When I was sixteen I worked at a movie theatre- and when I say worked, I mean I stood around in a movie theatre and I tricked people to pay me to do it. Anyway I worked at this movie theatre and I remember at the time, a couple of my coworkers were going on and on about this new movie; RENT. It was all they could talk about, so on one of my lunch breaks I went into one of the showings and for 30 minutes I lived inside the world that is RENT. I remember the first scene I witnessed, my bum hit the seat as soon as “I’ll Cover You” began and I have not been the same ever since.
You see, I was a troubled teenager; I possessed everything used to describe an angsty teen and my problems felt overwhelming and never-ending. I was lost. I was depressed, I was a bit broken and I didn’t have a community to turn to. My whole world lived in my heart and I struggled to express myself on a daily basis. I was a handful of a teenager (just ask my parents) and I constantly doubted my need to exist. RENT changed all of that; I mean, not all of it (because therapy definitely played a part) but RENT helped me find my voice. It gave me a community, it gave me songs that live in my soul, it gave me power, it gave me a reason to exist and it gave me my passion for music.
Soon after watching 30 minutes of RENT, I actually went and saw the entire movie. I sat in the back of the theatre by myself and I felt all of the emotions at once. It’s been a few years since my broken teenage-heart witnessed RENT and I’ve since been able to witness the stage production (dreams do come true kids). I have met Adam Pascal (original Roger on Broadway), I have met Anthony Rapp (Original Mark on Broadway) and I have met Jonathan Larson’s father; Allan Larson. Invested, is an understatement. I have lived a chaotic and heartbreaking life but through it all, I had one constant; RENT.
I have said a lot, when all I really need to say is: FOX, DO NOT FUCK UP RENT.
I want to have faith in you FOX, I want to believe that you’ll do this brilliant musical justice but LIVE musicals on network television do not have a successful track record. Therefore, I am forced to sit here and remember this emotional tale in which teenage-Julie discovers herself so that you may find the heart this musical needs to succeed. I beg of you to find your talent from Broadway, no Julianne Hough, no Vanessa Hudges and for the love of everything that is good and pure NO ARIANA GRANDE. Look, I’m sure they’re all lovely humans but we need raw, heart-wrenching talent and you’ll find that on Broadway.
I need this production to make Jonathan Larson proud. I need this production to have at least 50% of the magic that the original production has. I need this production to make me feel everything except annoyance and irritation.
Clearly, I am passionate about this. Clearly, I am way too invested.
Do you think anyone will actually read this? Do you think anyone will ensure that Jonathan Larson’s legacy lives on in a positive light? I’m too emotional to keep writing this.
FOX, DO NOT FUCK UP RENT.