Tuesday, January 01, 2008

All Musicals Suck

My Year of Flops takes on Rent:
Ah, but what about the music, you say? Doesn’t that redeem the whole sorry endeavor? Uh, no. Below are some particularly choice lyrics from this Pulitzer and Tony-winning work of super-genius:

“How do you write a song when the chords sound wrong though they once sounded right and rare/When the notes sound sour where is the power/You once had to ignite the air”

“The music ignites the night with passionate fire”

“feel the heat of the future’s glow”

“How do you leave the past behind when it keeps finding ways to get to your heart”

“Truth like a blazing fire, an eternal flame”

“I think I dropped my stash. It was pure. Is it on the floor?”

“Live in my house/I’ll be your shelter/Just pay me back with one thousand kisses.”

“I’d forgotten how to smile until your candle burned my skin”

“You’ll never share true love until you love yourself.”

Larson’s lyrics, treacly powerless ballads and MOR melodies are less Stephen Soundheim than The Apple outtake. It seems incredibly perverse to make a musical about Gen-Xers, the most cynical and sarcastic generation known to man, wholly devoid of cynicism and sarcasm. Rent consequently feels like a Disneyland stage show about those crazy Gen-Xers with their bicuriosity and crazy drug addictions and shameless love of hoofing and crooning. Here there’s no problem that can’t be overcome with singing/dancing and/or moxie.

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