So, about that Rent review ...
On October 28th, we saw Rent at the Braden Auditorium in Bloomington. It was my first experience with the show ... I had no idea how fun it would be! Then again, I had no idea how sad it would be either. To quote wiki ... Rent tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive in New York's Alphabet City, under the shadow of AIDS.
Where to start? The acting was great. The songs were amazing! The story? A little dated, quite honestly. Want an example?
Quite a few of the characters have HIV. So, there's a critical plot point in Rent when the group finds out one of the characters has HIV ... because their beepers go off.
It's hard to feel the shock of that moment ... when you consider that no one has used a beeper in ten years. I could see people around us whispering, "What's going on?" The emotion was lost because no one under thirty remembers that some HIV patients used to carry a pager so they could get AZT reminders. For that matter, does anyone under thirty know what AZT is anymore?
Hold on .. I'm afraid it's starting to sound as though I didn't enjoy Rent. That couldn't be further from the truth. It was a fantastic experience. My favorite character was Angel ... and (being careful not to give away any spoilers) the scene when Collins says, "It's over ..." moved me to tears. And Maureen's "Over the Moon?" OMIGOD ... you can ask Mr. Thirtywhat. I walked around the house for days yelling, "MOO WITH ME!"
More importantly, I took something away from the story. Not to sound shmaltzy ... but there's no day but today. Some things are important in life ... some things aren't. You've gotta find what makes you happy ... because life is too short. And those you love can be gone ... just ... like ... that ...
Everything from the music to the set design was fabulous. In fact, I'd love to go again ... and maybe get closer seats next time. But, in the meantime ... the soundtrack is getting a workout on my iPod. And you? If you've never seen Rent, you should take the leap and go. Where else could you go that could make you laugh ... make you cry ... and maybe make you think about what's important in your life ... all in one evening's entertainment?
In our case, the tickers were a wonderful birthday present ...
There's only this
Or life is yours to miss
No other road
No other way
No day but today
Rent - Another Day