BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

More than twenty years after its opening on Broadway, RENT has been seen by millions of people and is a favorite among musical theatre lovers. Yet...until recently, I'd never seen it. I knew absolutely nothing about the musical except that it's based on the opera LA BOHEME.As I sat down, it occured to me that I was probably the only person in the 2,700+ seat theatre that was more familiar with LA BOHEME than RENT. Nevertheless, I was ready to finally check out the musical my friends had been obsessing over for years.

Here are some thoughts I had while watching RENT for the first time, in order:

(WARNING for the few people like me that don't know RENT: Spoilers ahead.)

1. Hey, that guitar riff is "Musetta's Waltz" from LA BOHEME!

BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

Photo: Carol Rosegg

See? Told you I was an opera nerd.

They actually point this out later during "La Vie Boheme."

2. "Will you light my candle?" is DEFINITELY a euphemism.

BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

Photo: Carol Rosegg

I had heard parts of the song before, but on stage... yeah. I get it now.

3. I guess people living in New York City REALLY want to go to Santa Fe...

BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

Photo: Deen Van Meer

I'm looking at you, Jack Kelly.

4. Angel and Collins are so cute! I hope they stay together forever!

BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

Photo: Carol Rosegg

Oh, what I would give to travel back in time and warn myself...

5. Oh, I guess we're singing most of this. Sweet!

BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

Photo: Carol Rosegg

It wasn't until right before "La Vie Boheme" that I realized there was hardly any dialogue. I guess this shouldn't have surprised me, considering RENT is based on an opera.

6. "Over the Moon"...

BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

Photo: Carol Rosegg

I...I have no words. Wow. What a masterpiece.

7. Wait, "Seasons of Love" is the opening of Act 2?

BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

Photo: Carol Rosegg

I thought it was the closing number! The song seemed weirdly heartwarming to me for an act opener, considering all of the problems the characters had going on. Now, I realize that's probably the point.

8. Wait...why is Angel putting pajamas on? Oh, no...now he has an IV, too? NOOOO! ANGEL....

BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

Photo: Carol Rosegg

*sobbing*

9. Oh, wow...Roger sold out to go to Santa Fe...that sounds familiar...

BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

Source: Oh My Disney

I'm looking at you again, Jack Kelly.

10. "For someone who longs for a community of his own / Who's with his camera, alone?"

BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

Photo: Carol Rosegg

OOOHHHHH! Sick burn! I wish my retorts could be that good...and rhyme...

11. Why do characters always have to confess their love to each other RIGHT before one of them dies?

BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

Photo: Carol Rosegg

Just like in the opera, I was devastated by Mimi's death. But then...

12. Wait...wait...WHAT? SHE'S BACK?

BWW Feature: Thoughts I Had Seeing RENT for the First Time

Photo: Carol Rosegg

I was not expecting that. Mimi just came back from the dead? And she saw Angel on the other side? *sobbing*

I can see why RENT was revolutionary. I wish I could have witnessed Angel jumping all over the place in uber-high heels or Maureen and Joanne belting their faces off (by the way, ultimate power couple) earlier, but it's better late than never.

Okay. Now that I've seen RENT, I strongly suggest that fans of the musical go see LA BOHEME.

The 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT is at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts June 5-10. For more information, visit drphillipscenter.org.



Related Articles

View More Orlando
Stories   Shows



From This Author Clarissa Moon

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram