Paying The Rent

“Rent” returns to Boston tonight — the brief run ends on Sunday. It’s playing at the cavernous Wang Theatre which isn’t the ideal location for a show that shines brightest during its more intimate moments. Still, if you’ve never seen it — or are seeing it for the 10th time, in the hands of a dedicated cast Jonathan Larson’s rock musical can’t help but move you.

Much of the buzz for the touring company that’s come to the Hub centers on a couple of “Idols” in the cast. Anwar Robinson, who did quite well in Season 4 of “American Idol” plays Collins — Heinz Winckler, the winner of the South African version of “Idol” plays Roger. Say what you want about “Idol” at its core it really is all about talent. Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are now major players in the music world, but most participants tend to fade into the background after the intial blast of attention.

That means most ex-Idols have to pilot their own careers, and I have a lot of respect for the true musicians who are hitting the stage. There’s nowhere to hide on the boards, you’ve either got it — or you don’t. Touring companies are stocked with players bursting with talent, and “Idol” credentials don’t mean squat unless you can match the skill level of the company.

Robinson and Winckler are taking the leap, let’s see what they can do.

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