Rent

Rent

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MARK
How do you document real life
When real life is getting more
Like fiction each day
Headlines -- bread-lines
Blow my mind
And now this deadline
"Eviction -- or pay"
Rent!

ROGER
How do you write a song
When the chords sound wrong
Though they once sounded right and rare
When the notes are sour
Where is the power
You once had to ignite the air

MARK
And we're hungry and frozen

ROGER
Some life that we've chosen

TOGETHER
How we gonna pay
How we gonna pay
How we gonna pay
Last year's rent

MARK
We light candles

ROGER
How do you start a fire
When there's nothing to burn
And it feels like something's stuck in your flue

MARK
How can you generate heat
When you can't feel your feet

BOTH
And they're turning blue!

MARK
You light up a mean blaze

ROGER
With posters --

MARK
And screenplays

ROGER AND MARK
How we gonna pay
How we gonna pay
How we gonna pay
Last year's rent

JOANNE
[On phone]
Don't screen, Maureen
It's me -- Joanne
Your substitute production manager
Hey hey hey! (Did you eat?)
Don't change the subject Maureen
But darling -- you haven't eaten all day
You won't throw up
You won't throw up
The digital delay ---
Didn't blow up (exactly)
There may have been one teeny tiny spark
You're not calling Mark

COLLINS
How do you stay on your feet
When on every street
It's 'trick or treat'
(And tonight it's 'trick')
'Welcome back to town'
Oh, I should lie down
Everything's brown
And uh -- oh
I feel sick

MARK
Where is he?

COLLINS
Getting dizzy

MARK AND ROGER
How we gonna pay
How we gonna pay
How we gonna pay
Last year's rent

BENNY
[On cellular phone]
Alison baby --
Yyou sound sad
I don't believe those two
After everything I've done
Ever since our wedding I'm dirt --
They'll see
I can help them all out in the long run

BENNY
Forces are gathering
Forces are gathering
Can't turn away
Forces are gathering

COLLINS
Ughhhhh--
Ughhhhh--
Ughhhhh-- I can't think
Ughhhhh--
Ughhhhh--
Ughhhhh-- I need a drink

MARK
"The music ignites the night with passionate fire"

JOANNE
Maureen --
I'm not a theatre person

ROGER
"The narration crackles and pops with incendiary wit"

JOANNE
Could never be a theatre person

MARK
Zoom in as they burn the past to the ground

JOANNE
Hello?

MARK AND ROGER
And feel the heat of the future's glow

JOANNE
Hello?

MARK
[On phone]
Hello? Maureen?
--Your equipment won't work?
Okay, all right, I'll go!

MARK AND HALF OF COMPANY
How do you leave the past behind
When it keeps finding ways to get to your heart
It reaches way down deep and tears you inside out
Till you're torn apart
Rent!

ROGER AND OTHER HALF OF COMPANY
How can you connect in an age
Where strangers, landlords, lovers
Your own blood cells betray

ALL
What binds the fabric together
When the raging, shifting winds of change
Keep ripping away

BENNY
Draw a line in the sand
And then make a stand

ROGER
Use your camera to spar

MARK
Use your guitar

ALL
When they act tough - you call their bluff

MARK AND ROGER
We're not gonna pay

MARK AND ROGER WITH HALF OF COMPANY
We're not gonna pay

MARK AND ROGER WITH OTHER HALF OF COMPANY
We're not gonna pay

ALL
Last year's rent
This year's rent
Next year's rent
Rent rent rent rent rent
We're not gonna pay rent

ROGER AND MARK
'Cause everything is rent


Autor(es): Jonathan Larson