Northampton Press

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY CAROL ROSEGGFrom left, Sammy Ferber, Marcus John, and Kaleb Wells, “Rent,” 7:30 p.m. April 11, 12, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY CAROL ROSEGGFrom left, Sammy Ferber, Marcus John, and Kaleb Wells, “Rent,” 7:30 p.m. April 11, 12, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton.

‘Rent’ 20th anniversary tour stops at State Theatre

Friday, April 6, 2018 by DAWN OUELLETTE Special to The Press in Focus

“Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

“How do you measure, measure a year?”

It’s been 20 years since the late Jonathan Larson’s famous lyrics were first sung on Broadway, creating an enduring hit.

The 20th anniversary tour of “Rent” is on its national tour, with a stop at 7:30 p.m. April 11, 12, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton.

“Rent,” the 1996 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning rock musical, is a reimagining of Puccini’s “La Boheme” that follows the trials and triumphs of seven artists living in New York City as they struggle to pay the rent.

Aaron Alcaraz plays one of those artists, Angel, in the “Rent” national tour.

“Angel is a dream role for me,” says the Los Angeles born and bred actor in a phone interview.

“I was just two when the musical debuted on Broadway, so my first introduction to ‘Rent’ was through the movie. I watched the movie over and over.”

Alcarez performed for the first time on stage as a sophomore in high school.

“I never considered that theater could be a real thing for me before that,” he says, “but through theater I found a way to express myself.”

Alcarez believes that “Rent” and the character of Angel resonates with audiences because they are about love.

“Angel resonates love,” he says. “He’s a beacon of light and joy and acceptance.”

The iconic song, “Seasons Of Love,” opens Act 2.

“At the core, the song and the show are about the same thing” says Alcarez. “The song hits you right in the feels. We are talking directly to the audience, and I’m trying to make eye contact with as many people as I can.”

Alcarez is proud to be a part of such the “Rent” story.

“The fact that I get to bring this to the entire country is amazing,” he says.

“It was groundbreaking 20 years ago and the messages today are still needed. The show is still relevant and the message and mission of love and acceptance are not yet done.”

Tickets: State Theatre Center for the Arts box office, 453 Northampton St., Easton; statetheatre.org; 1-800-999-7828; 610-252-3132