Hello, my name is Lucy and I am a Renthead!
For those of you who don't know what this means, I LOVE the musical Rent. I've seen it several times--on Broadway (FABULOUS!), tours (some good, some bad), the movie (wasn't fantastic, but still enjoyed seeing the original Broadway cast in action).
When Rent closed on Broadway on Sept. 7, I couldn't be there, but luckily the final performance was filmed and shown in movie theatres this past weekend. Needless to say, I was at my local movie theatre Saturday afternoon!
Wow! It was so good! The last cast was really strong and the great camera work allowed me to see the show in a way I never have before even though I've seen it tons of times.
The experience was made even better because I was sitting in a theatre full of other Rent fans. As soon as the credits came up at the beginning with Jonathan Larson's name, everyone applauded. (If you don't know his story, Google his name. It's tragic and inspiring all at the same time.) Then when the lights came up on the Nederlander stage with that familiar set, the entire movie theatre (myself included) GASPED!
(Yes, we're dorks. But for 3 hours we were happy, musical theatre dorks!)
From the first strum of Roger's guitar, I teared up. I love this show so much and to know that it will never be in that falling-down, but perfect, Nederlander Theatre again moved me. To know that the cast had to be feeling such mixed emotions as they closed this show that changed musical theatre in the 90's made me a little weepy. And of course no matter how many times I see it I cry like a baby through most of the 2nd Act. Saturday was no exception.
As the final topper on a great show, after the curtain call all of the original cast members who were there came on stage--Anthony Rapp, Jesse L. Martin (my FAVORITE!), Daphne Rubin Vega, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Fredi Walker. They were joined by the current cast and sang Seasons of Love one last time. It was FAN. TAS. TIC!
I hate knowing that the next time I'm in New York I can't feed my Rent addiction. Hopefully this wonderful film of the last performance will be made available for purchase. If it is, I will buy it immediately and watch it anytime I crave all things Rent.
I'll also have at least one more opportunity to feed that obsession next spring when the tour comes through Chicago. As I mentioned above, I've seen both good and bad tour productions of Rent. (Let's pause a moment to discuss how pissed I was at the BAD performance I saw last year. You do not piss on Rent, thank you very much!) This tour should be great as it will have the original Mark and Roger, Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal. (No, I'm not such a Renthead that I don't notice how old they are now. Yes, they are too damn old for these roles. But yes, I am such a Renthead that I DON'T CARE!)
Sometimes people ask me why Rent means so much to me, why I haven't outgrown this show. When Rent first opened in 1996, I was just a little older than the characters in the show. I KNEW those people. I had those friends. We were living in LA, trying to be actors and musicians, we were poor and we were having a BLAST! Even though we've all grown-up and moved on, it's nice to revisit them on occasion.
I can't wait to see them again this spring.