Sunday, November 27, 2005

No day but today

From the post title, you may have already guessed that I saw Rent this weekend. Alternately, given that you know I'm a big, flaming, showtune fag, you may have already guessed that I saw Rent this weekend. My impressions, you ask? Well, it was an awful long time from stage to screen and it's a bit of a stretch that these folks are twentysomething squatters struggling to survive in the East Village. The songs are just OK. The choreography suffers from the transition. It's Grease, really, only with AIDS and heroin. I almost added 'drag queens' but then I remembered that Stockard Channing was in Grease. She is a dude, right? And like Grease, despite or partly because of its shortcomings, I loved this flick. Loved it. Cried a bit. Sang a bit. Cold, dead heart soared a bit. Popped across the street to pick up the soundtrack a bit. Listened to it all fucking weekend. Oh, and Jesse L. Martin is to Rent what Jeff Conaway was to Grease (i.e. the one I wanna do dirty stuff with....loved me some Kenickie).

Added: In Light My Candle when Rosario Dawson is accused of looking 16 and she protests that she's 19? C'mon! Yeah, once you were 19. Last century.
So, who wants to see it again with me?

25 comments:

maddie said...

I loved the musical when I saw it last Feb. in NYC (after waiting 9 years to see it). I saw the movie last night...and I loved every minute. I would have sung out loud to the whole thing, but it was crowded. :) It was like I got to see the musical as it should be, with all the original (or most of them) people. I was so excited to see Anthony Rapp sing and dance to La Vie Boheme that I almost shreiked like a little girl. I'm such a freak.

This group of older ladies was sitting next to me, and I got the impression that the movie wasn't what they thought it was about. Everytime boys kissed or girls kissed, or when Angel came out, or the entire song of La Vie Boheme played, I heard a little gasp. I think the previews were a tad misleading...they left out all that gay, AIDS and dying stuff.

Michael said...

Everytime boys kissed or girls kissed, or when Angel came out, or the entire song of La Vie Boheme played...

Only the BEST parts! I loved it, too. It's kinda cheesy and maudlin and....AWESOME. If you sing hard enough, you can bring people back from the dead, yo. Now I'm wishing I saw it with you, maddie.

maddie said...

Only the BEST parts!

I know, right?

It is kind of cheesy and 80s...but there's something about the story that gets to me. If you just let yourself be sucked in by it, forget that these people are NOT teenagers, sing along to the music and just appreciate the story for what it is, it's awesome. Also the amazing score doesn't hurt.

I would go see it again with you in a minute if you lived anywhere near me! I'm dragging my friend with me next weekend to see it again.

Michael said...

PS My phone now rings Seasons of Love. I have it muted in public, I promise. I save it for my private places.

maddie said...

That is so cool! See, I'd be the dork that didn't mute it in public. I've really got to get a new phone that has that capability - I've got to get that ringtone.

Did you ever see it on Broadway? I saw it with Drew Lachey as Mark...he wasn't Anthony Rapp, but still hot.

Michael said...

No, not in New York, Maddie, but I did catch the national touring production when it came around these parts. Loving you loving Mark.
;-)

charlie said...

I went all the way to the website for the ringtone, did the preview...and then chickened out. :)

maddie said...

Loving you loving Mark.

He's my favorite...especially when played by Anthony Rapp.

Michael said...

Ahhhh, yes, the preview, Charlie. I did the same thing. Then went away. Then came back. Pulled the trigger. Oh crap. Am I a Renthead?

Now I wanna know what your ring is.

The Other Andrew said...

I haven't seen the stage version of Rent, it did tour here with an Aussie cast but I never saw it. I saw the bit about it on "Broadway: The American Musical" and found the true life story of the writer dying just before the opening night so incredibly sad.

I'll go see it when the movie starts here, but given the subject matter I'm sure I'll be a blubbering mess, no matter how uplifting it also it. It'll be hard not to think of Stephen, Darryn and the other beautiful men who I knew growing up who aren't here anymore.

freakgirl said...

DYING TO SEE IT! I promised a friend I'd see it with her, but our schedules may not permit. I may have to step out on her ass.

We saw it together with the original cast on Broadway. Loved it. Cried, laughed and pointed when the older couple in front of us got up and walked out. Went to Dublin on vacation and saw it there on its second night and then caught a touring production this past year. Loves it!

Michael said...

Andrew, it's a rock opera, so it's very fun and loud. I can't imagine how you'll feel, though, having lost friends to AIDS. One thing that did strike me was that when Rent was written, AIDS was a death sentence. So much has changed.

Three times, freakgirl!? And with the original cast? I'm so jealous, once again. This is almost as good as you hugging Reichen. So, who is NOT from the original cast?

The Other Andrew said...

I was talking with my doc yesterday about AIDS, it no longer being a 'death sentence' and how new infection rates are up. Scary stuff, there just isn't the education around anymore like there was (not here anyway) and the whole backlash against playing safe, the 'barebacking' trend in the gay community etc. I find all this very scary, I mean no matter how good the drugs are it still has a major impact on your health and people do still die.

Michael said...

Oh right, exactly. I didn't mean to minimize what AIDS is. Maybe not an imminent death sentence like it was, but deadly nonetheless. Very true, A. It is shocking to see how little attention is being paid to how the infection rates are still exploding in some countries and some communities right here at home. People forget so quickly.

The Other Andrew said...

I didn't think you were minimising it my friend, just adding my two cents worth. I feel incredibly fortunate that I missed that whole wave of infection that happened when I was in my late teens and very early 20s. Before anyone really knew what the fuck was going on. I look back in horror at the little information we had when I was 18-19 and working as a telephone counsellor, trying to clue people in on what little information we had. Almost no information, as it turned out.

freakgirl said...

Rosario, obviously not from the original cast. Which is a shame, because Daphne Rubin-Vega's Mimi was wonderful (her versions of Light My Candle and Out Tonight are spectacular).

I think everyone else is original, but feel free to correct me.

My favorite part of Rent in Dublin was the actors pronouncing CBGB's "cee BEE gee BEES" and me laughing way too loudly in a quiet theater.

wingedman said...

*jumps with joy* I'm watching the Asian stage version this Saturday in Singapore!

maddie said...

Taye Diggs (Benny), Wilson Jermaine Heredia (Angel), Jesse L. Martin (Collins), Idina Menzel (Maureen), Adam Pascal (Roger), and Anthony Rapp (Mark) are all from the Original Broadway Cast of RENT in 1996 and are playing their original roles.

Tracie Thoms, who plays Joanne and obviously Rosario, who plays Mimi, were not part of Rent on stage.

Another interesting fact that I found while looking for the above info: Idina Menzel sang "Over The Moon" live, rather than lip-syncing it.

I loved that scene - that's why it rocked so much.

Michael said...

It was only in the last few months that I learned Taye and Idina are a couple. Hot!

maddie said...

I only learned that recently too. What a great couple!

Idina was in another of the musicals I really want to see - Wicked. I bet she was great.

Michael said...

I'm really wanting to see Wicked as well. I'm thinking of going to Chicago before Christmas, so I could check out the touring production there. I've told this story before, so stop me if you've heard it, but I read that book about ten years ago or so while on a ski trip. It went through my friends like a virus. We'd fight over it. When I finished, two friends tore it in half, the better to share it.

maddie said...

Tore it in half? Ha ha. Well, damn. I'll have to get that book then! It'll probably be a million years before I get to NYC to see Wicked on stage, so that's somewhere to start.

Michael said...

It's a good read, Maddie. It won't be a spoiler to say (because it's on the jacket) that "Wicked" is basically the Wizard of Oz story told from the perspective of the wicked witches. When you walk in their shoes, Dorothy et al come off a little different. I really loved it. Like Top Ten love.

maddie said...

Sounds really fascinating! I heard some of the story when I was reading up on the musical.

I want to buy it for myself...it's Wicked by Gregory Maguire, right?

The Other Andrew said...

I just finished the sequel "Son Of A Witch". It's good, not as good as "Wicked", but still good. Worth reading.