rent

ciyindyiyi i know you’re going to see it in a couple of days so if you want to see this production untainted by my opinion i advise that you skip this next paragraph. haha.

none of us were disappointed by the singing (except for mimi, who pushed the “nasal wailing” sound a little too much, but she had really good moments too). the other time i’d seen it (summer 2001 at the orpheum) i was really disappointed by that mimi’s dancing, but last night’s dancing was awesome. the blocking was a little frantic–everyone ran all around the stage and pushed each other violently about. roger was extremely tall and ridiculously skinny, and as a consequence when he kept bending his and outstretching his arms he looked a little silly. he pounded the table and got all in mimi’s face at “o, your words are nice mimi, but love’s not a 3-way street” and we were like “woah.” we wish collins had a shaved head. maureen was little and great. joanne didn’t sing the “solos” in “seasons of love” and the reprise of “i’ll cover you”–someone else did, and she in turn didn’t do that high g so i think everyone was disappointed and didn’t clap for her as much as we should have. angel was buff. i think they all had their backs to us too much and the stage was dark a lot. they liked to turn off all the lights but one spotlight and sing in that, which is good for solos, but not so effective for duets when one is in the light and the other is completely obscured in the shadows.

the eight of us went out to eat at a thai place. i meant to get a coconut milk soup but mistakenly ordered a “hot and sour” soup instead. all i had to do was think about the red oily liquid entering my mouth and swirling straight through my intestines and coming straight out of my other end completely unchanged and i couldn’t drink any of it, so i picked out all the bits of chicken and ate all the floating mushrooms (there were no noodl(i)es or anything). ah well. they were fun people–derek and alex, and a bunch of people from derek’s dorm who’d gone to see rent way back when. there was danielle, who i’d never met before and everyone kept saying “no no, i’m sure you’ve met her,” who sewed the dress she was wearing and has made all kinds of other stuff, shirts, skirts, and was really funny, and her boyfriend, who had never seen any musical before. there was sam, who we went to see the midnight opening of the movie in sf with, and her girlfriend katie. and there was robyn, who was roommates with shauna, who was my cs61b partner, so derek and i had met them through different channels. robyn is part of a hiphop duo now, too. they are called aural fixation. she is hilarious. she also managed to understand pretty much the entire story, though she’d never seen it before. the first time i saw it i missed a lot, including that mimi and roger were having problems because mimi and benny had history/were dating again. i completely missed that. hahaha.

alex and derek and i sang the entire way home. we sat in the car in the garage so we could finish “no day but today.” i have great roommates.

we ended up watching the “documentary” on the RENT movie dvd last night until 4:30am. i knew that jonathan larson died the night before opening, i knew that they put it on as a read-through anyway but the actors couldn’t not jump up and dance, but i didn’t know stuff like there’d just been a dress rehearsal the night before and jonathan larson was bouncing around and had a 45-minute interview with a guy from the new york times. that doesn’t happen in real life to actual humans. you don’t go to the dress rehearsal of a musical you have been working on for seven years, so close to success after working in a diner for ten years and getting rejection after rejection, then get interviewed by the new york times, then go and tell your friends excitedly about how positive the nyt guy was about you and your music and the musical, and then go home and die a couple of hours later. that just isn’t real life. my brain can’t handle it. what a horrible, horrible… i don’t even know what it is.

at the end of the “documentary” they interviewed some “rentheads.” one of them was sally chou. i know it is her even though i bet sally chou is a common name because she’d dyed her hair red for her band (it was called fourplay, there were four of them, and they each dyed their hair a different color). we were in jenny hsia’s random little production of godspell in … summer 2000? 2002? when was that??

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