Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent
by Anthony Rapp
- Pages: 320
- ISBN: 0743269772
- Link: Goodreads
- Format: Paperback
- Published on: October 31st 2006
- Published by: Simon & Schuster
Take a look at the cover of Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent. On the front cover, we see author and actor Anthony Rapp in the costume he wore whilst playing Mark Cohen in Jonathan Larson’s RENT. On the back cover, we see images of Rapp and other members of RENT’s original Broadway cast in costume. Based on this alone, you might be inclined to believe that a substantial portion of Without You deals with the musical RENT. If you’re one who doesn’t believe in judging a book by its cover, you can also consider the title: “Without You” is the title of a song from RENT, not to mention the fact the subtitle includes “…and the musical RENT.” The synopsis on the back of my copy even suggests that RENT is the primary focus of Rapp’s memoir. What I’m trying to get at is that I wanted to read this primarily because I was under the impression that Without You was about Rapp’s experiences behind the scenes of RENT. So I was extremely disappointed to discover that stories and tidbits relating to RENT made up only a small portion of Without You. OK, I’ll say it because I’m annoyed and think this needs to be said: I kind of feel like Rapp did everything in his power to suggest a stronger tie between his memoir and RENT in order to sell more copies. It’s like how he returned to RENT several times: it looks like he can’t find a steady gig elsewhere, so he does all he can to milk his relationship with RENT, something that’s proven to be steady income for him. On a side note: one of the first things I thought when it was announced that RENT was going to be opening Off-Broadway was “when are they going to announce the ‘triumphant’ return of Rapp and Adam Pascal?”
Instead, Without You focuses mostly on Rapp’s relationship with his mother. There were some scenes between the two that I thought were especially sweet. Unfortunately, Rapp isn’t a particularly good writer and I found myself bored during portions of Without You. There was a chapter about his sex life as a teenager where I found myself especially bored – not because I have anything against discussion of sex but because Rapp didn’t do much to make it interesting, jumped around in time and didn’t really do a good job of connecting these experiences with the rest of his life. That chapter in particular felt like it lasted forever.
Finally, a note to Mr. Rapp: hitting your boyfriend, no matter your reasons, doesn’t make you look like a decent human being.
I found Without You to be very disappointing and I’m sorry I wasted money on a copy.