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Concert Reviews: Joey Fatone

Joey Fatone: In Rent on Broadway
October 2002
By: Linda Spielman

During Nsync's break Joey Fatone has gotten back to his musical theater roots. Having started his singing career in high school in musical productions, Fatone is currently showing the world that his talents go far beyond the stereotype of being just another member of a "boy band".

photo of Fatone courtesy of Rent is definitely not your conventional Broadway production. Set in present day, the storyline is driven by Fatone's character Mark, the aspiring film maker, his roommate Roger the aspiring musician, and their Bohemian friends. Fatone is the narrator of the story who explains to the audience why Mark doesn't take a chance with his music and his life and why the tenants of the building are on the verge of being evicted, as well as the paralleling stories behind the other characters in the production all with their own dramas and traumas. Rent explores people living & dying of HIV, the betrayal of longtime friends, the struggles those labeled as Generation X have becoming successful and ultimately, finding out what is truly important in life.

Seeing Rent in New York City is almost as if you are taking a look into the lives of so many of the singers, actors, and artists which make up the population & energy of this great city. There are no frills in this production. The set primarily consists of scaffolding and foldaway tables. The orchestra is a rock band, which sits right on stage in a nook of the scaffolding set. One of the most intriguing parts of the play which makes it so very real & alive is the fact that the cast is primarily made up of raw talent. As a standard in the production, hopefuls need not have a regimented or professionally trained background. In reality, the director wants the raw talent of everyday people to keep the production fresh. Whether it is the touring cast, or the Broadway cast, open auditions are held periodically throughout the year in various cities in order to rotate cast members.

photo of Fatone courtesy of As for Fatone's performance? One word: wow! As much as many teenagers would probably love Nsync to be around forever, it is evident from the twinkle in Fatone's eyes during a performance that this is where he is meant to be. Already used to being a part of a group, Fatone easily fits into the ensemble cast. No special treatment or extra parts have been added to accommodate his celebrity status. He arrives everyday, seven days a week to the Nederlander Theatre on 41st Street by car like many of the cast, and he sticks around after the show to sign every playbill and take pictures with fans (Nsync and Rent diehards). His performance is electrifying, getting him rave reviews from some of New York's toughest critics in the Village Voice, New York Times and many Broadway trade publications. It is obvious that when the time does come for Nsync to go their separate ways, Fatone can easily segue his talents into a very promising Broadway career, as well as film.

Joey Fatone will be appearing in Rent at the Nederlander Theatre on 41st Street until December 22nd. The show runs 7 days a week with matinees on weekends. To find out exact times, ticket prices, and discounts you can call: 212-307-4100 or visit for all the background information, lodging and eateries in the area.

photos courtesy of