I don’t know how this happened, but somehow it’s been nearly two years since my last post. But if anything merits my returning to the world of virtual blogging, it is the closing of the Broadway production of RENT, which, after twelve unrivaled years, is in the midst of its last performance as I write these very words.
Whether you know me on a personal or professional level, I have no doubt that you are aware of the countless influences that the show RENT, and its creator Jonathan Larson, have had on my life. I am in no way exaggerating when I say (as I often do) that it is because of Jonathan that I do the work I do today, and, even more importantly, that I do my very best to lead a life of patience, kindness, and acceptance.
This past weekend, I was honored enough to be a part of the closing celebrations of the Broadway production, as a result of having won a video competition in which I had two minutes to relay the impact that RENT has had on my life (a daunting task, but for better or worse, the video can be seen here). This included an unbelievably awesome party at the Life Café, which I will honestly say, again without the slightest hint of hyperbole, was the best night of my entire life. I was honored enough to have the chance to converse extensively with various members of the Larson family, and to dance on the tables of the freaking Life Café while singing the part of Mark in La Vie Bohème, accompanied by the most diehard RENTheads I have ever known. I was then lucky enough to be presented tickets to yesterday’s performance, which I think was the most energetic performance I have seen thus far (and believe me, that is saying something). The experience of the entire weekend was overwhelming in the best possible way, and the wonderful memories, opportunities, and new friends I will most certainly treasure for the rest of my life.
The era has ended but no matter how pretentious it may sound, I promise right here and now that I will do everything in my power to help usher in the next one, based on all of the invaluable and inexpressible lessons I have learned from my guide and inspiration, Jonathan Larson. The production is closing - but from the day of the first performance, over twelve years ago, this show has been much more than just a production. RENT lives on forever in the definition of and connection between multiple generations. For us artists, it lives on in our work, and our commitment to changing the world, however subtly, through that work. But most importantly, it lives on through our actions, and the love and respect that we all have the ability to give to the people around us, each and every day of our lives.
Thank you, Jonathan Larson. No Day But Today And always, always, hope for tomorrow.