I was very bratty about seeing RENT last night. The music school was putting it on. I had no interest in seeing a college performance 16-year-old Alice's favorite musical. I used to listen to that two-disc soundtrack basically every single day for at least two years of my life. When I first saw it my junior year of high school with Henne, I really enjoyed the experience. I had been listening to these tunes without visuals for so long...it was like, "Finally. Finally!"
The movie came out, and the songs got super popular. They started to grate on me, and after a few viewings of the (eh at best) film, I was sort of over it. Still, that year for More's birthday she wanted to see it live. I looked forward to it, but it was just okay. I was almost done with high school, and I was no longer buying the vapid puppy love. Some of the music isn't good. The answers come too easy. I was hardened by the world, and Mimi and Roger kissing in snowflakes wasn't cutting it anymore.
So when Neige kept making yummy eyes at me during improv rehearsal and saying, "You should cooome!" I was very into making up excuses. But I had no excuse for Thursday night. And Neige and I were literally walking past the box office. And I get a free comp for being a theatre student. I reserved a ticket and thought, "Hey, if I'm lucky, something will come up."
Yesterday my spirits were a little low. No matter, no matter. But they were low. And I finished up my day's tasks two minutes past curtain. I had my excuse. But then it was ten past, and I then fifteen, and something was sort of nagging me to go out into the night. I strapped on my helmet and scooted to the theatre.
I walked in without showing the ticket to anyone because "Today 4 U" was just starting, and who strolls into RENT when "Today 4 U" is starting? Me. I also unapologetically decided, "What the hey" and sat right in an empty seat in the second row. This way I can have no guilt about supporting Neige and leave at intermission. But by intermission!? I was completely smitten.
I thought I was too old to enjoy it forever, but I guess I was just a little too old to be swooned and a little too young to be okay with some plot-holed magic and cultural importance. Sometimes we have to circle back on these things. They don't change, but we do.
I cried during the finale. Because I had plopped my rude butt down so close to the stage, I felt a part of the story more than usual. And the story is partly mine. I applied those lyrics to my friends, my sorrows, my regrets for a long time. A long formative time at that. I floated out of the theatre, into the thin and sweet Arizona air. I sang "La Vie Boheme" all the way home.
Well, this is just the most boring and disgusting blog I have posted in a while. But I suppose the point is this: revisit. Be carried away. Theatre is a special thing. No day but today.