June 18: Everything is Rent

I’m a teensy bit obsessed with Rent. Blame my seester. She said she liked it, so I bought the DVD and watched it and also liked it because I do whatever she tells me to do. The DVD or movie soundtrack plays at least once a day in our house. Jack sings along to “Seasons of Love,” on the “Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes” line, which I think is kinda impressive. What is not so impressive is hearing Katie singing along to “Tango Maureen” and “Take Me or Leave Me,” both of which are laced with words of the, um, unsavory variety. Damn.

I mean, rats.

When the kids are around I skip some sections of the movie or temporarily turn down the volume. Some people might call that censorship. People like me. But I’m not a totally careless parent. Rent deals with some decidedly non-kid issues that I don’t feel ready (or able) to explain fully to Katie and Jack.

Katie: Why does Angel dress like a girl if he’s a boy?
Jack: Why are those people watching that girl dance in her unders?

On the other hand, it creates the opportunity to approach topics I want my children to understand. Katie asked why Collins was so sad after Angel died. I told her it was because he and Angel loved each other very much, that they were sort of married. When she argued that they were both boys, I said, “Sometimes boys love boys, and sometimes girls love girls. People can love whoever they want to.” She seemed alright with that answer. I didn’t get into the politics of same-sex marriage and how some people think recognizing additional solid family units is a threat to our society. Nor did I take a jab at our current joke of a president’s close-mindedness. There’s pa-lenty of time for that in the other 23.8 hours of each day.

Rent is hitting Portland on its current tour and I’m eager to see it on stage, especially because Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal are reprising their roles as Mark and Roger. Katie is already begging to go; Vic and I are not yet sure it’s a good idea. We’ll see—it’s a year away.

The other night the original cast of the stage musical appeared on the Tony Awards show. It was fabulous to see them all together and hear them perform “Seasons of Love.” There were just two disappointing things: where was Jesse L. Martin? And why did the dreamy Taye Diggs look like the love child of Malcolm X and Steve Urkel?


  1. I love Rent and have listened to the soundtrack for years. We saw it on stage in Portland on it's first national tour and it was amazing. You'll love it Jen. I would go again if it comes to Seattle...

    Kid friendly it's not, but in a year she may be old enough, varies by child I'm sure.

  2. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. I really do!!!!


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