Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent by Anthony Rapp


I must start by thanking Amazon for recommending this book to me. I likely never would have discovered it otherwise. I was finally replacing my Rent DVD that was stolen during The Great Break In of 2008, when this little gem popped up on my screen. So I decided to see if Amazon really knows me as well as it claims. And the answer is yes, yes it does.

Recently I’ve discovered that I’m a big fan of memoirs. I enjoy reading first-hand accounts and learning about the events that have shaped the people these authors have become. This one in particular caught my eye because 1) who doesn’t like love, or the idea of it, at least; 2) reading about how other people deal with loss often opens my eyes and helps me understand more about my own experience; and 3) I kind of love the musical Rent. (I remember walking the halls of Schwitzer Hall in 1998 and hearing the soundtrack blasting from pretty much every other dorm room.)

The author of this book, Anthony Rapp, originated the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway production of Rent. The book begins with his audition. (He sang REM’s “Losing My Religion.”) The next couple of years brought crazy ups and downs, including the show’s success, the sudden death of its creator Jonathan Larson shortly before opening night, failed relationships, and ultimately the death of Anthony’s mother after a long battle with cancer.

Anthony is an eloquent and honest writer, not afraid to express even the most raw emotion. Through his mother’s illness, he begins to become more comfortable with sharing his feelings with his mom and having difficult but necessary conversations. He chronicles how Rent brought healing and community to his life during the hardest times.

I’m about five years late to the party, as this book came out in 2006. I only wish there were a sequel. And I definitely listened to the Rent soundtrack in the car today.

4.5/5 stars
Rated R for language and a sexually explicit scene. (In my opinion, the substance outweighs the R-ness.)

Posted by Steph


2 Responses to “Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent by Anthony Rapp”

  1. 1 Jordan

    You win for most prolific readership. You are putting the rest of us to shame. Hopefully this book inspires your own memoir writing! I can’t wait to read it one day!

  2. 2 Meghan

    i agree with jordan! thanks for blogging- i promise you have readers! 🙂

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