I have seen the musical Rent seven times: once on Broadway with the original cast, once in Boston, once in Los Angeles and four times in San Francisco. And that's not counting the evening I sat through that god awful film adaptation. I am aware that several members of original Broadway cast, who were also in the film, very much liked the celluloid version and were quite disappointed it wasn't better received. Well, I mean no disrespect to them or to director Chris Columbus, but that movie seee-ucked.
Anyway. While I have seen Rent seven times, until last Thursday night, I had never seen the Puccini opera upon which it is based: La Boheme. However, I rectified that situation by attending the final dress rehearsal of San Francisco Opera's current production of La Boheme. It is wonderful. The singing is, of course, amazing, especially that of the woman who plays Musetta. She is phenomenal. And the sets are beautiful. All in all, it was a very cultured and satisfying evening.
All of that said, I have an evil confession to make. I think I like Rent better. I know, I know. I fully expect Puccini's ghost to smite me anytime now. If one day I suddenly turn into a puff of smoke, you'll know why. It's just that I find myself very impressed with how well Jonathan Larson not only adapted the story but expanded it. He took the slightly dull supporting characters of Colline and Schunard and gave them a very significant story line in the 20th century version.
Plus, it's easier to sing along with rock songs than with opera. And I like that Mimi lives at the end of Rent.
Yep. Smiting to come any day now.
Not seeing cultural redemption on the horizon, I decided to move forward with my weekend. On Friday night Tom, Andrey, Olena, Berto, Indie and I hit the Attic for Teenage Kicks, which was quite the blast. And later this afternoon, Jackie and I will be gracing the Black Magic open mic with a few of our fabulous cover tunes. Andrey was supposed to sing with me, but the poor lad has been felled by a sore throat. I'm no opera or Broadway singer, but the cocktails will be flowing today, and it should be a good time.