Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

I love Rent…  0

Posted on November 5th, 2007. About Entertainment, Ramblings.

Rent, the musical (I like to think of it as a “rock opera”), that is.

I arrived home from work at 5:45 this evening and was greeted by my precious three-and-a-half month old son and his new nanny, who just started working for us today. Then, I fed G, and he stopped eating periodically to look up and offer me a sleepy smile. 🙂 He is darling! Then, we played for a bit, and he nearly fell asleep on his blanket on the floor – I guess he has a very exciting day. As he napped, I cooked dinner, and as I sat down to eat, I wanted to listen to music rather than watch tv. Instantly, I wanted to hear the Rent soundtrack. I haven’t heard it in about a year, but tonight I just needed to enjoy one of my all-time favorite songs from a musical theatre production, Seasons of Love.

What a monumental composition! It is such a tragedy that Jonathan Larsen passed away at only 35, before he had the chance to enjoy his amazing show.

The start of Seasons of Love is profound:

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Moments so dear
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure – Measure A Year?
In Daylights – In Sunsets
In Midnights – In Cups Of Coffee
In Inches – In Miles
In Laughter – In Strife
In – Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure
A Year In The Life?

The next verse is equally astonishing:

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Journeys To Plan
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure The Life
Of A Woman Or A Man?
In Truth That She Learned
Or In Times That He Cried
In Bridges He Burned
Or The Way That She Died
All:
It’s Time Now – To Sing Out
Though The Story Never Ends
Let’s Celebrate
Remember A Year In The Life Of Friends

And yet – the words do not do the song justice. The passion in the voices of the performers, and the style of the music itself, is just awesome. And it doesn’t end there – so many remarkable songs tell the story of Gen X-ers struggling to survive in an age of poverty, AIDS, doomed love, addiction. Some of my other favorites include One Song Glory, Roger’s reckoning with his HIV status and the death of his beloved (and the source of his infection); Will I, the fearful chanting of the HIV support group as they wonder if they will lose their dignity; Santa Fe, the fantasizing of friends with hopeless futures; and What You Own, two friends with pithy statements on the state of American materialism.

Thanks, Jonathan Larsen. I hope you enjoyed composing it as much as I enjoy listening to it on evenings just before my son splashes around in his tub and listens to his bedtime story.

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