La Bohème and Rent

I love both La Bohème and Rent- without La Bohème, Rent would NOT exist. That is because Rent is based off of La Bohème. How different is Rent from La Bohème-obviously both are sad, but there still are differences?

Characters: SPOILERS

Rodolfo vs Roger

  • In La Bohème, the main male character is Rodolofo. He does fall in love with the fragile and vulnerable Mimi. He is a poet. Many characters in La Bohème are living in poverty, are artists and are bohemians. He is living with Colline, Schunard, and Marcello.
  • In Rent, Rodolfo ends up becoming Roger. So, he is a struggling musician living with his best friend, Mark. He has HIV and is dealing with depression at the beginning of Rent after his recent girlfriend killed herself after finding out she has HIV (that is how Roger found out he has HIV). His main goal is to write one last song before he dies. He is kind of scared to enter a new relationship and is unwilling to leave the house.

Mimi vs Mimi

  • La Bohème is a tragic love story, so Mimi is the other 1/2. It is Rodolfo and Mimi’s story. She is the most fragile and vulnerable of the two. It is Mimi, who ends up dying- you know for a fact from the time Rodolfo met Mimi to her death that they had true love for each other.
  • In Rent, they do not change Mimi’s name- Roger and Mimi stay the main couple. They have a struggling relationship. Mimi is a drug addict, dancer, and has HIV. Mimi is what allows Roger to finally come out of his shell. They had love for each other all long- they are my favorite of all three Rent couples. I do think Mimi from Rent is the most fragile and vulnerable of all of them. She has a slightly different fate then Mimi from La Bohème- Mimi ALMOST died in Rent, but survived.

Marcello vs Mark

  • Like I already said, he lives with Rodolfo, Schunard, and Colline. He is an artist. In La Bohème, he is in a relationship with Musetta.
  • In Rent, Mark is the narrator and a filmmaker. He recently broke up with Maureen. He is one of those who does not have HIV, but still affected by it since he has to see his friends suffer from it. After all, Roger is his best friend and they live together-he actually has four friends who deal with HIV (Roger, Angel, Mimi, and Collins).

Schunard vs Angel

  • It took some time for me to figure out who was Angel’s counterpart in La Bohème, but soon figured it out. Angel’s last name was Schunard and Schunard in La Bohème did end up killing a parrot (doesn’t that sound familiar to the dog in Rent?). Schunard actually doesn’t even have romantic partner.
  • A major difference between Schunard and Angel is that Angel now has a romantic interest. He and Collins become a couple- those two make every moment count since they both have HIV. Roger/Mimi and Maureen/Joanne struggle and fight at times or go in and out of the relationship even though things eventually work out in the end. They are one of the few non-heterosexual couples I have seen in a musical.

Colline vs Collins (still feel like I barely know him in both)

  • The best thing I know about him in La Bohème is that he is friends with Rodolfo, Schunard, and Marcello.
  • Collins, in Rent, has HIV and ends up in a relationship with Angel. He is gay.

Musetta vs Maureen

  • Musetta, in some ways, does provide some moments of comic relief in La Bohème. She is crazy and in a relationship with Marcello. She can be a sweet person, but still crazy. She was sweet with Mimi when she was at her weakest. The craziness is how I was able to figure out her counterpart in Rent.
  • Maureen, is crazy-no joke about that. She is a performance artist and is in a relationship with Joanne, but she can’t help but flirt with other boys, which annoys Joanne. Maureen still has her sweet side-like when everyone thought Mimi was dying, you do see it and in other moments. She is bisexual.

( ) vs Joanne

  • Here’s the thing about Joanne, she has no counterpart in La Bohème. She was added to Rent. That is what allowed a third couple to enter-Maureen/Joanne are a couple, which is the most problematic couple in Rent. They are the two who are fighting the most. Joanne is a lawyer. Another non-heterosexual couple.

Bonit vs Benny

  • Bonit is basically a minor character in La Bohème, but he is the landlord of Rodolfo’s apartment.
  • What Rent did with Bonit is make him a major character. Benny still is a character and still the landlord of where Roger, Mark, and Mimi live (that is who lives there), but serves more as the antagonist. He actually is much more of a character in Rent than La Bohème.

Plot

There are some differences with the plot. Both are still sad.

Different time periods and locations: La Bohème (France-1830) and Rent (East Side of NYC-1980s or 1990s).

Disease change: Tuberculosis to HIV/AIDS- that had to do with time period change.

Number of relationships: 2 to 3: (Rudlofo/Mimi and Marcello/Mimi) to (Roger/Mimi, Angel/Collins, Maureen/Joanne)

Death: that changed. Mimi died in La Bohème while it was Angel in Rent. However, Mimi ALMOST died in Rent.

Animal- well, Angel (Schnauard) killed a parrot in La Bohème, and it was a dog in Rent

1800s Shows- Part Two

Yesterday’s post did make mention of musicals and operas that I do love that take place during the 1800s. As the day went by, I realized I left one off-one that I shouldn’t have overlooked.

Oliver

How in the world could I have overlooked that Oliver was set in the 1800s? I knew the book, Oliver Twist, was set in the 1800s due to being written by Charles Dickens. The musical, Oliver, is based off of the book, Oliver Twist. Literally, this was one that I never should have forgotten was an 1800s musical. I like Oliver as a musical—I did see it once on stage (which I forgot) and did see the movie musical.

From the fun numbers like “Consider Yourself” to the eventual heartbreaking “As Long As He Needs Me”- it has a mixture of emotions. It has a strong story, a fun cast of characters, and fun dance numbers. It is actually one of those classic musicals that needs to be seen. It is classic in two ways: 1) for being a classic musical and 2) the book itself is a classic. So you would be exposed to be a classic novel by the musical.

Most of the 1800s shows I can think of are French- but only two are not. To summarize yesterday (including today): Les Mis, La Bohème, Oliver, Phantom of the Opera, and Newsies.

La Bohème Review

Yes, I am at heart a musical theatre fan. There are moments where you want to see something else. One of the musicals I fell in love with was Rent. Not only is Rent one of my favorite and meaningful musicals-it led me to wanting to see something else. I soon learned that Rent was based off of the tragic opera, La Bohème. Ever since, I wanted to see that Opera- yes, you saw that right- someone who loves musicals really wanted to see an Opera.

Opera Carolina does use Blumenthal Performing Arts, and this year, they decided to do La Bohème. When I found out about that, I know what I was thinking. While I still wanted to see the musicals, I still wanted to see La Bohème- that was something that felt like forever. La Bohème is the tragic love story between Rodolfo and Mimi.

Cast:

Adam Smith: Rodolfo

Stefanna Kybalova: Mimi

Peter Morgan: Colline

Keith Harris: Schaunard

Giovanni Guagliardo: Marcello

Corey Raquel Lovelace: Musetta

Songs-Spoilers (even though expected)

When it comes to the La Bohéme songs, the ones I loved the most were the ones that Mimi and Rodolfo sang. No joke- after all, they are the main couple, and it is their story after all. These two truly do love each other, and that is strongly expressed in their songs; even in the end. I nearly almost lost it in the end right when Rodolfo knew Mimi was dead- seriously, I did. I literally did not want it to end that way- I wanted them to stay together-their songs truly made me not want to end like that. Tragic love stories are rough.

Storyline

Like any storyline, it needs to be one you need to stay invested in. La Bohème’s works. There are the emotions of grief, pain, and heartbreak. There are moments of comic relief- one of which comes at JUST THE RIGHT TIME. Literally, Rodolfo, Colline, Schunard, and Marcello were having a happy time in their apartment right before Mimi arrives dying (Musetta arrives too). So- just the right time. What I love about the ending (despite taking forever)- is that at least Mimi dies with Rodolfo by her side. These two truly did love each other despite some complications- that is a HUGE reason why I love their relationship and this storyline.

Acting

For some reason, which was good, I was most attached to Adam and Stefanna- the Rodolfo and Mimi. That was probably why I wanted Rodolfo and Mimi’s relationship to not fail despite knowing it was to be. Out of everyone in the group, Mimi is the most vulnerable and fragile. Literally at the end, Rodolfo was extremely devastated- I could see it, and I literally nearly lost it.

Sets

Well, each act; which was four acts to my surprise. Each act ended up being a completely different set- that was why those all of those acts. I loved all of them from the loft where Rodolfo and his friends life; the market; and outside of where Musetta lives. You actually can see it snow.

Overall Impression:

Okay, I love La Bohéme. Beautiful love story- what I love is while it mainly is a tragic love story is that there is a second that is lighter in nature. My favorite Opera. Here’s what I can say: tragic operas are not the same as tragic musicals. Only saying that due to operas’ reputation for being tragic.

For some reason- I feel like tragic love stories can be more difficult than a typical tragedy see unfold. Especially if you have fallen in love with the couple and the story itself.

Some of my favorite Spectacle/Dance in Musicals

One of the strongest reasons why I love musicals belongs to spectacle and dance. I do not know why I never mentioned this on my blog- I never once mentioned what some of my favorite spectacle scenes or dance scenes were. I decided to list some of those below.

  1. Seize the Day
  2. Circle of Life
  3. Friend like Me
  4. Be our Guest
  5. Dancing Through Life
  6. Whole New World
  7. Magic to Do
  8. NYC
  9. Etc…I can add more

There are people who feel like spectacle and dance are in a musical “just be there”, but that isn’t true. They have a reason- it helps in believability, emotion, and the pure joy and spirit of musical theatre.

What are some of your favorite spectacle and dance numbers?

December 2019 in Review

Well, it is finally the end of December. December was filled with highlights- from theater highlights to highlights related to Christmas. Now I will talk about some of the things that I loved about December.

Come From Away Informance:

At the beginning of the month, I did go to another Club Blume event. This time, we went to an informance for Come From Away. We were going to watch this entire video about what inspired the musical, but right in the middle it cut off. But it was just enough to get be interested in wanting to see the musical. However, I did not know if I really wanted to go next year with placing Frozen, Anastasia, and Wicked as the main musicals I wanted to see—so I really thought Come From Away would have to wait. It really is an inspiring story that happened during 9/11.

Advent Lessons and Carols:

Well, one of my favorite church services during the Holidays is Lessons and Carols. I learned this year that there are two of them- one for advent and one for Christmas. However, it is the Advent one where I feel like the Holidays truly have begun.

Staged Les Mis Concert- Cinema:

Due to living in the United States, there was no way to watch the staged concert. Then it was announced they would put it in cinema. This would make up a 3rd date with my mom to Les Mis- the West End, the US Tour (2019), and the staged concert. The crazy thing about the concert is that I would be seeing some repeat actors/actresses from the time I saw Les Mis in the West End along with two or so actors from the 25th concert that I saw. I did see Les Mis in London on July 30th, 2015 with an understudy as Jean Valjean.

A Christmas Carol:

Of all shows I went to see, A Christmas Carol was my only straight play. However, A Christmas Carol is a story that means something to me. It is a story I loved growing up. My family went this year because we knew someone who was in the cast. It was at Theatre Charlotte, a local theater. So, it actually was seen the same week as the staged concert of Les Mis. Both A Christmas Carol and Les Mis mean something to me. I have loved A Christmas Carol since I was a child.

Candlelight Christmas Eve Service:

This is my favorite of all the Christmas services. Think of a trumpet and strings being added to the organ. You have all three at that service. You are given a candle at the beginning of that service for “Silent Night” later when the lights are dimmed and the candles are lit. It truly is a beautiful beautiful service.

Christmas:

Of course, Christmas is a highlight of December. I was not expecting to get two tickets- let alone two- one was for Come From Away and the other for Frozen. I got the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I now own the Original Aladdin Broadway soundtrack.

Christmas Lessons and Carols:

This happens the Sunday after Christmas. The difference here is that the carols are Christmas songs and the lessons are Christmas-related.

Fourth Anniversary

It has officially been four years since I started my blog. I have loved seeing my blog develop throughout all of those years. I enjoyed seeing the different kind of blog posts I could come up with. When it actually became much more of a musical theatre blog, I loved it even more. One of the most important things when it comes to a blog are your readers/followers- I loved the relationship I formed with some of them (the most faithful ones in particular- I think some of you know who are).

I actually have realized that I know much more about the musical theatre world than I thought. As in- more about the characters, the plots, etc…. It really does help when you actually write about it. I still love how I bring in other topics- It really does show that I am more than a massive musical theatre fan.

Christmas Movies I hope to Watch Every Holiday Season

We have our traditions. We have the things we hope to accomplish during the Holiday Season. For me, there are three movies in particular I hope to see- one of which has been watched for several years. What are those movies exactly?

White Christmas

  • While this is a musical movie, I would not watch it all year long. That is because it is holiday movie. It is kinda of hard to describe why I hope to watch this movie every Holiday Season.

Elf

  • This is one of the very few movies that my entire family watches during the Holiday movies. It is such a delight to watch. This might just be my favorite holiday movie if A Christmas Carol did not exist. It also is one of those movies that teaches you what Christmas Spirit is.

A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott)

  • Yes, I am a millennial, but of all Holiday movies, this is my favorite. It has been tradition to watch this for a very long time. There is something about A Christmas Carol that strongly drives you in. It truly shows you what Christmas Spirit is. It has an incredible cast of characters (yes, there are a lot). I love Scrooge, Tiny Tim, among others. You truly can feel connected to Scrooge- especially because you see his backstory come to life due to the Ghost of Christmas Past. I love seeing all of the Spirits come to life except the Ghost of Christmas Future (which creeps me out).

Are there any holiday movies you hope to see every Christmas Season?