"Rent": A Religious Phenomenon Essay

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Kirchner

Generation X has finally taken out a lease on the future of theatre, and it looks like it is more than able to pay the "Rent" (Coulbourn 43). "Rent" is a musical for our time, for our generation and for generations to come. It has won numerous Tony Awards including best musical, book, score, lyrics, and ensemble performance. This musical is an excellent representation of cultural religion and it has had a profound impact on society both in the 90's and today. "Rent" is not only a representation of the culture of the new millennium but is an excellent representation of the faith of a new generation.

"Rent is a time capsule for the `90's loaded with cultural references - Doc Martens, call waiting, voice mail, beepers,
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I watched a theater of people cry as they watched this musical, and they were experiencing a piece of cultural religion without even realizing it. I personally did not realize how much religion there was in this musical and how much it impacted society until I began to really burrow into the core of this musical and the way it has impacted people and society.

The deeply touching and emotional musical "Rent" falls into the category of cultural religion. Cultural religion is remarkable in the way it begins; it is people finding symbolic centers in ordinary

Kirchner

culture and turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. We see that "the creed of cultural religion unfolds in thematic popular stories spread, for example by television, film, literature, and entertainments stars," (Albanese 499) and even in musical theater. People around the country and around the world are finding themselves changed by this musical and keep coming back for more; people can find their religion inside this musical. It illustrates not only the many creeds of this form of cultural religion but also shows the code of do no harm. I found while watching this musical that I could see religious roots and despite the fact that this musical is about shirking
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