Rent, The Musical

I’ve been a bit MIA lately.  But with good reason.  I’ve been being a stage-mum; stalking my Archie as he performed in the role of Roger in Rent.  Just to prove to you just how seriously I take my stage-mum role, I queued outside the stage doors so I could be first into the theatre and elbow everyone out of the way for a seat centre-stage and in the front row.  That’s commitment and just where the actors would prefer you not to be because they can see you!  The good thing is, Archie knows me very well and didn’t expect anything less.

Mark and Roger

Mark and Roger

I had never seen Rent before and now it is one of my most favourite musicals.  Although the subject matter deals with people living on the fringe of society where there is homelessness and poverty and HIV and drug abuse, you can’t help but be moved by the story that will certainly bring more than a tear to the eye.

Mimi trying to seduce Roger with her song, 'Out Tonight'

Mimi trying to seduce Roger with her song, ‘Out Tonight’

The musical is based on the opera, La Boheme and was written by Jonathan Larson in 1994.  The musical was scheduled to open off-Broadway on January 25, 1996 however the night before the premiere, Jonathan Larson died.  Tragically, he wasn’t around to see that what he had written would win a Tony award for Best Musical, run a 12-year season with over 5,000 performances, gross over $280 million and be adapted into a movie.

Roger and Mimi

Roger and Mimi

In the lead up to the opening, Archie has not been so easy to live with.  So moody.  And angry.  And difficult.  And we’ve all had to tip toe around him to avoid a flare up.  But as I sat and watched his first performance, I saw the enormity of the workload, pressure and stress he must have been under to bring Jonathan Larson’s character of Roger to life.  Not only is Roger on stage for almost the entire show, he sings constantly and the music Jonathan wrote is known for the demands it places on the actor’s voice.  There’s a ‘Top A’ involved which a few years ago, Archie couldn’t even reach.

This show had a +16 rating

This show had a +16 rating

We were politely told prior to the start of each performance that filming and flash photography weren’t allowed.  But with my new camera I can shoot without a flash and so I have some images to share with you.  I would love to have recorded some of the music for you but that wasn’t allowed either!  However, I do have two favourite songs to share with you and being a stage mum, of course they’re sung by Archie’s character.

There's an attraction!

There’s an attraction (both on and off stage!)

The first is Glory and it’s the first solo performance of the show.  By now we know Roger has HIV and is a struggling (really struggling) musician.  He just want’s to write one good song before he dies.

The other song comes at the end of the musical and 12 months has passed.  Roger’s girlfriend Mimi is dying and he has never told her that he loves her.  This is the song that took him all year to write and he wants her to hear the song before she dies.  Cue teary moment!

The show was very well supported with every performance being sold out with a long waiting list of hopefuls desperately wishing for a seat.  My blogging friend, Tania dragged her sick son, Skater out of bed to come and watch and she sent me a very enthusiastic text telling me how much she enjoyed it.  Archie’s agent saw the show on the same night and he’d like Archie to come in and see him to talk about where to from here.

Roger and Mimi

Roger and Mimi

So…it’s all over but not quite.  Archie can’t remove that black nail polish just yet because next week they’re bringing in five cameras to film the show.  I wonder if they’d like some mums in the audience!

Mimi is dying and Roger sings her the song he wrote for her

Mimi is dying and Roger sings her the song he wrote for her

I’d have to say it was the best musical ever put on by AIM but being a stage-mum, you wouldn’t expect me to say anything less!

There's a happy ending

There’s a happy ending

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Everyone loves an upbeat ending

Everyone loves an upbeat ending

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  1. Congratulations Archie! What a wonderful performance, and it sounds like everyone had a brilliant time, albeit exhausting! You are justifiably very proud, Charlie, so happy for you! xx

  2. Wow! Congrats to Archie. He must feel so amazing. As must you too!

  3. You must be one proud Mumma bear!! Congrats Archie xx

  4. How lovely for you to see all your blood, sweat and tear (and eggshell walking) come to fruition. Congrats to Archie!

  5. Congratulations Archie!
    Charlie, you are the best stage Mum, how proud you must feel sitting center front watching your Archie. Looking forward to hearing about Archie’s meeting with his agent.

  6. Rent is my favorite!!! Archie is awesome! I had no idea he had such a good voice!

  7. Your photos are brilliant and capture the spirit and energy of the performances…wish I had been in Sydney to see this. No one could blame you for being a stage mum with a son as talented as Archie!

  8. Awesome! Congratulations Archie! You have made Charlie one seriously proud Mama!
    Have a beautiful weekend.
    🙂 Mandy ox

  9. So proud for you Mom, how enthralling to see your baby do what he loves the best – perform. I loved the story, the pride in your narration, and laughed at your center seat elbow in Mom avatar. You are adorable, and your kids are more so. It sounds like an amazing play, and I like the depth that it has for each character to live it through.

  10. Congratulations to Archie on what sounds like a triumph and the best of luck on that discussion with his agent.

    And congratulations to you and the rest of the family for surviving the stressful pre-show jitters.

  11. Congratulations to Archie and to the parents who raised him to follow his dreams. You are right to be proud, Charlie. And such fantastic news that his agent wants to meet with him. This speaks highly of his performance and his incredible talent.

  12. Holy Cow! What a helluva performance! You and Carl must have floated out of that theatre on a cloud of proudness. I knew he had a good voice but you never know about stage presence and charisma until it happens. He’s got it in spades.

  13. Congratulations to you and Archie!! I’ve never seen Rent, but now I wish I could see Archie’s version! I bet he was fantastic. Let me know if they release a DVD!


  14. You must have been so proud!! The start of fabulous things to come I think…!!!

  15. Stage Mums are the backbone of every great performance Charlie! Great shots indeed, and it really looks like Archie gave it his all. I hope his agent has some good news, and a copy of the filmed performance to show all those movie directors who’ll be knocking down his door 🙂 Wonderful job guys! Xox

  16. I have tears in my eyes just reading about your story. I love La Boheme and I know that I would love this musical. Archie is just shining in his role. You should be a very proud mom! I am sure that this is just the first step in his great career!

  17. G’day and what a proud mum you must be!
    BIG congrats to a great performance by your Archie!
    Cheers! Joanne

  18. What a proud mum you must be! That boy is going to go places. Great voice, and handsome too. PS What do you mean by being a bit MIA (excuse my ignorance)

  19. Sounds like an awesome show, you have every reason to be proud, and glad you got to sneak in some photos 🙂

  20. WOW! So proud of… Congratulations to Archie, Thanks and Love, nia

  21. Congratulations to both Archie and you, Charlie! I hope lots of good things come out of this show for Archie.

  22. That was a really teary-eyed song. Archie must have a wonderful voice to sing those songs. I am sure it is so stressful for him to be in such an intense musical.

  23. Great photos Charlie! Maybe Archie could give us a little rendition of your favourite song for the blog?

  24. What a proud week (several weeks!) you must have had. I’m really impressed – congratulations Archie!

  25. super proud mum moment!!

  26. A big congratulations Charlie and Archie!! Rent is one of my favourite ever musicals and I bet he really suited the role of Roger perfectly! 😀

  27. Katie and I saw Rent a few years back…and we both LOVED it. I can’t imagine how much joy and pride you must feel to see Archie in this musical. I’m so happy for you both.

    PS…I always giggle at your Bill comments. I try to work in enough chocolate so he will tolerate my other more exotic fare 🙂

  28. What an incredible experience! I can feel the high energy and adrenaline from here!!

  29. Thanks for sharing his exellent performences with us all, dear Charlie!

    You must be ever so proud of him! Waw even! xxx

  30. Wow, this is awesome

  31. Rent was the first musical I saw live on Broadway in New York, and it’s been a constant in my iTunes/iPod/piano cheet music ever since. Loved hearing you describe the story, and also want to say “bless your mother’s heart” for seeing the entire story in terms of Roger and Mimi, and not the other stories and characters! I adore how that shows your love for Archie. I get Light My Candle stuck in my head on a monthly basis, but recently have been skipping to Sante Fe, Today 4 U, and One Song Glory more than anything. I can’t stand Seasons of Love, though. Sang it all through high school with my vocal group, and just cant do it anymore 😛

    • I would have loved to have seen this on Broadway. ‘Would you Light My Candle’ was one of my most favourite moments in the musical. Such a clever song and a great duet between Roger and Mimi. I must get some of these songs on my i-tunes but I’ll wait for the DVD of the show to come out so I can listen to Archie’s version.

  32. A huge congrats! Rent the Musical is a favorite!

  33. I’ve never seen this play and didn’t know much about it, even though the title is so familar. Thanks for the run down and big ‘congrats’ to Archie… and we now watch where to from here… and your development as a stage mum is also a story in itself!

  34. Darn right, you’re a proud stage-mum! You have every reason to be. Very glad to hear that Archie’s performance shined so brightly and the entire production so memorable. I’m sure good things will come his way because of it.

  35. What a show, the photos really describe the complete drama and the actors looks awesome. It really shows how seriously the all took their parts. You must be so proud. What a shame the writer of the play passed away before he saw how successful it was, I’m certain this group would have made him proud too.

  36. Congrats to Archie! Sounds like he was terrific, and the musical a smash hit. So nice – you all must be delighted.

  37. Congratulations all around. It must have been exhilarating to see Archie on stage – I can’t wait to see what he gets up to next!

  38. This is so exciting, Charlie. I’ve been thrilled for Archie ever since you mentioned he had the role of Roger. I’ve seen this play several times. I love the music and it always leaves me breathless. I remember when Jonathan Larson died, and although no one had really understood the enormity of this play at that time, the tragedy of the timing of his death was unmistakable. I’d have been front and center with you for each performance, had I been there. I would assume the credit for this performance will carry Archie into other new and amazing roles, Charlie. Very exciting!

  39. You are the BEST mom, and huge congratulations to Archie! So so so happy for him and your family! I’d be so proud if my son plays the rule in Rent. I’ve seen Rent before here in SF and i was a great musical. He’s always a full of surprises and I always love reading about your family story written by you!

  40. Congrats!!! The play looks like it was absolutely wonderful, and Archie was quite the star! Wish I could have seen it in person 🙂

  41. Congrats to Archie–he looks so cute and is so talented. Congrats to you as the mother as well–I totally get it!

  42. I was truly blown away! And how handsome he is…profile,I’m seeing Sean Bean…seriously.I can’t compliment him any higher. Good for Archie; he really has found a niche, hasn’t he?

  43. Wow, Charlie, A Star is Born. Seriously, you have a star on your hands there in Archie. And the role looks very physically demanding as well as all of the singing, which he does so very, very well. I see superstar in his future. I know you are so proud and have every right to be!

  44. Congratulations!!

  45. Wow! How cool is that! Love me a good bit of theatre! Must be wonderful to have such a talented son, and the star of the show, no less! Congratulations Charlie 🙂 – lovely photos too 🙂

  46. Tremendous accomplishment. Tremendous post. Loved this!

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