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So We Hear
Caitlin's RENT Page

"We begin on Christmas Eve, with me, Mark, and my roommate, Roger. We live in an industrial size loft on the corner of 11th street and Avenue B, the top floor of what was once a music publishing factory....Smile!" These are the first words of the hottest musical to hit Broadway (IMHO).

Welcome to my Rent page!! Rent is a rock opera, by Jonathan Larson and based on Puccini's Opera "La Boheme;" it is currently playing at the Nederlander Theater on Broadway. This page will (eventually) feature a plot synopsis, the current Broadway cast, a quiz, cool stuff, pictures, and (hopefully) sounds! But until then, feast your eyes upon the NY Times Rent ad.

Jim Poulos is currently playing Mark Cohen on Broadway. Isn't he a cutie?

Would you like to learn more about the Current Broadway Cast of RENT? ~I've just added this new section to my page!

Plot Synopsis
Act I
The Time: Christmas Eve. The Place: New York City - an East Village loft. Mark, a young filmaker, sets up his camera. His roomate Roger, a songwriter and ex-junkie, struggles to pick out a song on his electric guitar. Mark trains the camera on Roger, taunting him about his songwriter's block (Tune Up #1).

The phone rings: On the answering machine, Mark's mother leaves her son a consoling, motherly message. Mark, who has just lost his girlfriend, Maureen, to another woman, screens the call (Voice Mail #1). The phone rings again: Collins, an old friend, is at a pay phone downstairs. Mark picks up, but the call is cut short - Collins isbeing mugged (Tune Up #2). The phone rings once more. Again Mark and Roger pick up, hoping it's Collins, only to find Benny, their wealthy former-roommate-turned landlord, on the line instead, demanding the rent. As if things couldn't get any worse, the electrical power blows.

Loudly, Mark and Roger rage (Rent). They burn their past - to keep warm - using Roger's rock and roll posters and Mark's screenplays for fuel. The past is not so easily wiped out, though; the phone rings yet again and this time it's Maureen calling, begging Mark for technical help with her performance piece scheduled for later that night in the vacant lot next door. Haplessly, he agrees.

Outside, a badly beaten Collins is discovered by Angel, a street musician, who offers bandages, comfort, and an invitation for a night on the town (You Okay Honey?). Their instant attraction becomes a bond with the realization that both are HIV-Positive.

In the loft, Mark also urges Roger to come out for the evening, but Roger refuses. Left alone, he stoically takes his AZT and dreams of writing one last song to redeem his empty life (Tune Up #3/One Song Glory). He is interrupted by a beautiful stranger from downstairs, Mimi. Mimi needs a match, her electricity is down too (Light My Candle). She and Roger are instantly drawn to each other, but Roger resists. Mimi, he recognizes is a junkie.

Elsewhere, Maureen and Joanne's answering machine receives a message from Joanne's parents (Voice Mail #2), but she is not home to hear it.

At last, Mark returns with Collins, who brings provisions and - better yet - funds, in the person of Angel, now decked out in glorious drag. Angel explains how he has earned a fast $1,000 which he is eager to share (Today 4 U). Benny barges in with a deal: If Mark and Roger will stop Maureen's performance tonight protesting the clearing of a tent city from Benny's adjacent vacant lot, Benny will forgive Mark and Roger's backrent (You'll See). Once Benny is gone, Mark, Angel, and Collins head out for the evening, leaving Roger alone again.

In the lot, Mark gathers his courage to meet the formidable Joanne, Maureen's new lover, who has also usurped Mark's stage manager duties. When Joanne reluctantly accepts Mark's technical assistance, the two quickly find common ground in their shared experiences of the self-centered, unfaithful albeit irresistible Maureen (Tango: Maureen).

Angel and Collins attend an AIDS Support meeting; Mark arrives to document it on film. The group affirms its determination to live without fear; "no day but today" (Life Support).

Meanwhile, in her apartment, Mimi is dressing to kill. Turning up again on Roger's doorstep, she implores him to take her out (Out Tonight). Roger is tempted, but his fear ultimately compels him to push Mimi away (Another Day). Simultaneously, a young support group member quietly asks, "Will I lose my dignity...Will someone care?" His questions are echoed by each member of the community, including Roger, who decides finally to leave his loft room in search of answers (Will I...?).

In the lost, Mark, Angel and Collins rescue a homeless woman from Police harassment (On The Street). The woman, however, is hardly grateful. Mark, Angel and Collins fantasize about leaving New York behind to live the good life, far away (Santa Fe). Mark goes to check on Roger, leaving Angel and Collins alone to declare their newfound love (I'll Cover You).

Joanne dials Maureen from a payphone, simultaneously juggling two other calls on her cell phone (We're Okay). In St. Mark's Place, the homeless, sidewalk vendors, junkies, drug dealers, and cops comprise a human mosaic. Angel buys Collins an overcoat, Mark meets up with Roger, and Mimi hunts for a fix (Christmas Bells). Roger spots her, apologizes for his behavior in the loft, and invites her to dinner. She accepts.

Maureen arrives and presents her performance piece, a satirical protest that calls for a communal "leap of faith" against Benny's commercial development (Over The Moon)

Afterward, everyone meets at the Life Cafe, where they hear a gloating Benny declare that Bohemia is dead. Mark and his fellow bohemians joyously reject Benny's pronouncement (La Vie Boheme). Benny exits in anger, stopping only long enough to hound Mimi, who is, it would seem, a former lover. As her beeper sounds, Mimi pauses to take her AZT. Roger discovers that his secret and his illness are Mimi's also. Exhilarated and frightened, they resolve to assume the risk of romantic involvement as well (I Should Tell You).

Joanne has several times been ordered back to the lot by Maureen. Fed up, she finally rebels, announcing that their relation ship is over. She also informs everyone that a riot has broken out on Avenue A (La Vie Boheme B). Benny has padlocked Mark and Roger's building and called the police. The bohemians continue to celebrate. The riot continues to rage. Roger and Mimi share a small, lovely kiss.

Act II

More to come!!

I found this graphic at Cyberland a wonderful RENT web site. It made me laugh hysterically, and I just had to share:

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Some Great RENT Links

A Stephen and Anjilly Webb-Page
Discuss the NY Production of RENT @ The Life Cafe
Index of RENTring
Leave your concsience at the tone
Mike's RENT Page The Benny Cast
Strictly RENT
The FIRST Unofficial Jim Poulos Site
The Official RENT Site
Diana's RENT-in-London Pages