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Becca:
I hardly make it up to the city to see things on Broadway, but a friend of mine burned me the double rent CD and I just fell in love with it. I have to admit, however, on the CD, Over the Moon was one of my least favorite numbers and while I liked Take Me Or Leave Me, I wasn't blown out of the water. In fact, I much more enjoyed Joanne on the CD than Maureen. No offense to anyone who's a fan of the CD, but I guess I just wasn't overly impressed with the actress who had Maureen's part. Anyway, to cut to the chase a little, I ended up going up to the city to see rent on Broadway yesterday (5/30/00). In the program it said that Maureen was to be played by Christina Fadale but there was a little leaflet saying the part was to be played by Maggie. All I have to say is, thank God that for whatever reason Christina wasn't playing the part. Maggie was absolutely incredible! She just has this great stage presence. She was humorous, engaging; dances (provocatively but) wonderfully, and she was vibrant. You could tell she absolutely loves what she is doing and that makes her even more of a joy to watch. Best of all, though, she has a great smile. :o) So naturally, after seeing her on b-way I ended up doing a little reading...and given the sound clips (which I really appreciate you guys posting, btw) I lucked out even more b/c I think the way Maggie and Danielle handled not just this song, but the entire show was the best so far. (even disregarding her voice, you just have to love all the hilarious expressions and antics. It might be in the script (you'll have to let me slide on this one as I'm still an inexperienced RENT-goer) but I must have looked just like Benny's dinner mate when she dropped her pants! In the script or not, that takes guts.) I guess with this kind of progress we can expect she is even better next time around ? Unfortunately for me, though, I think after seeing her my first time, I got a little spoiled...oh well. Spoiled works for me.



Carly:
I saw RENT for the second time on January 16, 2000. I talked to some fans from Chicago, whom Maggie had reserved floor seats for at a sold-out show. So I was expecting one hell of a person. I had also been told about what a good performer she was. My expectations were miles below the mark she hit. Maggie was cuter than the cutest Mark's mom I ever thought possible. She also played a great homeless person, and was overall super. She's also an extremely sweet person. March 19, 2000--Maureen day. In January, I'd seen Cristina Fadale as Maureen, and don't get me wrong, I loved her to death. I also knew she'd be out, so while I was a little disappointed, I'd be seeing Maggie, so I figured it was all good. All good?! I mmust have been out of my mind. I have never seen such a hilarious Over The Moon; Maggie had everyone rolling in the aisles. No one has ever had the ability to make me moo as loud as I did. :-) And Take Me or Leave Me? I was sitting there with my jaw on the ground, most likely drooling. It completely blew me away. While the show as a whole was wonderful, that song was definitely the highlight of the performance. After the show, I met her again, and again she was a gem. All hail the fantabulous Maggie Benjamin!



Anthony:
Maggie as Maureen, in Cincy...5/8/99-matinee:
      Well, I was anticipating this moment since Maggie was cast in RENT. Seeing her play Maureen, and it was about to come true. The majority of the rush seats were filled with people from school/friends of Maggie. We were all very excited. Well, during the song RENT when Mark is talking on the phone with Maureen, and Maureen is on the loft waving her hands....we all cheered for Maggie. OTM: When Maggie first started, I could tell that she was kinda nervous and scared. She really got into it at "IIIIIIIIIIIIII gotta get outta here..." from that point on it was AMAZING. She added so many Maggieisms...such as her voices and her faces that are hilarious. It was great, she even directed some of the piece directly to me.
TMOLM: MAGGIE WAS FIERCE. That is the only word I can think of. I have NEVER EVER EVER heard this song sound soo good. Maggie and Danielle blended soo well together. Mag's voice was so damn powerful and she was so connected with Danielle. And it was all about how she said, "Oh, HONEYBEAR, are you still my baby!!!" I love it...plus I love how she takes that note up on "everynight who's in you beeeedddd!!!" AMAZING....That song literally stopped the show. The longest cheers and applause followed that song. There was no way the show could continue. Peter Smith even mentioned how long the audience cheered. He was going to be late for his entrance for SOL B, but he made it with plenty of time because the audience cheered for longer than 2 minutes.
All I have to say is MAGGIE IS AMAZING, and she deserves to play this role full time. Maybe Im a little biased, but I know that this girl is AMAZING.



Lisa:
Maggie Benjamin is an extremely talented performer. She plays the role of Mrs. Cohen and others with tons of character and energy. Whenever she's on stage, she really stands out and always does her very best, and puts all she has into her performance. Her singing voice is amazing, which is displayed even more when she plays Maureen.



Natalie:
Maggie Benjamin's portrayal of Mrs. Cohen was great. She is a great actress, has an awesome voice, and is funny! Not to mention that shes a great dancer :) She's a great person talent wise, and she is a sweet person too.



Brooke:
I had the delightful opportunity to see the musical Rent several times this past year, in Toronto as well as on its Canadian National tour to Ottawa and Vancouver. One of the most stellar things about the Canadian production had to have been ensemble member Margaret Benjamin. In the role of Mark's Mom, she brought not only a superb singing voice, but a surprisingly deep understanding and honesty for one so young. She cares about the character and plays it to the full extent of her abilities, as she does with the various other parts she assumes in the ensemble. Her vibrant stage presence, outstanding talent and deep committment to the show were obvious to the audience as well as to her ardent fans. In understudying the role of Maureen, she brought a youthful vitality and energy to the part, as well as a strong musical capability and a lovely and strong voice. Her sense of comedic timing was impeccible, and her Over the Moon performance piece the funniest and most original I have ever seen.



Lisa M.:
Maggie is incredible on stage (and in person!). She has a powerful voice that is always in tune, and she seems able to hit every note and more that you throw at her. Her characters, no matter how big or small, always come alive for the audience to identify and communicate with. A little aside: HER MAUREEN KICKS ASS!! She's hysterical in "Over The Moon," and her "Take Me Or Leave Me" will leave you speechless!



Alexis:
Just recently I went to Vancouver to see the closing of the Canadian tour. I had not been there the whole summer to see the closing of it in Toronto. When I got there I saw alot of cast members I hadn't seen in the longest time saying hello was easy but I was yet to meet Maggie Benjamin. The second she steped on stage she was amazing and even after the show I had just fallen in love with her spectacular peformance. She is the most lively, energetic and entertaining Mrs. Cohen I have ever seen.



Dani-Lee:
Maggie is a great actor and a great singer. She is definitely one of the best performers I've ever seen in any cast. Her mark's Mom is the greatest. Not only is she a great performer but she is a genuinely nice person and a lot of fun to talk to.



Hilary:
Maggie is an inspiration to all who meet her. Yes, she is incredibly talented and gifted, bringing character to a role like Mark's Mom. But she is also an inspiration to me because she is only a year older than I am and she is already doing something that i could only dream of. Maggie makes me strive to do my best, and excel at my dreams, because that is exactly what she did. She is someone you can really relate to. She doesn't try and act older than she is, and she is definitely just like a teenager. But that doesn't mean she's immature. It takes a level of maturity to do what she did in RENT, and you can see that, in her performance and when you speak with her. All in all, Maggie is just an amazing person, and I am glad to have known her, if only for a short time.



Lisa P.:
In my opinion, Maggie Benjamin is one of the most talented and sweetest people I've met. She is an incredible performer with an amazing singing voice. Even though you can't tell too much from seeing her as Mark's Mom, I can still tell how awesome she is just from seeing her in that role. Off stage, she is amazing as well, because she is incredibly sweet and full of energy. MAGGIE ROCKS!!!



Jennifer:
Maggie should definitely become a member of the Broadway cast as Mark's Mom. Not only does she love performing in RENT, she is also extremely good at playing Mark's Mom, and even though she is only 19, one can actually believe that she is a mother to Mark. Also, her Maureen is probably one of the strongest, in acting and vocal ability, that I have seen to date.



Lauren:
Although I have only seen maggie perform as Mark's mom, I can see that she has an amazing amount of talent. From what I have heard she is the most amazing Maureen too, and I believe it because she has this radiant energy that draws you into her no matter what she is doing. On stage and off she is electrical.



Dani:
She is phenomenal at this part. Not only is she a wonderful actress, singer, and dancer, she is also a wonderful person. The best word to describe it, is, she has a true heart of gold. She is wonderful as Mark's Mom, and also as Maureen. I had seen three other portrayals of this character before I saw hers, but I was blown away!!! She was not only hysterical, but she was also phenomenal!



Renee:
Maggie is incredible. Her interpretation of Mrs. Cohen is so good. She lights up the stage when she's on. When she plays Maureen she is so good! You would think that she's played Maureen forever. Her energy and emotion is great! Maggie is so wonderful as a person and as an actress.



Aislinn:
Maggie Benjamin has said that she loves being in Rent. This love of the show was apparent in her performance. As a member of the Canadian cast, she was committed to the show, and sincere to her fans. This positive attitude is an asset. She has been devoted to Rent from the moment she began.



Danielle:
The first time I saw Maggie on stage I was absolutely amazed. She has an incredible talent and such an amzing stage presence. I think that she is one of the most talented performers that i have ever seen. You can really tell how much she loves acting and how much she loves doing RENT.



Amber:
I saw Maggie go on in Canada back in October and I LOVED her. she was absolutely hysterical, her OTM was tied for the best ever(Keaney's in LA was friggen hysterical as well). She went on as an understudy for Jen Aubry, and I guess she had only gone on like a few times before that... I thought she was amazing and had so much potential if she got to go on more often. She had such a great voice, and a good stage presence. Plus she's just so adorable. and so nice afterwards as well.



Nellie:
I had the pleasure of seeing Maggie Benjamin for the first time on May 22, 1999, also my first time seeing RENT.
People ask me why, when asked who my favorite actress is, I answer "Maggie Benjamin", instead of someone truly famous. I mean, I've only seen her once! Ridiculous! My reply is always "I only needed to see her once". The first time she was on stage was "Voice Mail #1", as Mark's mom, and my first impression was that she was having fun. Her line wasn't "that was a very loud beep" with the bored intonation of some stage actors when they've done it waaay too many times. Instead it was a vigorous "That was a very loud beep!!" Immediately, I took notice.
Throughout the show, my eyes were drawn to her side of the stage. She commanded attention, and watching her work was never boring. What really struck me about her was that she seemed to truly love being up on stage. It wasn't a job for her, it was a hobby, and one she loved. She brought life to her characters, and it was easy to believe that she was, indeed, Mark's mom. I was directly in front of her during "Seasons of Love", and unlike the others, who were just singing, she appeared to be truly enjoying herself. On-stage she also has the persona of someone I'd love to meet...
      It is my opinion that, while an actor can have a fantastic voice and incredible acting ability, if they aren't enjoying and appear to be enjoying themself, they aren't a truly great actor. Maggie has the talent (she has the vocal ability that I struggle to conjure after hours and hours of practice, and can only dream of, and the acting ability and stage presence that I can only hope to someday earn the right to call my own), but she has the love for what she's doing that makes her performance all the more sastisfying and worthwhile.
I've seen actors get bored with their role after two performances (and admittedly, I've been one of them), and I also know it's easy... doing the same thing day after day, night after night, practicing it for hours can get downright tedious and boring, almost to the point that you just don't put any effort in your performance and become a mindless slave to your audience. For some reason, though, this doesn't happen to Maggie, at least as far as I could tell.
In her playbill bio, she writes "My hope is that you leave this theatre somehow changed, somehow inspired, somehow more grateful for life!" Well, I did. Truer words were never spoken. And that is why Maggie Benjamin is my favorite actress.