Six years of waiting culminated in one night. From the moment ZQ rocked on about this avant-garde musical called Rent, this bit of theater made for the lifelong New Yorker had become a must-see. Out of respect, at the very least.
Two Christmas’ ago, as part of my first pathetic visit (of 3 rainy days) to New York, I stood in line for rush tickets. After an hour of letting the rain pelt on my hoodie, I ended up with nothing but a damp head and a solemn subway ride back to the student hostel. The due Rent had to wait.
Second visit now, and perhaps six years too late, but I could almost hear an imaginary voice in my head, yabbering on the geeky-fine details as I took in the quick singing and often-kinky dance moves. The themes on AIDS, drug addiction and love lost in the concrete jungle coincided nicely with the hedonistic lifestyle of New York, where gay parades in Time Square are taken to be as acceptable as your cheap morning coffee.
But apart from this being my first musical on the real Broadway (and not every other city which has a street named ‘Broadway’), in the end Rent didn’t inspire me to jump on my feet and applaud. Melodic rock tunes are usually a hit with me, but for every good listen there were two boring ones. Somehow I wondered, what if ZQ was sitting beside me? But that dream’s a soda that fizzled out a long time ago. Maybe I should have watched Les Miz or Wicked instead.
Rent is a chilling depiction on how extreme liberalism can overwhelm all the old traditional values that we hold dear. Without love committment, religion, control, and even basic rent to keep us as diligent worker bees earning an honest wage, what would the world become? If any city could be a pioneering example, New York is that one.
N.B. Diyana! I deleted your latest comment by accident, while I was clearing out over 1000 spam comments (no joke) — so sorry!