The Gay List: RENT

Everyone knows that Broadway, though elitist and expensive, is extremely unbetchy. It brings to mind thoughts of giant symphonic orchestras jampacked with nicegirl cellists, men in leotards, and Kristen Chenoweth's soprano twang. But now it's time to pay homage to the best thing to come out of Broadway, and one of the few pieces of performance art that can be categorized as both something we enjoyed and a musical at the same time.

No one really cared that the plot of Rent revolves around bohemian povos, mostly because when we first saw the show at the ripe old age of 10 we were entirely oblivious. The soundtrack is fucking sick and every betch has had her moment with it. From the time we first heard it (on a CD with like, an actual handheld CD player), we just couldn't help but be obsessed with this magical show that exposed the lives of dying heroin addicts who refuse to pay rent and love to lurk around flaming garbage pails in Alphabet City… a place we would never dream of going once we heard what it was actually like in those days. We'd rather find ourselves in a desert called fucking cyberland, at least there they only drink #44 Diet Coke (diet coke coke coke coke).

Now, we know there are many betches and gays out there who've not only seen Rent multiple times but can easily sing the entire thing straight through, including all the words to La Vie Boheme and Voice Mails #1-4…happy new year from Scarsdale! Then there were also the fun songs like Over the Moon and Take Me Or Leave Me which you and your bestie would perform together, no homo, and the song Contact (fire fire! latex! rubber! fluid!) which had such a good beat, who even knew or cared that it's about a dying tranny getting fucked in the ass?

Somehow despite the fact that we had to ask our moms about all this shit like, is Angel a boy or girl, why does Mimi leave for work at midnight, and how do poor people afford so much baggage?… we too still wanted to dress in a slutty leather cat suit and commit a crime and be the cause of a fight. We too had a knack from way back for breaking the rules once we learned the game. Never mind that the game was actually avoiding infectious needles and keeping tabs on your stash. “No day but today” is soo the perfect fake deep quote for my AIM prof!

It's just like, why did no one inform us that light my candle was the 1990s lyrical equivalent of 'I'm DTF' or that Tom Collins was named after a drink or that life support groups aren't a place to meet cool people or the Tango Maureen was about a lesbian love triangle? We remained mostly ignorant to these things until our later revelations over what this show was actually about, circa the time when the movie came out. But whatevs, we have to say thank you to Rent. Without You, we would never know that an AZT break is one type of drug circle we should definitely avoid. Oh and, also exactly how many minutes there are in a year.


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