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Author Topic: RENT The Musical  (Read 2855 times)

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Offline CaliGuy22

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RENT The Musical
« on: July 06, 2008, 05:22:12 PM »
Ok here is a off topic question for you all. RENT is my all time favorite Musical/Movie, I have loved it since it first came out in '96. I was wondering for you Long-Term Survivors what you think of the story, is it real to life living with HIV in the 80's and 90's as portrayed? Just wondering what other people think of the show those of you that lived through  the time or where in NYC at that time era. If you are bored at home and feel like replying I would love to read it.

~J
Compassion is Revolution.

Offline redhotmuslbear

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2008, 05:49:05 PM »
While R*E*N*T* is certainly moving, I don't believe that stage dramatizations can effectively capture the essence of life amid the suffering and death in the 80s and early 90s, just as they cannot grasp all of the emotion and action in PSTD-inducing events like genocide or all-out war.  I can think of so many activities that may have lasted over two hours "back then":

trying relentlessly to get a friend to keep a mouthful of food down

wiping a friend's ass and bathing him

sitting stunned at a dinner table when a friend announced that he had "it"

frantically "de-fagging" a friend's apartment so his mother could crash there while he was in the ICU

selecting burial clothes

planning the order of service for a memorial celebration

listening at bedside for a friend's "last breath" after his partner has called to say that "death is imminent"

By the time I turned 21 in 1986, over 200 men and women I had known well had died from AIDS, including several who were like big brothers and fathers to me.  That's something that none of my heterosexual peers can fathom and the impact of which on my life I have only recently started to examine.

Namaste,
David
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." - BF Skinner
12-31-09   222wks VL  2430 CD4 690 (37%)
09-30-09   208wks VL  2050  CD4 925 (42%)
06-25-08   143wks VL  1359  CD4 668 (32%)  CD8 885
02-11-08   123wks off meds:  VL 1364 CD4 892(40%/0.99 ratio)
10-19-07   112wks off meds:   VL 292  CD4 857(37%/0.85 ratio)

One copy of delta-32 for f*****d up CCR5 receptors, and an HLA B44+ allele for "CD8-mediated immunity"... beteer than winning Powerball, almost!

Offline thunter34

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2008, 05:54:32 PM »
In all honesty, just how "realistic" can a musical be anyway?  When was the last time you went anywhere in the real world and had everyone around you burst into song and choreography? 
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline CaliGuy22

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2008, 06:00:01 PM »
David,
 Thank you for you reply. I in no way mean to "Glamorize" or "hollywoodize" (if you will) the era of the 80's and 90's AIDS Epidemic. It is touching to read you post and see actual events in your life. I sometimes feel blessed in an odd way to be diagnosed with this NOW in todays day and age. I am only beginning to learn what living with HIV means, as I was recently diagnosed. I only wish to learn more and what I can from those of you that have been there from the start or very early on.  Thank you again for sharing a bit in reply to my question.

With warmest regards,
  J.

P.S Thunter I did not mean the songs of musicals or the musical itself, I meant more the pain, suffering, love, friendship dynamic shown in the film and stage version between those with HIV/AIDS and those without.
Compassion is Revolution.

Offline Mouse

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2008, 06:20:30 PM »
In all honesty, just how "realistic" can a musical be anyway?  When was the last time you went anywhere in the real world and had everyone around you burst into song and choreography? 


GOD, that would be alternately amazing and horrifying.

Offline HIV+Me

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2008, 08:57:10 PM »
Disclaimer first, I was a huge fan of RENT from way back when, I was fortunate to have seen the original cast and even chat with some out on the street after the show (it being a Sunday night show).  While I loved the show and more/less liked the movie, I don't know if I ever really thought much about identifying with it, as my life was not about surviving a Bohemian lifestyle.  I didn't go for accuracy... for that, movies like Parting Glances and Longtime Companion I related much more to.  I definitely related to the song "One Song Glory," being creative by nature.

Offline edfu

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2008, 05:10:22 AM »
The movie "Longtime Companion," though not a musical, is a far more realistic picture of what it was like when the epidemic began in 1981. 
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2008, 09:27:27 AM »
I'll ask my sister. She dated an East Village squatter whose mother had HIV. In the movie (didn't see the play) half the characters had HIV. My sister seemed to know a lot of people in the 80s with HIV, relatively speaking. When I pushed play on the DVD player I thought it was gonna be cheesy but I found myself in tears 3 or 4 times, party because they only had AZT to work with and it didn't always do a good job. As far as the East Village being unsightly with a lot of blight, yeah, that's very accurate. I was 16 years old and used to think "Ugh, they need to clean this place up."

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2008, 09:45:33 AM »
The movie "Longtime Companion," though not a musical, is a far more realistic picture of what it was like when the epidemic began in 1981. 

::agrees with edfu::

LC came out in 1990 I believe.  I'd just moved to NYC and snuck out of my illustrious temp job at Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays and Handler to see it at the Paris Theater.  When they asked me at work where I'd been all afternoon I told them I was up on the 23rd floor making copies, because the copier on our floor was broken.  Always worked.

I actually lived only blocks away from the New York Theatre Workshop where "Rent" first opened in '93, before it got to Broadway.  Never went to see it there, or Broadway, and have never watched the movie or DVD.  Every so often I select something like that to perform a sort of personal boycott -- I've done the same with "Brokeback Mountain" though I did actually purchase the DVD, but I've not actually put it in the DVD player to watch it.

I know, this is a very odd trait of mine.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2008, 09:53:21 AM by philly267 »
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline woodshere

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2008, 10:21:23 AM »
Every so often I select something like that to perform a sort of personal boycott -- 

I know, this is a very odd trait of mine.

Actually I have done the same thing with certain movies - E.T. and Forrest Gump for some reason.  I did break down and watch Forrest Gump this year and realized it was a good movie, sorry I had waited so long to see it.

But back to the subject at hand, I really liked RENT the musical, not so much the movie.  As far as how realistic it is, can't say, since my life is in no way similar to the storyline.  I did find Longtime Companion excellent, as well as, It's My Party, although a little "Lifetimey", it did present a different scenario dealing with end of life issue.
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2008, 10:26:35 AM »
If you want to see a really bad AIDS movie I just watched "Girl Positive" the other day -- talk about Lifetimey.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline BT65

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2008, 12:35:30 PM »
If you want to see a really bad AIDS movie I just watched "Girl Positive" the other day -- talk about Lifetimey.

OMG, I watched that also and thought "puh-leeze."  I was an awful movie.

I saw "Longtime Companion" in, I think, 1992 or '93.  It was excellent and very accurate.  I did watch the "Rent" dvd (the musical).  I wasn't thrilled by it or anything.  I think another movie that's just really interesting as to how AIDS was "discovered" and "treated" is "And the Band Played On."  I own a copy of that and watch it every so often.  The part at the end where Elton John is singing and they show different real-life scenes always get to me.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline CaliGuy22

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2008, 12:38:25 PM »
Thanks for the recommendation on "Longtime Companion" edfu! I will have to check it out. I have seen Girl Positive too Philly and I am still hoping I get those two hours of my life back.

~J
Compassion is Revolution.

Offline Iggy

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2008, 03:48:10 PM »
Have you ever read The Normal Heart or As Is?  Two great plays about the period, and I know As Is had a tv production done once (Showtime?).

Offline Dachshund

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2008, 04:55:49 PM »
Hold on girl Mama Mia the movie opens July 18.

Offline Iggy

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2008, 04:13:33 PM »
Hold on girl Mama Mia the movie opens July 18.

LOL.  I know.  I can't wait for your early bird review!  ;)

Offline AlanBama

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2008, 12:16:16 PM »
I love Rent.   "Seasons of Love" will always make me cry, pretty much anytime I hear it.   Was it an 'accurate' depiction of AIDS in that era?   Sort of, but my memories are more like David's (redhotmuslbear)...

Being pushed in a wheelchair for AIDS Walk Atlanta.

Not having a week go by that I did not have to go to the doctor/be admitted to the hospital for something.

Preparing my OWN clothes for the 'laying out' and burial (I wrote about that in LTS forum earlier this year)

Crying every time I said "goodbye" to someone, because I never knew if it would be the last time I saw them or not.  To this day, I hate goodbyes (ask the AMG goers!)

Being discriminated at work because of having AIDS (kind of like Tom Hanks in "Philadelphia" but I did not actually get fired)

Having two 'sets' of home nurses coming to my home (one for me, the other for my partner who was also ill).

Creating a "stash" of narcotics, so if it got to be too much to bear or I didn't think I could fight any longer, I could end it all.

I managed to live through all of that, and it made me a stronger person.  I am a big old queen, but I am also as tough as nails.   Like I told someone in another thread, "you are stronger than you may realize".

Betty, I recently watched "The Band Played On" again, and it dredged up all those bad memories, especially those final "real" scenes of Ryan White's funeral, and Rock Hudson appearing in public with Doris Day.   CaliGuy, if you haven't seen that one, you need to.

hugs,
Alan

PS - I can't wait to see the film version of "Mama Mia" with Meryl Streep; I loved the stage version!
« Last Edit: July 11, 2008, 12:19:29 PM by AlanBama »
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline redhotmuslbear

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2008, 12:38:55 PM »
When was the last time you went anywhere in the real world and had everyone around you burst into song and choreography? 


Maybe not everyone around me, but I bust out in song and dance often.... most likely part of "appropriateness issues" experienced by many hydrocephalics.  Agree with LC being the most "accurate" AIDS film of its time, though it's gut-wrenching every time to watch my HS buddy Dermot Mulroney die.  Of all AIDS-themed film, I prefer Zero Patience by far.
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." - BF Skinner
12-31-09   222wks VL  2430 CD4 690 (37%)
09-30-09   208wks VL  2050  CD4 925 (42%)
06-25-08   143wks VL  1359  CD4 668 (32%)  CD8 885
02-11-08   123wks off meds:  VL 1364 CD4 892(40%/0.99 ratio)
10-19-07   112wks off meds:   VL 292  CD4 857(37%/0.85 ratio)

One copy of delta-32 for f*****d up CCR5 receptors, and an HLA B44+ allele for "CD8-mediated immunity"... beteer than winning Powerball, almost!

Offline denb45

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2008, 12:57:12 PM »
The movie "Longtime Companion," though not a musical, is a far more realistic picture of what it was like when the epidemic began in 1981. 

YES, I have to agree on that one, it was realistic as far as you could put on the sliver screen, but, what I remember about the AIDS Epidemic was far worse then what could be made into any movie  :'(  I think what redhotmuslbear posted above is far more realistic, at least that is what I recall doing for a lotta of my friends & lovers who were dying  :'(
« Last Edit: July 11, 2008, 01:08:15 PM by denb45 »
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline CaliGuy22

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2008, 02:13:11 PM »
I watched Longtime Companion last night for the first time ever. It was an awesome movie and very well done, I do not think I ever need to see it again though. It was one of those great films I only need to see once. But thanks for the good recommendation.

~J
Compassion is Revolution.

Offline HIV+Me

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2008, 11:12:22 PM »
I'm glad I was able to turn people here onto Longtime Companion (and surprised how many people did watch Girl Positive!)  I don't own a copy of it but if I catch it on Logo, I get caught up in it all over again.  Not just for the film itself but seeing it with so many friends at the theater who are no longer here keeps me from watching the end scene.

In some ways, the movie Jeffrey gets me in a bit the same way.  Odd, because while I adore the movie (and Patrick Stewart's scene at the hospital tears me up every time), I wish it had kept closer to the plot of the play.

Chris

Offline BT65

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Re: RENT The Musical
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2008, 01:20:43 PM »
I'm glad I was able to turn people here onto Longtime Companion
Chris

I watched "Longtime Companion" way before I joined these forums.  So, it's not like you turned everyone here onto the movie.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

 


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