Instructor’s name
Due date

PERFORMANCE REVIEW ASSIGNMENT

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Basic Information
The name of the theatrical venue I visited is Broadway theatre or simply Broadway as it
is called. It is located in Lincoln Center and Theater District along Broadway, Midtown
Manhattan, New York City. The name of the show was “Rent.” It is a kind of musical rock opera
whose playwright was the late Jonathan Larson. I visited Broadway on December 24, 2016 at
9:00 pm to watch this show since it was being shown at night. As its name suggests, the main
theme of the show is rent. Apparently, two young men and roommates, Mark and Roger, cannot
afford their rent and have not paid it for a whole year or so. However, the conflict here is that it
is during the 1980” and rent was cheap, but they still could not afford it. Nonetheless, the basic
story line is the hardships two young roommates went through amidst lack of the ability to pay
their rent and relationship challenges.
Well, the dominant tone of the show can be described as comic. However, owing to the
idea that the young men were complaining about how they would pay the previous year’s rent,
the tone can also be said to be ironic. A few minutes after the show began and after Mark
receives a call from his mom, a man called Collins, calls to let them know that he is downstairs
and asks them to throw the key. Abruptly, Benny, supposedly their landlord, took the phone from
Collins and tells them that he needs the rent, which has accumulated for a whole year. However,
all this was happening in a musical tone, as the show was supposed to be. However, it is also
ironic at the same time as the two young men are shocked by the question of rent from Benny,
who used to a roommate, but then bought the building.
The show’s director was Michael John Warren. Ideally, he wanted to bring out the exact
state of the room where the two young me lived. Initially, the playwright wanted to combine

PERFORMANCE REVIEW ASSIGNMENT

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contemporary pop music and theatrical tradition, which challenged how the show was directed.
Furthermore, the actor wore different costumes that one would expect from the 1980s. For
instance, Mark was adorned in a light sweater and a scarf around his neck. Other actors were also
wearing costumes one could not see during that time as well. However, the director did the best
to set the stage and furnish Mark and Roger’s room as it were then, such that most of the
elements of production matched the interpretation and director’s concept. Accordingly, the play
was well staged since there not many people on the stage and, thus, they moved around easily
without significant stumbles, except for a few mistakes on words. Notably, the staging made
sense for both the scene and performance space as it was set to look like the room back them.
Mark and Roger were the major protagonists of the play and, thus, they fitted suitably in
their roles as roommates. Indeed, they were believable as the characters and did not seem
nervous at all. On the contrary, they seemed well-rehearsed, confident, and comfortable, such
that it was easy to understand and identify with their plight. Indeed, there were special skills;
Rogers was able to play an old guitar, despite recovering from withdrawal due to drugs use.
Furthermore, as a musical rock opera, most actors were able to say their lines in a musical tone.
Scenic Design
The performance stage was a raised arena that aimed to imitate the room as it were in the
1980s. Importantly, since most elements of the rooms were featured, the scenery significantly
contributed to the total production. For example, all the electrical appliances were connected to
one long think cable that snaked its way out of the window. If certain scenic pieces were
eliminated, the show would have lost authenticity and not representative of the actual scenario as
it was in the 1980s. Well, the director manipulated the costumes to meet is own interpretational

PERFORMANCE REVIEW ASSIGNMENT

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approach. However, while they failed in some ways, the costumes fitted suitably with the show
being played in the modern times. Nonetheless, they matched well with the concept and
characters, particularly for Rogers and Mark.
Lighting and/or Sound Design
Of all the other elements, the design of lighting and sound significantly contributed
positively to the overall production and the production concept as well. In fact, these two were
crucial aspects of the show’s mise-en-scène. Right from the start of the show to the end, the
director proactively and creatively manipulated light to evoke emotions and control attention
among the audience. Here, lighting and sound changed as different characters were talking. For
instance, light was focused on the character who acted as Mark’s mother, then shifted to Mark
and Rogers. When it was Collins speaking, light shifted to him and cast everyone else in the
dark. This shows how creati…

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