Book Title: Without You : A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent
Author: Jonathan Larson
Format: Paperback | 320 pages
Publication Date: 17 Mar 2008
Anthony Rapp's first audition for the workshop production of Rent begins a journey that takes him all the way to Broadway as the star of the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, experiencing tragedy, loss, and enlightenment along the way. When Rent's brilliant young creator, Jonathan Larson, dies suddenly of an aneurysm the night before the show's first performance, Anthony and the rest of the cast are devastated and open the show that night only to friends and family, performing a tribute to their dear friend and gifted artist. Shortly thereafter, Anthony's mom receives a devastating cancer diagnosis and during the Anthony's first year on Broadway as Mark in Rent, he makes frequent trips to visit her, hoping for her to come to terms with his being gay, as he comes to terms with her impending death. With atmospheric, nostalgic flashbacks to his childhood in small-town Joliet, Illinois, he shares his first experiences discovering his sexuality, the tension it created with his mother, and his struggle into adulthood to gain her acceptance. This is a beautiful, haunting memoir of the world of theatre, the love of son for his mother, sexual awakening, and maturity won at far too early an age.