There’s a new seat in town. Or a couple hundred.
Ocean State Theatre Company has migrated north from their five-year run at Theatre by the Sea, converting an old Verizon office building near Iron Works Tavern into a sleek, stadium-seat venue. They just opened their fourth production in the new space, RENT.
Jonathan Larson’s urban, AIDS- and drug-themed musical is pretty heavy but offers some light moments and nice harmonies. The cast members seemed to enjoy genuine friendships, and from what I overheard, more than one audience member was pleased with Maureen’s skin-tight leather pants. I’m not sure which impressed me more: than the designers managed to locate a payphone for the set, or how effortlessly Angel jumped from floor to tabletop in those high heels. My one nitpick is that a few actors struggled to be heard against the live professional musicians who scored the production.
OSTC used RENT to help spread AIDS awareness via literature and handouts. One staff member seemed disappointed that I didn’t accept a free condom (even after being assured they came in different flavors). Maybe next time, sweet older lady.
RENT runs through March 10th at Ocean State Theatre, 1245 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick. Schedule and ticket sales here.