Wednesday Reads: Without You a Memoir of Love, Loss and the Musical RENT

This is the first post in a new series of posts I will be writing. I plan on writing about the books I’ve recently read that have made a lasting impression on me. Like the rest of this blog the books I’ll review will touch on the topics of theatre, Broadway, actors and directors.

The groundbreaking rock musical RENT serves as the backdrop for Anthony Rapp’s moving memoir “Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent”.

Anthony Rapp knew from his first audition that Jonathan Larson’s new show was something special, and in this moving memoir he recounts the journey of “Rent” from first table read to smash Broadway hit and subsequent Hollywood movie. Woven throughout the book Anthony shares the personal triumphs and tragedies he endured while a member of the original company of RENT.

“Without you…” is not just a memoir for theatre geeks looking for a backstage recollection of RENT’s remarkable run, but a book for those who appreciate an honest reflection on one’s life. Beyond his professional life, Anthony provides a heartfelt look at how his mother’s battle with cancer affected him and will resonate with anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one. His straightforward accounts of growing up, his relationships and how he came to terms with his sexual orientation are vivid, yet painful at times.

I normally read a book cover to cover in the course of a couple of days. But I read this book in the course of five hours and simply could not put it down. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a high appreciation for RENT or the theatre in general, but especially for those looking for a great reading experience.


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