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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Theatre Review: Without You By Anthony Rapp

Without You, is the newest production to hit the stage of the Off-Mirvish Second Stage show series. Written by and starring Anthony Rapp, an original cast member of RENT, Without You is a musical memoir about his life during the creation of the award-winning musical RENT.

Accompanied by a five-piece band, Anthony Rapp uses song and spoken dialogue to beautifully weave through stories from his personal and professional life during the period from his first audition for RENT to its debut on Broadway. 

This was the first time I had seen a one-man show. Before stepping into the theatre, I wondered what the show would be like with a solo performer. Would I find it as entertaining, as powerful and engrossing as a musical production with a full cast? 

I was blown away and touched by Anthony Rapp’s open, vulnerable, honest and mesmerizing performance. I was amazed at how he was able to draw me in with the use of a few simple props, his songs and how he effortlessly slipped into portraying the individuals about whom he was speaking. I could not take my eyes off of him. With a wide open heart he shares moments of joy from being cast in RENT and taking a part in its success, to love, friendship and loss as he is simultaneously faced with the sudden death of a friend and creator of RENT, Jonathan Larson, as well as the terminal illness of his mother. 
Using both self-written songs and original music from RENT, Anthony’s commanding and emotive voice bursts with raw emotion; it filled the entire room. Both the heart wrenching and the powerful moments of silence and stillness left you feeling like they reached right into your core. 
Backed by a talented band and effective use of stage lighting, Without You is a moving memorable show that will stay with you for quite some time. Don’t miss out on seeing it as it is only in Toronto for a limited time before moving its show to New York.

$20 Rush Seats can be purchased on the day of the performance, in-person at the Panasonic Theatre box office. Limit of 2 tickets per person. Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Without You runs at the Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z9

Performance Schedule: 
Dec 13, 2012 to Jan 6, 2013

Running time: 80 minutes – no intermission
Tickets: $25 to $79 
Ticketking: (416) 872-1212 or 1-800-461-333 or Online: www.mirvish.com  

Off-Mirvish Second Stage brings audience members a series diverse collection of plays with a range of subjects and ideas not typically seen in the usual Mirvish line up on stage. Mirvish.com describes these series as the “younger, edgier sibling of the main Mirvish Theatre”. To learn more, visit http://www.mirvish.com/pages/offmirvish

 Natalia Dziubaniwsky is a lover of life, avid traveller, animal lover, movie buff, hobbyaholic, volunteer and is always seeking a new adventure. Interact with her on Twitter @taliasfootsteps or simply follow her footsteps through her blog.



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