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Arts and Entertainment

Love, friendship and human experience for timeless 'Rent'
Production at Belk Theater Sept. 26
 
Published Saturday, September 9, 2017 4:11 am
by Ashley Mahoney

Love has no boundaries in “Rent.”

“Rent,” at Belk Theater Sept. 26-Oct. 1, follows a year in the lives of seven struggling New York City artists in the 1990s.

Aaron Harrington, right, plays Tom Collins in "Rent," which plays Belk Theater Sept. 26-Oct. 1.

“When it comes down to the nuts and bolts of it, the show is really about the human experience,” said Aaron Harrington, a native of Durham who portrays Tom Collins in the 20th anniversary tour of Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning production.

All too well does Tom comprehend the complications surrounding love.

“He’s a very caring and vivacious person—especially with his group of friends,” Harrington said. “When it comes to finding the person [you want to be with], he pretty much takes it there. He knows there’s no one else left for him. It took him some time to get there, and to get comfortable with it. He’s also a brilliant person. He’s very smart, and the way I look at it is that all of these things that Tom holds dearly were instilled in him by his pathos. He’s very cognizant of just how passionate you can be with the people you chose. I think once his foundation is rocked, and once his ego is taken away, that’s when he revamps—that’s when he’s able to standup on his own two feet.”

Since 1996, the show continues to remind audiences of the power of love—a life lesson Harrington feels will never go out of style.

“I believe the show will live on,” said Harrington, a Shaw University alumnus. “A lot of people like to refer to ‘Rent’ as being a period piece, which it is, but in my opinion, there will never come a time when ‘Rent’ isn’t necessary. Especially at the time we’re living in now, this show is definitely just as relevant as it was back in the mid-1990s. As long as humanity continues to exist, so will the show.”

 

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