PLAYBILL PICKS: The Stage's Ten Greatest Christmas Scenes

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25 Dec 2013

Anthony Rapp in Rent.
Photo by Joan Marcus

The action of Jonathan Larson's 1996 musical opens at 9 PM on Christmas Eve. (The exact time is provided to us by the filmmaker character Mark in the opening lyrics.) The various characters are preparing for the presentation of a piece of "protest" performance-art by actress Maureen in an empty lot in the East Village. The homeless who occupy the lot are being ejected by the landlord, Benny, a former friend of the bohemians, and sardonically sing "Christmas bells are ringing" throughout the first act. The evening's activities end at The Life Cafe (with the rousing "La Vie Boheme." Though some of the characters have families, none of them apparently want to spend Christmas with them, preferring the company of their friends. In that respect, they sound like average New Yorkers.


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