Yes, Fair Readers, I am once again at that “it’s time to recommend” phase of life.

Today, I recommend the musical “Rent“.  I have always had a soft spot for musicals, ever since I saw “Guys & Dolls” live.   Tack on “7 Brides for 7 Brothers“, “South Pacific“, “West Side Story“, and -OF COURSE- “Phantom of the Opera“, and you have some of the very best musicals out there.

While “Rent” may not be so new, and to those of us in the theater biz it seems a far cry older than that, it has some very deep stuff to it.  The meat of the story is simple and easy to follow, as all musicals should be.  Nothing seems overly drawn out, and the characters seem incredibly real.  These are people you could meet on the street today.  It does seem to be screaming that everybody in this film/musical has AIDS, and through all of the rotten ways of contracting this disease at that.  However, there are some incredibly positive and up-beat messages and imagery in this story.  For all intents and purposes, “Rent” is a classy & well-done musical rendition of the opera “La Boheme“.  Don’t quote me on that, but I believe it to be fact.  {Of course, having never seen an Opera limits me slightly.}  It has tragedy, a love story, plenty of humor, and some fun (sort of) dance numbers.

It appeals to my artistic side, the true Artiste in moi.  And it is so very easy to want to jump right into that whole mentality.  What do I mean?  When you watch the film, wait for the Life Cafe scene (this is a Chinese Restaurant).  Herein, our fantastic cast, lead by the dorky Mark Cohen, belts out “La Vie Boheme“.  I wanted to be there in that restaurant and sing along!  It is inspiring simply because it is anti-establishment and pro-creativity.  That song seems to personify this movie for me.  It is all about being unafraid to face life and to truly express yourself.   It’s about being an Artist, and I really felt caught up in it.

So, for all you artists out there, go catch a copy of this one on DVD.  You’ll be glad you did.

…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE


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