Rent is a rock musical that focuses on the lives of several different young artists and the relationships that bond between them. The title Rent is very fitting for this musical because the majority of the characters are impoverished and are trying to survive in the world, while making a life for themselves. The story mostly revolves around the characters Mark and Roger, as they battle loss, love and life. While Roger tries to run away from all that he is faced with, Mark tries to capture it all through film.
Besides Mark and Roger, the cast includes Maureen Johnson, a bisexual woman focus on protesting, Joanne, Maurer’s lesbian lover, Mimi, Rorer’s girlfriend who is HIVE positive and an S&M dancer, Tom Collins, a gay, HIVE positive computer genius, Angel, Tom’s HIVE positive drag queen lover, and Benjamin, a former member of the group who gained wealth through marriage and is the group’s landlord who stands against everything the group is for. This musical portrays the reality of life through love in which couples continue to get together and breakup, drug abuse in which
Mimi almost dies, and tragedy in which the severity of the AIDS/HIVE is shown through Angel’s death. Big queer themes that are exemplified in this musical are cross gender roles, homosexual relationships, Bi relationships, identity crisis, and the biggest of all AIDS/HIVE. RENT is a very interesting musical because in a society when AIDS/HIVE were strongly scrutinized and gay individuals were being hated on, it is these “negative” factors that brings the group together. Even though at the time, AIDS seemed to be a eases only attributed to homosexual individuals, RENT breaks against those boundaries.
In the musical, homosexual individuals have AIDS, but so do heterosexual characters, such a Mimi and Roger, who attained AIDS through needles. Regardless of the AIDS epidemic and the negative implications it had on homosexual relationships, the musical is able to take the viewers from the reality of the situation by downplaying the severity of the disease. Even though many of the characters are facing AIDS, they are still able to form close relationships and love each other sugarless.
Despite everything, the characters are still aware of the reality, especially when Angel dies and Mimi overdoses. It shows that life affects everyone, regardless of who they are and what they are going through. This is depicted in the song, Mimi Goat Die Sometime”. This musical plays with emotions in a way that is not expected. With my experience watching the musical, I would fall in love with the characters, especially Angel and Tom, even though in society, we are told to stay away from those type of characters.
We have always put homeless individuals, drug addicts and queer individuals lower on the totem pole because they did not fit the norm. In RENT, the characters are exactly those we are taught to look down upon, the outcasts, but you cannot help but love them. It made me, understand that everyone has their own “baggage”, but that does not make them any less of a person. Angel is a crisscrossed, but he brought everyone together. Benjamin is wealthy, but he still maintains friendships with everyone even though there are not in the same socio economic class as him.
Mimi is a Junkie, but she still wants to love and be loved. Mark is an artist and he is always smiling all the time, but he still feels detached and wants to Rent Musical Analysis By Natchez “queer” or “normal” they may seem. The thing is that it is k because the audience loves them no matter what. Similar to Oz from the Wizard of Oz, even though the characters are very queer, we love them. So why is it that society tries so hard to look down on queer individuals and situations, when people subconsciously want queerness in their lives? One day, queer may become the new normal.