By: Ms. Santino
It’s hard to believe people so young could display such maturity and depth of emotion. As the voices rose in a musical medley, singing “Will I,” the echoes of hope and despair rang true. Whether depicting the heated battles between partners Maureen (Alice G.) and Joanne (Alexa F.), the fiery spirit and unbreakable of Mimi (Yvonne B.), the friendship in the face of terrible disease amid Roger (Jahir H.) and Mark (Daniel B.), or the undying love despite death between Angel (Gabriel P.) and Collins (Trip M.), these students knew how to pull at the audience’s emotional heartstrings.
While the stars of the show certainly shined, the rest of the cast and crew could not be ignored. Stellar performances from Grace A., Chris C., Tara M., Mia W., Mike T., Katarina R., and A’Mit L. stood out, but only name a few of the handful of superb actors and actresses on the stage. Ryan A.’s non-stop percussion performance accented the heartbeat of the show. Theater crew, including Assistant Director John H., and the ever unstoppable guru of the performing arts, Director Mark Weissman, put on the production of a lifetime.
Now and Then
I danced to “La Vie Boheme,” laughed at “Take Me or Leave Me,” grooved to “Santa Fe,” rejoiced in “Seasons of Love,” cried in “Without You,” and cheered wildly at the “Finale.” As a high school student when Rent first appeared on Broadway, I grew up to the music of the show. It was edgy, different, and touched on chords especially present in that tumultuous time between childhood and adulthood. Seeing it performed by the Staten Island Academy students took me back to that time; although the play is as relevant now as it was then. It demonstrates a different side of theater, the kind that doesn’t shy away from difficult subject matter, but instead puts it on the stage for the audience to reject or embrace. No matter your take on the show, the give-it-all attitude from these talented teens cannot be denied and would win over even the staunchest critique. Bravo, SIA! Bravo!