If you met Anthony Rapp in the street, you might mistake him for a software programmer or a dot-com entrepreneur but when he hit the stage at the St James’s Studio last night dressed in a nondescript outfit of jacket, t-shirt and well-worn jeans and opened his mouth, you knew that this was a performer who’s certainly not nondescript!
He started with the song he used as his audition piece for Rent, REM’s “Losing My Religion” and then told us that that was the moment that fundamentally changed his life in many ways as he then went on to star in the show on Broadway as well as appearing in the 2005 movie version.
Backed by his long-term musical collaborator Dan Weiss on piano and acoustic guitar, and a rhythm section made up of two British musicians who had had only two rehearsals with Rapp and Weiss before the first show – although you would never have guessed it.
During the first set, Rapp sang songs from shows such as the Green Day musical “American Idiot”, “Hedwig And The Angry Inch” and “Once” as well as non-show songs from the likes of Crowded House. He also told us was going to “pepper” the set with songs that he had written (some with Weiss) which were all excellent and compared well with the better-known songs in the set.
After a short interval for us to “use the facilities and get a drink”, the second set continued in the same vein. There were more songs by Rapp as well as a ballad from the Lin-Manuel Miranda “rap musical” Hamilton – so unfortunately as it was a ballad, we didn’t get to hear Rapp rap! There were also songs from Spring Awakening and from his recent Broadway hit If/Then in which he appeared in with Idina Menzel.
There were, of course, songs from Rent including “Without You” which he a sang at the funeral of his Mother who he was obviously very close to and “Seasons of Love” which brought the evening to a rousing finale and resulted in a standing ovation from his adoring fans.
Anthony Rapp may look like a bit like software programmer but he has the voice of a Broadway star. He’s engaging and affable and the evening flew by. Rapp and his superb band are on at the St James’s Studio until December 17th so get down to Victoria before it’s too late.
Review by Alan Fitter
Anthony Rapp, original star of the smash-hit musical RENT brings his solo concert to London. Celebrating 20 years since the original production with an intimate evening of songs and stories that have shaped his life since then.
Join Anthony for an incredible night of live music, joined by musical director Daniel A. Weiss. Featuring hit songs from Broadway and beyond, alongside iconic numbers from RENT.
Anthony Rapp is one of Broadway’s most celebrated performers (Broadway’s RENT, If/Then, Six Degrees of Separation, You’ re a Good Man Charlie Brown). He was last seen in London in 2012 with his smash hit show Without You (Menier Chocolate Factory – 5 stars, The Times). This is a very rare opportunity to see him perform in London, up close and personal in the St. James Studio.
5 – 17 December 2016
Buy Tickets for Anthony Rapp – Live in Concert
Anthony Rapp – Live in Concert