Hit or Miss

RENT, second time around

I think it’s appropriate on World AIDS Day to mention that I saw the musical RENT last night.  It was (mostly) the same cast I saw last semester in Indianapolis.  And other than a few mic problems, the production has greatly improved – lots of new stage bits and new characterizations that weren’t simply carbon copies of the original cast, but personal interpretations of the role.

Because this is AIDS Awareness Week, the death of Angel was particularly heartwrenching.

I got to thinking about how AIDS has been treated in the musical theatre and I am glad that it has gotten any coverage at all.  Before RENT, William Finn’s Falsettos trilogy broke new ground by concluding with the AIDS related death of Marvin’s partner, Whizzer.  More recently, songwriter Steve Schalchlin has turned his real life experience into The Last Session (Steve will be performing his one-man show Living in the Bonus Round here at IU on Thursday).