Rent the Musical Essay

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Faith Winter Core Viewing Analysis: Rent 810967028 Rent: The Bohemian HIV Musical In the musical Rent there is the very prevalent theme of the “other” while taking a closer look at the low society of HIV in the LBGT community. A community forms around this commonality and they begin to rely on each other for support to live with their disease instead of counting the days down to their death. In this paper I will argue that the theme of homosexuality and HIV/AIDS was prevalent and ever emerging during the time period that the musical hit Broadway. Through campaigns, awareness efforts, and individual stories, I will connect the musical to the actual life in the in 1996. This begins first by looking at examples from the play that connected to events that were taking place within society. In the beginning of the play Collins gets jumped out in the streets. I have connected this occurrence back to the Rodney Kind Riots of 1992. Even though the men that jumped Collins were not policemen, I believe that the writers and directors were trying to make this statement about the African American males stereotypical place in society at this time. In 1991 Magic Johnson made the public aware that he was HIV-positive. This generated huge campaigns in the early 1990s that pushed education and knowledge surrounding HIV/AIDS. This is the same period in which the musical took place. We know that in the musical Mimi’s beeper goes off to remind her to take her meds, the medicine that she takes is AZT. This was accurately portrayed because the drug was just released years earlier in 1987. We can circle back to the connection between HIV and homosexuality theme that drives the musical and can relate it to MTV’s the Real World. In 1994 Pedro Zamora was the first openly gay man to appear on the show and he was also living with HIV. Even though this is a reality TV show it was very

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