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« Let Nothing You Dismay | Main | Shtetl Reunion »

November 30, 2005


I have to see this movie.

I'm with you. And I was a starving actor for almost a decade. They pissed me off even then (although my acting career was twisting at the end of a rope right around then... could that have had something to do with it?).

They say if you are young and not a liberal you have no soul, if you are old and not a conservative, you have no brain.

I have yet to see the movie, but have started re-listening to the music. I too saw the orignal cast on broadway and villified Benny, where as now he seems like the only one doing something with himself. Ahh, but I still love it, or rather I love the passion it instilled in me at the time.

PS. Anthony Rapp is from the north shore and his sister went to New Trier - starving artist my butt.

GREAT POST. I kiss your toe.

Brilliant review Danny...I never saw the seeing the movie last week was my first experience of Rent. I had all the same feelings you did, and even, surprisingly, found myself feeling a bit prudish during the La Vie Boheme scene. (Reminded me of Hair, which I idealistically saw at the age of 17).You've even got me wondering if I would still absolutely love Chorus Line, afterall I saw it almost 30 years ago when I was only about 21 (and very idealistic). I hope it would still be as wonderful. Anyway, thanks for putting MY feelings into words with your very perceptive review. Being a baby boomer, a product of late 60's, early 70's...when trusting someone over 30 was forbidden...makes it even scarier to see how our perspective changes as we get older.

Hi Danny..
I hope you will understand if I do not read this post YET! Waiting for them to send me the DVD..and I'm someone who doesn't want to know ANYTHING about a film before I see it...(A little hard with this particular, but I promise, I will read it as soon as I've seen the film!

Thanks for your comment today; it is shocking to me, too, that I have known soooo many people who have died of AIDS...(plus sooo many people living with HIV/AIDS, right now)....lots of people connected to STAGE, I'm sorry to say...and of course many many people who were a part of Theatre West...including dear talented Robert Elston who was in "Spoon River" from the beginning...I think this is what happens when you have lived a l-o-n-g time and been involved with so many creative projects in so many I am a very social creature, though you would not know it from my present circumstance...
It is a sobering day today, in many ways, isn't it?

Never to young to be taken to a movie like that.
But hey, I grew up in rock and roll.

That was very insightful, Danny. I'm not sure you're really talking about a liberal-conservative thing, but more of -- I hate to put it this way -- naive-jaded thing. I also find it harder to get revved up by stories of youthful rebellion, mostly because I've been there, and seen how the story usually plays out. We all know that if these characters were real, by now they would all have "sold out" to be able to continue living in that neighborhood, or would have long ago moved to Long Island. Didn't the same thing happen to the young people from "Hair?" The problem isn't that you've grown more conservative, but that you know where most of these characters are now ten years later.

Danny -- I think what happened to you is that you got a family. When you have one of your own, it makes you draw closer to and feel more sympathy and understanding for the generations that have gone before, raising each other and you. What's weird is that in dreaded Europe, young people stay close to their parents (live with them, usually) and continue to want to stay near them after they are married. What went askew in American culture that it became de rigueur to despise your "'rents"?

We did it -- we baby boomers. It's our fault!

I hated Rent. I lived in Manhattan during the period in which the play is set. Let me tell you, heroin addicts and people dying of AIDS don't have so much fun while they're squatting. To me it looked like a spoiled bunch of ivy-league kids trying to act "bohemian". And the "rent-heads" need to get a life.

This is a cool site! Thanks and wish you better luck! Brilliant but simple idea.

I want to say - thank you for this!

Don�t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don�t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

For some reason I am responding to a column you wrote in 2005..about 'pay your rent'--i think the title grabbed me.
you are so reminded me of something i read about a woman who'd read "Marjorie Morningstar" years ago (a great book by the way) and thought how sad it was that Marj did not end up with the bad boy Noel. Then on rereading it as an adult she thought, Noel was a JERK! Why didn't Marj grab the good guy! (I agreed). And the reaction may have nothing to do with being a parent, since I don't have kids...just a result of getting older and (?) wiser...
P.S. I like your site a lot.

I only came here to view a picture of Jane Russell that google assured me is on this page, but stayed to read your review of rent.

I am a starving artist, who comes from a poor background, who grew up around hippies and drug addicts, used to walk down the street watching the hookers popping in and out of cars on my way down to the museum or the mall, etc.

I remember when I first heard about 'Rent' it was touted as the next 'Hair' The love tribal rock musical for the me generation. Or was it generation x. Anyway, it was some generation that didn't have a war to protest, so, no, it wasn't at all like 'Hair'.

Watching the movie, I was moved by parts of it, but mostly I was disgusted. They are spoiled brats, sell outs already, disrespectful of their parents, their anthem mentioned hating parents and insulted the son of God - neither of which did a thing to them! I was revolted by their whining demands to not be forced to take care of themselves. And, there Benny was offering them a way to still be artists but actually support themselves, too, possibly; so, they dropped him as a friend. Then, they force one of their own to go and become more like Benny so that the rest of them will never have to grow up.

I had wondered if, perhaps, the movie had managed to skip over several crucial bits that were the ones that made the point of why Benny was so wrong -like, did his father in law bribe an official and buy a public park and that's where they were kicking people out of? That would be horrible! Yet, apparently, they were just two men who wanted to build an art center and let a bunch of loafers work there and still live rent free in a place that is right down the street from their work.

Most people would be grateful! The rest is a matter of finding somewhere else for the tent city people to live. Perhaps they could live with the whiners????

It is a play for the selfish in our society, who think everything should be their own way and no one else should feel the same.

Though, I did like the song where one woman is singing that she has to be accepted for who she is and the other woman must stop trying to change her, and then the other woman sang it right back at her. More power to that hard working, loyal, respectful lady!

I loved the post. Rent is probably the best movie/musical I've ever seen other than Wicked. I'm from a very open-minded, 'everyone can live as they please' family, and while other people would say Rent is bad or inappropriate (GLSTN unite!) because of the drug themes, and lesbianism are obviously not looking at the bigger picture: Life has its up's and downs, so try to get through it while you can, as best as you can.

I think the older you get the more convservative you become.

Informative and interesting. However, it is difficult to perceive my brains. It seemed so to me or you, too? I ask the author does not take offense.

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