They couldn't have been more different. Really!
When I heard that Rent was coming to Houston and would feature two of the original cast members (and movie cast members), and that those cast members would be Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, the two most important roles in the show, I couldn't wait.
DEB: Sven, guess what! We're going to see Rent! Adam and Anthony are going to be there-
SVEN: You go, honey. I'll stay here with the kids. I hate that show.
So, my first task was to find someone to go with me. For me, that is a challenge. I just don't have that many people I can share Rent with. There's too many inappropriate words and themes for my mom or my church friends, and Sven hates it. Who is left?
DEB: Hey, Lindsey, the art teacher at my school! You like Broadway shows, right?
LINDSEY: I love them!
DEB: Well, Rent is coming to Houston! And Adam and Anthony will be there! Do you want to go with me?
LINDSEY: Yes, absolutely!
So my wonderful friend, Lindsey, agreed to come with me. I should say that this year is the first year I've ever had such great friends to work with.
I found tickets quickly for the Thursday night show. Lindsey and I, exhausted after a week of standardized testing, dressed to the 9's, went to town.
My first shock: Rent onstage is hilarious. It's really funny. As I told Sven, until people start dying of AIDS in the second act, you practically never stop laughing. Sven found that statement funny, for some reason.
My second shock: They really toned down the language for the movie. Lots of F-bombs being dropped.
My third shock: Lindsey had never seen Rent. Not the movie, not the show. She didn't know anything about the background, the plot...nothing. Fortunately, she loved it. What a way to see it for the first time!
Lindsey's shock: We saw a drag queen as we made our way to the ladies' room. Lindsey just spent her Spring Break in New York, and never saw a drag queen. Personally, I think she probably saw plenty, but they were just a lot better than the one we saw in Houston. (Stubble!)
Lindsey was such a good sport, she even came with me to the stage door as I tried to get close enough to Adam or Anthony (but mostly Adam) for an autograph. That didn't happen, but I did get some pictures:
This is Adam Pascal, taken by me holding the camera up over people's heads.
This is Anthony Rapp, taken by Lindsey the same way. You can tell she's an artist, though, from the way she caught the upside-down program in the foreground. Nice.
There's Adam again. This was the closest I got. Lindsey and I had school the next day, so I left with my dignity and my $50 dollar Rent book. I did yell, "Your performances inspired me!" from the adjacent parking lot, but no one looked up. It's hard to be a fan.
So there it is. The first show I've seen in years, and it was wonderful. Now Lindsey, Sherri (our wonderful PE teacher) and I are thinking about getting season tickets together next year so our husbands don't have to be bothered.
I shared this idea with Sven, who looked hurt. "It was just that show," he explained. "I don't mind going to other stuff."
Clearly, to this man, "For better or for worse" meant nothing. I'll probably give him another chance, though...