Without You

Anthony Rapp

Underbelly Bristo Square

From 01 August 2012 to 26 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

Anthony Rapp was one of the stars in the Pulitzer and Tony award-winning phenomenon Rent.

In this moving autobiographical one-man story, Rapp relates how this blockbuster rock opera based on La Bohème came into being. He traces the roller coaster events involved in the auditioning process through to rehearsals and finally the opening night and the discovery that the composer Jonathan Larson died aged only 35 on the eve of the show’s first public performance.

Rapp juxtaposes these events with his own mother’s battle against cancer and her final death shortly after she saw the show on Broadway. The parallels are tender and heartbreaking as Rapp agonizingly plays his mother with a warmth and passion. The feeling of loss for them both was palpable.

There is an excellent five-piece band under the musical direction of Daniel A Weiss, which accompanies Rapp’s fine singing with excerpts from Rent as well as some of his own material.

When the performance ends with the hit song Seasons of Love, the audience was on its feet with a highly deserved standing ovation. A powerful and moving show.