Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Seasons of Rain

Today was my 8 and 1/2 hour day. As it was last week, it was really boring. There was a little ice on the ground when I left the apartment, which made getting downstairs kind of scary. Once it warmed up, the ice vanished, and we were left with heavy showers for the rest of the day. The weather must have scared everyone off. We were never more than mildly steady. I gathered carts for 20 minutes about an hour after I arrived and for an hour before I left (and that only because the night bagger called out sick again). Otherwise, I was mostly cleaning registers and wiping down the baskets. Did one cart of returns early in the day.

It was pouring when I was ready to head home. I was already wet from doing carts, and I needed a shower anyway. I just headed off and got pre-wet.

When I got in, I changed into dry clothes, then had leftovers for dinner. Ran an episode of Good Eats while I ate. Alton Brown shows how nuts can be used to make everything from sauce for chicken to a candy in "Sometimes You Feel Like A...". I like macadamia nuts but they're too expensive, and I'm not a big fan of pistachios. The cashew butter might be nice to try sometime, though.

Did a few rounds of Lego Star Wars after dinner. Tried Free Play on "Negotiations" and "Retake Theed Palace." I got four more pieces on the former, and all but one piece and the red brick on the latter. Made enough studs to pick up a few more Jedi characters.

Finished the night after a shower with Rent. Basically, you have a year in the life of a group of musicians, performers, and filmmakers in New York's East Village from 1989 to 1990. Mark (Anthony Rapp), a musician, and Roger (Adam Pascal), a filmmaker, are on the verge of being thrown out of their apartment by their landlord Benny (Taye Diggs). He says he'll let them stay if they get his ex-girlfriend Maureen (Idina Menzel) to cancel her protest against the new cyber studio he wants to build. They do find her and help her with her equipment...but not only is she mostly happy with her current partner Joanne (Tracie Tomas), but she has no desire to end her protest. Meanwhile, the guys befriend a transvestite drummer named Angel (Wilson Jermaine Heredia) and sweet former drug addict Mimi (Rosario Dawson). Roger falls for Mimi, but he's afraid of a relationship, as he's HIV positive and his last girlfriend died of AIDS. Meanwhile, Maureen's protest gets out of hand, but Roger is able to film it and sell the footage to a local station. The entire group thinks they're on their way...but as the seasons change, so do their relationships. They may not always be together, but they'll never forget their time as friends, or their "Seasons of Love."

Considering this got terrible reviews when it came out, I actually ended up enjoying it. On one hand, Chris Columbus, best known for his family-friendly comedies and fantasies, was probably not the best director for this material. Also, while the vibes at the end are mostly positive, this isn't your typical musical romp. There's a lot of difficult subjects tackled, from AIDS to gender identity to recovering from drug addiction. I really didn't feel like it was the late 80's-early 90's, either. Could have been set at any time from the early 80's onwards.

The cast and some really wonderful music makes up for a lot of the shortcomings. There were some awesome numbers, including Angel's Christmas solo "Today 4 U," Roger and Mimi's frank duet "Light My Candle," and the ensemble routines to "La Vie Boheme" and "Santa Fe." A lot of familiar faces, too, from Mentzel as Maureen to Jesse L. Martin as Tom Collings, a friend of the guys who eventually becomes Angel's devoted lover.

This is actually my first time listening to Rent. Other than hearing "Seasons of Love" in a few places, I've never seen it performed or heard the original cast album. I liked this enough that I may have to change that, or at least see if it's on YouTube.

Not for people who prefer their musicals on the lighter side or who aren't a fan of musicals in general (this is mostly sung, with only a little dialogue), but if you're an adult who are a fan of the original show or of darker musicals, this is worth checking out.

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