This afternoon my parents and I went to the first show in our four-season package at the Durham Performing Arts Center: Rent. First of all, the theater is lovely. It is far from ornate but its brand new-ness makes it seem nicer. The lobbies are lovely, full of natural light. The seats are wide for a theater and are quite comfortable. Our seats were dead center, at the back of the orchestra level. The rows are tiered just enough so we had a perfect view with no obstructions.
Now, despite Rent being a long running hit on Broadway as well as a major motion picture, I had never seen it nor was even familiar with the plot. I knew it took place in New York City and had something to do with AIDS. This morning I read the synopsis on the official website, so I would be better able to follow along (musicals I'm unfamiliar with lose me easily since I miss half the words in the songs). I found that helpful, because I knew what was happening in each scene. Of course, that meant I was not surprised by any of the events, but seriously, in a play where half the characters are sick, someone's gotta die.
The actors all had great voices. According to the program (which we did not get a copy of until after the show--they ran out! How is that even possible?) three of the actors were part of the original Broadway cast, so that was cool. I think my favorite was the woman who played Mimi (not an original cast member). Her voice was strong and beautiful.
Since we did not have a program until on the way out, I was unaware that photography was prohibited in the theater. Oops. I didn't get any good shots of the play itself, but here's the stage before the show started:
Here's the lobby of the second floor:
Here's the view from the lobby:
And here's the outside, on the way from the parking lot to the theater:
I must say, whoever designed the parking structure with a single small elevator ought to be drawn and quartered. How truly idiotic. And the signage to get to our seats was lacking as well. We had C Orchestra, but there are only doors for A, B, D, and E.
For dinner we went to Thai Cafe on University Drive. It was delicious! I had the Massaman curry, my mom had "Drunken Noodles," and my dad had a veggie medley. We all shared, but each of our favorites were the ones we ordered for ourselves!