Dean’s Review: “Rent” at Paramount Theater

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The final show in the Paramount Theater’s amazing season just kicked off the other night.  It’s a great production of what is still one of the most powerful musicals of the past

During the darkest days of the AIDS-crisis, the 1996 musical “Rent” told the story of a group of 20-something friends, dealing  with the disease,  their dreams and mortality.

The musical has played many times in Chicago since then and often seemed dated.

The latest production, just opened at the Paramount in Aurora, breathes new life into the story and these classic songs capturing the show’s original intent.

Director Jim Corti has focused this four-time Tony Award winner more on this strong cast making it more relatable and deeply touching than any production I’ve seen.

The Paramount’s fantastic shows are famous for taking shows that have been around for a while and completely re-inventing them.

Side stories and tired theatrics that might have been novel in 1996 are gone; the emphasis is on these touching characters and stories with soaring sets and staging beyond Broadway quality.

“Rent” has never been one of my favorite shows, but this new production has won me over.

Catch it at the Paramount through April 6th.