Analysis, Theatre

No, Rent is not Outdated

I’m not going to lie: I love Rent. Despite that, I’m going to attempt to approach this article as neutrally as possible.

Loving Rent is apparently no longer theatre-kid-couture. A counter-culture of despising the show has sprung up, possibly in response to Lindsay Ellis’s video essay from 2016. I recently asked in a few theatre circles I frequent what exactly everyone’s damage is when it comes to the show– and I got a lot of responses. Everyone was very excited to explain why they hated Rent.

I could see where many responses were coming from. Yet, the response I simply couldn’t wrap my head around was the idea that the show is simply “too outdated” for modern audiences.

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Analysis

Love, Rejection, and Guido Contini

Guido Contini is the energetic centerpiece of the musical Nine. He is a celebrity superstar, an actor and movie maker who writes, directs, performs in, and subtitles his own movies. He is a playboy control freak with charming film-biz charisma who compartmentalizes his life’s worries and deals with problems as they arise. The show is his world as he sees it– a thrilling voyeur’s vantage into the mind of a director of peerless talents.

In the face of his ever-fluctuating work atmosphere, seemingly the most constant thing in Guido’s life is love, and a never ending assortment of it, in many various forms. Through the show we meet his four loves, each occupying a different role in his life: His wife, his mistress, his muse, and his mother.

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