Top Ten Rent Songs

Next musical on this series, I will be making a list of my top ten songs from Rent. Rent is one of those musicals I learned to love through the songs. This may not be exactly accurate, but will still be ten Rent songs I love.

Possible Spoilers:

1. Seasons of Love- this is my favorite song from Rent. It shows you just how precious and short life is. It shows you just how many minutes there are in a year, and how you should live life. It teaches you that you should measure your life in year. I just love the song’s message.

2. Finale B- just like Les Mis, Rent is a sad musical, but it ends perfectly making you feel inspired. In the scene previously, it appears as if Mimi was dying, but she actually survived. She has this near-death experience and choose to survive. This song really represents the overall message of the show- to live in the moment- No Day But Today

3. I Should Tell You- I don’t know what it is, but Mimi and Roger are my favorite couple in Rent. They may be a flawed couple, but they are a very realistic couple. This is the song where they finally are able to confess their feelings their feelings for each other

4. One Song Glory- this happens very early on in the musical. I love the overall melody of the piece. It is quite an emotional song to be honest; even though it doesn’t sound like. You have previously found out that Roger has HIV, and in this song, you find that he wants to write one great song before he dies.

5.  Another Day- this song has an interesting melody to it. At the beginning, there is kind of rocky edge of it when Roger is trying to refuse to go out with Mimi. Then when Mimi sings, it sings to the overall “No Day But Today” melody- so the song has a mixture of melodies going on. That “No Day But Today” melody happens in more than one song.

6. Will I- a very simple melody, but an extreme emotional reaction- it can actually reduce you to tears. It is only basically three lines song over and over again can causes that reaction: that is just how powerful that song is.

7. Without You- the 2nd act is more emotional then the 1st act. It seems as if Roger wants to split with Mimi. Plus, Angel is about to die from AIDS- he had HIV in the first act. So this is a highly emotional song. Collins never once leaves Angel in this song- they make the most of their relationship. On the other hand- Roger and Mimi constantly fight and split up; but always seem to love each other- the brokenness of their relationship at times is kind of why I am confused at why Roger and Mimi are my favorite couple in Rent

8. Goodbye Love- an extremely high stake song. Angel has died and now all of these friends are fighting. I still love this song- they just feel like they are getting split up. A lot happens in this song.

9. La Vie Boheme- what is nice about this song is at least it isn’t quite as emotional as many of the others. It helps lighten up the mood a bit. At least Roger has finally left his apartment. That is really why I love this song- lightens up the mood. After all, Rent is a sad musical- sad musicals did those kind of breaks or they get just way too overwhelming.

10. What You Own- I love how this is a man/man duet. Many musical theatre duets are between a man/woman due to romance songs. This is a duet found between Roger and Mark. They both have huge epiphany moments during this song. Mark has finally figured out the film he really wants to create, and Roger realizes the big song he wants to write. Roger just realized how much he really needs Mimi in his life just by seeing in Santa Fe- he decides to write his song about Mimi and his feelings for her.

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Who is Mark?

Just like Mimi and Roger, I barely know Mark.

Possible spoilers:

I feel like it is very hard to get know all the Rent characters. Mark is the overall narrator of Rent. He is also a filmmaker and Roger’s roommate and his best friend. He recently was Maureen’s boyfriend, but Maureen has left him for Joanne. Mark keeps on encouraging Roger to leave the apartment, but Roger always refuses. Marks seems to videotape everything instead of being part of the action himself. He is one of the character who doesn’t have HIV. He is lonely in the fact that he is one of the few who is not in a relationship. I still wish I knew Mark a bit better, but for whatever reason the Rent characters are very hard to get to know.

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Who is Mimi?

I will do the best I can to analyze Mimi. I just feel like I barely know her. I already analyzed Roger, but Roger and Mimi are my favorite couple in Rent despite how flawed that couple is.

Major Spoilers:

Mimi is a drug-addict and is HIV-Positive. You first meet her when she comes into Roger’s apartment wanting someone to light her candle. These two are neighbors. The two are automatically attracted to her. Mimi wants to enter into a relationship with Roger and all throughout act I, she keeps on trying even if Roger keeps on pushing her away. There is something sweet about Mimi. She is always trying to live in the moment. She works as a dancer at a club. She is very vulnerable, which is especially shown throughout act II. Even though she is a drug addict, there is more to her than that. She nearly died at the end, but at least she lived. I wish I knew Mimi a bit better, but I don’t.

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Who is Roger?

Possible Spoilers:

Roger is a HIV- Positive musician who is roommates who Mark. His main goal is to write one great song before he dies. When you first meet him, he is basically dealing with depression. His latest girlfriend committed suicide after she discovered she had HIV-Positive, which is how Roger discovered he had it. So he is basically cooped up in his apartment. He does not want to leave his room even though Mark keeps on convincing him.

However, it is his neighbor, Mimi, that gets him out of his shell. She stops by to light his candle. He immediately is attracted to her and finally finds some sort of joy. During the entire “Light My Candle”, he discovers she is a drug addict. He is afraid of entering into one because of what previously happened. Mimi keeps on trying to convince him to start a relationship with her, but he always refuses. Eventually Roger leaves the house and tells Mark about Mimi. Soon enough, Roger invites Mimi out. At the life cafe, the two of them discover that they are both HIV-Positive and Roger finally confesses his feelings for Mimi.

He keeps on entering and leaving a relationship a Mimi. I never can seem to understand that. They keep on fighting it seems. It seems to be a very realistic relationship. I am still trying to figure out some of Roger’s actions at times. He is still one of my favorite characters from Rent.

What I find interesting is that his great song is about Mimi. But it happens at a very inconvenient time. Mimi seems to be dying and getting weaker, but Roger sings it to her. She survives during this scary time. This was one of the hardest analysis’ I did during this series’ because I feel like I barely know Roger. I love Roger, but I feel like I barely know him.

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The Talents of the Actors and Actresses I Have Seen

One thing that really impresses me is seeing the talent I have seen on stage when I have seen musicals. Some of the ones I have seen are understudies and standbys and those can really impress me. I have had understudies for characters such as Eponine, Christine, Jean Valjean, Elphaba, Leading Player and Katherine Plumber. Those actors have to work harder than anyone else. I just cannot believe how talented all of the different actors and actresses I have had over the years. I have seen more actors than actresses mainly because of Newsies. Newsies has a cast of mostly males and that is why I have seen more actors.

Les Mis was the last musical I saw and I loved that cast. You had the very powerful and passionate ensemble with some talented principals. It was lead by Nick Cartell and he was wonderful as Jean Valjean and his “Bring Him Home” was so soulful and truly sounded like a prayer and he quiet enough for what the song required and strong enough for what the song required. Another standout was Joshua Grosso as Marius, and he brought this unique nature of awkwardness to the role and of all of the actors in the love triangle, he was the strongest, and I never expect Marius to be the strongest actor because I always expect Eponnine to be the strongest actor, but this time it wasn’t the case. Jillian Butler’s Cosette somehow was able to connect to Joshua’s charming but awkward Marius. My Eponine, Talia Simone Robinson (understudy), was impressive. The fact that she was an understudy made her work harder than anybody else. She had some impressive scenes and some scenes needed some work. She was very playful around Marius and was quite strong during “A Heart Full of Love”, and she was very believable during “A Little Fall of Rain”.

Matt Shingledecker was my Enjolras, and he truly brought the passion and leader side of Enjolras. Even the ensemble was very talented. They were so epic passionate and powerful. The ensemble is very impressive when it comes to musicals and they are a huge part of a show: after all they take up most of the cast.

During Rent, I was impressed with the actors. Kaleb Wells brought out quite an emotional “One Song Glory” and showed his unwillingness to get into a relationship with Mimi. Lyndie Moe, my Maureen brought out her craziness perfectly and she made me laugh during “Over The Moon”.

Newsies was a musical I saw August 2016. It was lead by Joey Barriero, my Jack Kelly. It is hard to describe why I loved Joey. I loved how he showed his bond to Newsies especially his bond to  Crutchie. He brought out the inner conflict that Jack eventually went through. He was able to bring out the emotion felt in “Santa Fe” and the song to me was innocently sad. I don’t know if the innocence felt in the song was how Joey wanted to portray the song or if it was because this was my first time seeing the show. The actors in this show were triple threats. They were very impressive in the dance. They were flipping about two or three times in a row, dancing on newspapers among other amazing tricks and able to act and sing at the same time. The dancing was mind-blowing. The picture below is Joey Barreiro as Jack.

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Highlighting all of the talented actors will take a while. By showing some of the actors, you can tell that I have seen a lot of talented actors over the years. I still have not yet seen the same actor or actress in more than one  lead role. I am glad that each time I see a musical, I am exposed to new actors. I am always thinking how on earth have they memorized everything and they make it seem easy, but in reality it is not easy. It takes a lot of work and acting it much harder than it seems. They are doing the best they can and when you get an understudy or standby, you can get a bit nervous, but I alway regret it.

For example, Mary Kate Morrisey (standby) as Elphaba embodied everything about Elphaba, but brought something new. It felt like she was the main Elphaba. Another understudy that comes to mind is Adam Bayjou as Jean Valjean. He was my West End Jean Valjean, and he played the role so well that I forgot I was actually watching an understudy. So respect the standbys and understudies. You have no idea how much harder they have to work.

Favorite Roger Actor

I first saw Rent live last year in September. I waited five years to see Rent. My favorite Roger was Kaleb Wells, my Roger from last year. I still do not know exactly why I love Roger, but he is one of my favorite characters from Rent.

Possible Spoilers:

Kaleb Wells was able to really show strong emotion during “One Song Glory”. I actually got quite emotional during the song. I felt the heartbreak found in the song. Considering the fact that this was live and the fact that Kaleb was able to express the emotion so well, it shows how wonderful he is as Roger. I could really feel just how unwilling he is to get into a relationship with Mimi. It just is hard to explain why I loved him as Roger so much. He also actually looks like a Roger in my opinion.

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Waiting five years was worth the wait.

What do I Love about Roger and Mimi

In Rent, there are three couples and that is unique. Other musicals tend to have only one so having three is part of what makes Rent unique. Mimi and Roger are the main couple from Rent. They have always been my favorite couple from Rent and have a hard time knowing why. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that they are the main couple.

Major and Minor Spoilers:

These two first find a connection in “Light My Candle”. Roger and Mimi both have HIV and Mimi is a drug addict. Roger is currently dealing with depression after his latest girlfriend, April, committed suicide after finding out she has HIV. So Roger just does not want to get involved into a relationship. It is towards the end of act I where Roger finally decides to commit to a relationship. Mimi is what help brings light back into his life and she did help him come out of the house. Roger finally asked Mimi out. Then at the end of “La Vie Bohme”, Roger finds out that Mimi has HIV and finally decides to commit to a relationship with Mimi. “I Should Tell You” is the first time you realize the two are in love. That song allows you to love them as a couple.

These two do fight a lot, but yet still love each other. Their relationship in a way is like a “normal” relationship because in real life couples love each other, but sometimes don’t get along at times. It can be hard for them to stay in a relationship due to them both having HIV because at the time period it was basically a death sentence if you get the disease. When Roger leaves for Santa Fe, he just realizes how much he needs Mimi in his life. His song that he wanted to write before he dies is about his love for Mimi. But when he sings it is at a very inconvenient time. Mimi is dying (I think) during “Your Eyes”, but it is about Roger’s love for Mimi. Mimi almost died in Rent, but she does live. Roger’s love for Mimi gives her a second chance at life.

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Rent has some of the most controversial couples, but they still are unique. I still don’t fully know why I love Roger and Mimi the most out of all three, but at least I have a better idea.