One of the meaningful musicals of my life is Rent. Rent is based off of the opera, La Bohème, and written by Johnston Larson who tragically died the night before previews. It takes places during the HIV/AIDS epidemic and is dealing with characters from the LGBT community and features a drug addict so Rent is a very adult and mature musical, but its message is so universal.
I first fell in love with it in Fall of 2012. I was listening to the songs through Pandora and I fell in love with them without knowing the plot. At that point, I had not clue I was falling in love with a sad musical. Ever since 2012, I honestly hoped to see the stage show someday despite not knowing the plot. It is crazy falling in love with a musical through songs alone and I already found it becoming meaningful without knowing anything about the plot.
The following year I finally got around to seeing some version of Rent. In 2008, Rent did a special version of the Broadway production. They put together a film of the final Broadway cast. The musical consists of filmmaker Mark, HIV positive and musician Roger, HIV positive and dancer Mimi, drag queen, gay and HIV positive Angel, gay and HIV positive Collins, bisexual and performance artist Maureen, lesbian and lawyer Joanne and landlord Benny. Mimi and Roger are a couple, Angel and Collins are a couple and Maureen and Joanne are a couple. Mark is the narrater of the musical.
It actually was a really well done cast. They captured the family of the friends really well. The emotion of Rent was brought out nicely and so was the overall message.
I have two emotional connections to the musicals. One emotional connection I have is found among the relationship between the family found among between all the friends and despite relationship struggles between Mimi and Roger and Maureen and Joanne, the friends still remain a strong family. My other emotional connection is very personal, but I feel like in some way I can relate to some of the struggles some of the characters have. When Angel died, it seemed as if the family would fall apart, but it never did.
The message of this overall message is what to do with the life that you have. It teaches about the preciousness of life. It teaches you to measure your life in love and live in the moment. No Day But Today. Rent it truly inspiring and celebrates life and teaches you the beauty of life. The message is one of the biggest reasons why Rent is meaningful to me.
Les Mis and Rent are the only two meaningful sad musicals of my life. They both go beyond their sadness. They both are quite powerful with wonderful messages. Rent was the first sad musical I feel in love with, but I didn’t know it was sad until after I had already seen the Les Mis movie. Rent is not quite as sad as Les Mis is, but Rent is still sad.
In September, I will be seeing the musical live for the first time.
Do you love Rent? If so, why do you love the musical?