Controversial Nature of Rent

One musical that is meaningful to me is Rent and it is one of those musicals that is dealing with controversial and very adult subject matters. This musical is based off of the tragic opera, La Bohème. This musical takes place during the HIV/AIDS epidemic and features a drug addict and members of the LGBT community. Because this is one of my favorite musicals, it shows just how accepting I am as a person. I feel like the meaningful musicals represent who I am as a person.

Possible Spoilers:

The musical centers around filmmaker Mark, HIV positive and musician, Roger, HIV positive, drug addict, and dancer, Mimi, bisexual and performance artist Maureen, lesbian and lawyer Joanne, HIV positive, gay and teacher Collins, and gay, drag queen and HIV positive Angel. True some of these characters belong to the LGBT  community, true some have HIV, and true one is a drug addict, but the characters are way more than that. They are a close kinit group of friends, and they are like a family to each other. In the midst of fear, they live in the moment and live life in love.

This show in all has three different romantic relationships. It has the relationship between Mimi and Roger, which is what the main romance is between. Roger and Mimi do have a struggling relationship especially considering the fact that both have HIV. Roger at first does not want to be involved in any kind of relationship because of what happened to his latest relationship. He learned his former girlfriend, April, discovered that she has HIV, and that is how Roger got it, and she committed suicide, which left Roger quite depressed. He is also a recovering drug addict and does not want the same struggle to happen between him and Mimi. After learning that Mimi is a heroin addict, and that she has HIV, this reminds him of what happened between his last relationship.

It has the always fighting relationship between Maureen and Joanne. They never seem to get along, and Joanne has a hard time putting up to Maureen’s craziness. But in a lot of ways, the relationships between Joanne and Maureen and Roger and Mimi do represent what can happen in a relationship sometimes. Sometimes, a couple fights and struggles to stay in a relationship.

It has the relationship between Collins and Angel, and their relationship is not as difficult as the other two relationships. They realize that because both have HIV, they decide to make the most of their relationship.


Even though Rent is dealing with a lot of adult subject matter, it is still such a wonderful musical. It’s message is very universal and reminds you of the preciousness of life, and that you shouldn’t waste it. It shows how to live life in the face of fear. They live in the moment and live their lives through love. The plot is really about these group of friends and their life in a year. But the plot is way more complicated than what it appears at first glance. Rent is a sad musical, but the message is why Rent is such an inspiring musical. It shows what happens in life sometimes and shows the importance of having a tight-knot group of friends. They are all way more than their labels, and people are always puzzled as to way I love the musical. I love the musical due to its incredible songs, its characters, the plot. My favorite characters are Mimi and Roger and have no clue why.

This sounds crazy, but Rent is the first sad musical I ever loved. I fell in love with it by listening to the songs through Pandora Fall of 2012 and at the time didn’t even know the plot and it already became meaningful and I found out Rent was sad after I had already seen the Les Mis movie. I saw that movie of Les Mis in December, which was after I had already fallen in love with Rent.

I have never seen Rent live before, but in September, my parents are finally taking me.



Author: mphtheatregirl

I am a strong spiritual person who is a big fan of musicals. This blog mainly is about musicals. Every so often I talk about spirituality. Sometimes I add in movie reviews, book reviews, and about my life in general. I hope you find my blog inspiring.

17 thoughts on “Controversial Nature of Rent”

      1. Yeah. Rent is one of those musicals that I think a lot of people devalue due to its concept. But I think that even if one finds the concept/themes difficult, there can still be appreciation for it. Rent was just in Seattle a few weeks ago and I wish I could’ve caught it but I didn’t have time. Someone I know from school went to see it though and they said that they loved it!


      2. Its hard to wait until September to see it. As my journey with Rent continues, my emotional connection grows. Was able to find something that I can relate to. I do not only love Rent just for its message, characters, songs and plot. It also allowed me to be interested in seeing Opera especially since Rent is based off of La Bohème


      3. My heart will always be with musical. But when I finally was able to see La Bohème last summer through the MET’s Encore Special Performance of that Opera in the movie theatre with my mom, I found a bigger appreciation for Rent


      4. You should. Well, the closest I got to seeing Rent live is the filmed version of the final Broadway cast. Last year when I learned Rent was coming to Charlotte, I started bugging my parents to get tickets and at Christmas thought that Santa forgot since the tickets weren’t in my stocking, but Santa actually wrapped them up


  1. Rent live is truly unbelievable and an amazing thing to experience. The 20th anniversary tour was my first time seeing it live and it was easily the best performance of any show I have ever seen. Have a great time!


      1. I wasn’t even told Rent existed until I started College. When I told friends I love Rent and after I told them some of the subject, they looked at me in disgust that I even like it in the first place.


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