Sunday, June 16, 2019

Laurie Anderson's Influence in "RENT"

I was curious about the origins of the musical "Rent." It seems to me that Laurie Anderson, such a big sensation in 1982, was the inspiration for the character Maureen:

Then I came across this:
Thomson: There were things that weren’t finished. The whole performance-art piece [that the character of Maureen does] was unwritten when rehearsals started because Jonathan wanted to improvise it with Idina. Which he did, and I was at that rehearsal. Idina was very inexperienced, and she should get more credit for her improvising.

Menzel: Michael told me that Maureen “is a woman who has studied performance artists like Laurie Anderson and Diamanda Galas but has yet to find her own voice, so she mimics them.” That was enlightening for [her approach to the character].

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