Ok...so anyone who is sick of me talking about "RENT" should just close the browser now. :) I'm sometimes sick of me talking about "RENT", but sometimes it just comes around.
So, this morning, I woke up early and I decided to put in the new DVD of the final performance and watch the Bonus Features. They had some stuff about the last week of the show on Broadway, The Wall people signed to express their feelings about the show, The Lottery, etc. So, I started with the featurette about the last week on Broadway and I kept crying...I know the show CLOSED...I have at least 50 different recordings, I have video clips, I have the movie on DVD, I have this new version...but I still teared up - especially when they showed Jonathan Larson's parents there in the audience - still loving the people who loved their son or loved him via his final work. How rewarding and heartbreaking it must be to watch the end of this show - the final thread of life from their son - so pivotal for him, for them.
Then I watched the final curtain call - many of the Original Broadway Cast came to the final performance and joined the cast onstage to sing "Seasons of Love" for the encore. I had seen this portion before (what was edited into the film), but in this version they panned out and showed audience reaction. That is really what prompted this post today. The camera panned out and I was so moved to watch the rapt attention, the utter joy and despair evident on the faces of so many people - and notably, the men. I was so struck by their absorption- eyes locked onstage, some had tears on their cheeks. It reminded me how much I admire men in the arts, men in theatre.
This may sound sexist- I don't mean it to be...I think women have traditionally had so much more permission to express their feelings, to truly love something and be enthusiastic about it. Listening to men sing, seeing them pour themselves into something as joyful as "RENT" is so moving. I wish I could explain what I mean. I just made my heart hurt in a good way. It made me wish that there was a way for us all to find that kind of rapture more of the time. Obviously, we aren't going to feel that way all the time, but more of the time would be good.
I started thinking about how easy it is for us to forget the lessons that "RENT" carries - "no day but today", "forget regret or life is yours to miss", "la vie boheme". I feel like I live such a divided life. My internal life is much more about joy and love and music and expression and I want to find a way to move my external life in that direction. Who doesn't, right? I know that is why I continue to interpret theatre. There is so much emotion when you pass these intense feelings through your body - whether you are interpreting or singing or acting.
Anyway, I guess it is a pretty good time to re-ignite my "RENT" passion since the show is coming back to town in June and I get to interpret.
If you are at all inclined, see this movie. It is beautifully filmed, the music is great, the show is brilliant (in my opinion). Enjoy. Feel the joy.
Here is a clip of "What You Own" with Adam Kantor as Mark and Will Chase as Roger.