For Emerson College student Charlotte Odusanya, being cast in the 25th anniversary farewell tour of “Rent” is a dream come true. “It still feels crazy. I remember earlier this year saying to my friends that it would be really great to book something and leave school for a while,” said the 20-year-old performer, who is doing just that. Odusanya is taking a gap year to tour the country — and Tokyo — from mid-October through May 2022. “I saw ‘Rent’ my sophomore year in high school and I remember thinking how cool it would be to sing that song,” she said, referring to “Seasons of Love,” perhaps the musical’s most popular song in which, on this tour, she is the featured soloist. In a phone call from New York City, where the cast is rehearsing for the upcoming tour of the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning show (which will be at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre Oct. 12-17), Odusanya said that “Rent,” which debuted on Broadway in 1996, was “ahead of its time” in addressing social issues including gender, sexuality, and race. “Especially during this time, during the pandemic … it will make people think and perhaps change their perspective,” she said. “Rent” follows a year in the lives of a diverse group of artists and friends who are struggling to follow their dreams and passions without selling out and who choose love over fear. We caught up with the Portland, Ore., native to talk about all things travel.
Favorite vacation destination? London. It feels like a second home. I love the city, but also enjoy the quaint countryside. There’s a distinct smell that brings me back to my childhood.
Favorite food or drink while vacationing? I am a pizza connoisseur. I love pizza anywhere and anytime.
Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? I would love to go to Greece. I have an obsession with “Mamma Mia!” and I feel like I need to experience the beauty.
One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? Gum. Trident Layers strawberry and citrus flavor is my favorite.
Aisle or window? I’ve always been a window gal. I love looking out of the window and pretending I’m the main character of a movie.
Favorite childhood travel memory? Going inside the pyramids in Egypt when I was 8 or 9. I remember you had to climb a ladder to get to the museum part and it was really crowded. It was an interesting feeling being in those ancient pyramids and literally in a piece of history.
Guilty pleasure when traveling? Going clubbing!
Best travel tip? Take it one day at a time. Sometimes it might feel like you have to do and see everything. Enjoy the moment and where you are. You never know when a surprise might sneak up on you.