Who knew that actor and singer Anthony Rapp started off as a Barista at Starbuck's? While he was working on his acting career in New York City, he was creating hot beverages. In the new stage show, WITHOUT YOU, Rapp tells his life story of the years leading up to the award-winning rock opera known as RENT, where he was best known as one of the original cast members playing Mark.
WITHOUT YOU is Rapp's personal experience from where it all began. Based on his best-selling book WITHOUT YOU: A memoir of Love, Loss and the Musical RENT, Rapp takes us from his humble auditions to his views on centre stage. He takes us on his personal journey with RENT as the backdrop.
Rapp takes us through the early days with his experience with Jonathan Larson who wrote the story of RENT loosely based on Puccini's "La Boheme". In case you haven't seen it, the story follows the lives of a group of friends coping with life's daily challenges from drug addiction to AIDS. At that time, RENT had a changed the landscape of musical theatre with it's ground-breaking approach to what was considered taboo subjects. With unfortunately timing, Larson died the night of the final dress rehearsal as it was set to go to the stage Off-Broadway in 1996 leaving the cast uncertain of what the future would hold.
WITHOUT YOU is a story that takes us on a roller coaster of emotional moments of an actor on the cusp of fulfilling his dreams while dealing with life's harshest realities, including the loss of his own mother. The most powerful lines in the show will leave lasting memories for me personally and I will never forget them during hard times and sad times...
The only way is through.
It's ok...you can go.
WITHOUT YOU is the second show brought to Toronto by Mirvish Productions as part of the OFF MIRVISH series. This show comes directly from London where it won accolades at the recent Edinburgh Festival and witnessed a sold-out run. Toronto is the show's North American debut before moving to New York. For any fan of RENT, this is a great show to see but with a story line that anyone can follow. Anthony Rapp's takes his place on stage and delivers a solid performance.
WITHOUT YOU is playing at the Panasonic Theatre and runs 80 minutes with no intermission. The show runs to January 6, 2013. For information and tickets please visit the official website at www.mirvish.com/offmirvish
I'm going to leave with you with this video from RENT as the timing and lyrics seems so appropriate these days.