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Random Blog Journey-2-Peace: RENT : the movie experience

    Trish Monaco.
    singer. songwriter.
    dog walker.
    human. living.
    loving. laughing.
    in Los Angeles


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Monday, November 28, 2005

RENT : the movie experience

Whoa. I feel like I really missed the boat on this one. Rent has been the talk of the stage for many years. It was a runaway Broadway hit. It toured the US. It was even here, in LA. And I missed it. I didn't try hard enough to go see it. I didn't realize what I was missing.

Enter: Rent, the movie. I went into the theatre with no expectations, having no idea what the story was about.

Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.

I'd heard it was a musical. But at the start of the movie, it was clear to me that it was actually more of a rock opera. Just about every line was sung. Not a lot of dancing - in the traditional musical-theatre sense. At first I felt a longing for that. Then I realized it would've been out of place.

Last week someone told us Rent was "about an apartment building." I was like, "okay." I figured there are musicals about cats, dogs, man-eating plants and a phantom. The title doesn't usually give any indication as to the depth of the story.

But hello! Rent is not "about" an apartment building. It's the story about a group of bohemian artist-friends living in the slums of NYC, trying to make a name for themselves by doing what they love and being who they are. Sell-outs need not apply.

It goes way deeper than that.

It's about choosing to live life to its fullest potential while we can - even under tragic circumstances (like AIDS and drug addiction). Be in the moment. Choose only this moment. It's all we have.

Over the weekend, I read a little about the birth of the show. In the stage production, everything was sung -- a true rock-opera. In the movie, there's spoken dialogue along with about 25 of the original songs. That explains why my first thought was, "Wow, these lyrics are really lame."

It took me a few minutes to get over it. Once I set my mind to understand that this is how the story will be told in this world, I was able to drop into acceptance. And there was no going back. I need to see it again ... and again. To get the soundtrack. And own the DVD when it is released. I also want to get the original Broadway recording.

I imagine my love for the movie hinges upon the fact that I did not see the original Broadway production. The two can't possibly compare. Apples and oranges. Similar to reading a book before seeing the movie. They are rarely the same.

The stage version will be touring in a few months, with a new cast. The closest showing this time will be in Las Vegas. Who knows? There could be a road trip in my future.

From what I understand, most of the original stage cast portrayed their originating characters in the movie. That made it even more exciting.

Anthony Rapp (does anyone remember him as Daryl Coopersmith in Adventures in Babysitting?) plays Mark, an independent film maker, documenting the lives of those around him. He originated the role on Broadway.

I am absolutely in love with Wilson Jermaine Heredia, another original Broadway cast member, who played Angel. He is a superstar. I recognized him from an episode of Law & Order: SVU. [hello, of course I would notice that.] Rent is his first major film credit.

Rosario Dawson (not an original stage cast member) played Mimi, the exotic dancer, strung out on crack-cocaine. Amazing actress and singer. I checked. Her first role was in the movie Kids (disturbing as it was, I need to rent it again. It's been years). Her list of credits is a mile long.

Oh there's more. Taye Diggs. His wife, Idina Menzel. Jesse L. Martin. Sarah Silverman. Art. Culture. Life. Death. Fear - lots of fear. Love - lots of love. Devastation. Passion. and Hope.

There's love for everyone.

I don't care if you're straight, gay, bisexual or asexual. You can't tell me you weren't giddy with smiles after the love song between Angel and Tom Collins. Well, you can. But I won't believe you.

live in my house
i'll be your shelter
just pay me back
with one thousand kisses
with a thousand sweet kisses
i'll cover you

By the way Robbie, this entry reminds me that we really need to go see Jamey in Bark! - the musical. Soon!

Comments on "RENT : the movie experience"


Anonymous Mallory said ... (5:35 AM) : 

Let me say that I am very jealous that you got to go see this movie. I wanted to go see it over break, but my sister wouldn't drive the 30 minutes to go with me. (it wasn't playing in her town) I'm hoping someone will go with me this weekend!

I've seen the actual show. (not the broadway of course, although I would LOVE to go see it in NY) The touring show came to Purdue a few years ago and I went with my sister and mom. I have the soundtrack. And I know the entire first CD by heart...the second CD, not so much, cause all of my fav songs (minus one) are on the first CD...

I'm glad to know that the movie is good though. I'd be disappointed if you had said it sucked....


Blogger Kathleen said ... (7:54 AM) : 

Don't you just love Rent? I've seen the stage play three times, once on Broadway. I adore it.
I have the song between Angel and Tom framed on my wall, its just so beautiful. I'm glad you saw the movie, I have to get out one of these days and see it!! Im jealous of you!


Blogger IndigoSunMoon said ... (9:33 AM) : 

I can't wait to see it!


Blogger Heather said ... (1:50 PM) : 

I am dying to see it. It's always been a favorite of mine, as a musical. I saw it in Chicago, and was dying to see it in NYC, but haven't been able to save the $$ to go yet. I'm glad that you enjoyed it Trish!


Blogger Judith HeartSong said ... (4:12 PM) : 

yes, I already knew that I MUST see this film..... :):):)


Blogger Swirly said ... (10:41 AM) : 

Hey Trish! Glad I found you over here :) I saw "Rent" on Broadway when I was in NYC last week. I LOVED IT! At first I wondered what I'd gotten myself into--- Bohemia, transvestites and all :) But half way through the first song I was hooked and by the end totally invested in the lives of these 8 friends. I saw the movie version when I got back to Atlanta over the weekend. You're right, the two cannot be compared. The movie was well done if you ask me. I just wish there was a way you could capture the Broadway excitement (and fullness of voice) and put it on the Big Screen. Get the CD --- you'll love it! I can't stop listening to it.

I've added your new link to my account. I moved Coffee Swirls & One Girl's World to Blogspot back in June, but kept the AOL-J version for my friends there. I'm updating it with NY pictures and will send you the link as soon as it's up and running soon.

Hope you are doing well! I still love your journal, girl :)

God bless,

Swirly (Melissa)


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