Theater R1A, Section 6
October 15, 2009
Paper # 3: Multiculturalism in Rent
After thirteen years of performing on Broadway,
has become a phenomenon.
the lives of poverty-stricken characters in the slums of New York struggling with the AIDS epidemic.
Equipped with high energy actors, captivating story lines, and eloquently written music,
to remove the blinders of its audience.
It compels the audience not only to tear down the racial barrier
but also to see past its colorblindness.
preaches its audience to acknowledge and celebrate race
rather than having it become a tabooed issue.
For the purposes of this paper, I will explicate the scene
“La Vie Boheme” from the motion picture
released in 2005.
Through the use of ethnically diverse
actors, colorful imagery, and explicit musical numbers,
encourages the coexistence of multiple
cultures in harmony.
tackles the issue of multiculturalism in the use of its diverse cast.
Vie Boheme,” all the main characters, played by an ethnically diverse ensemble, coexists in one
In this scene, Mark, Roger, Mimi, Collins, Angel, Maureen, and Joanne share a
table at a restaurant.
All gather as a friendly gesture to celebrate the success of their friend’s protest.
Two Caucasian male actors portray the roles of Mark and Roger, and Maureen appears to belong to a
Moreover, African Americans perform the characters of Collins and Joanne.
Angel’s ethnicity are not as discernable, but Angel’s slight tan and Mimi’s considerable brown
complexion suggests they are of different backgrounds from the rest of the group.
The characters sit
and dance around a long connected table—all laughing and smiling—while harmonizing to the song
“La Vie Boheme.”
The ability to harmonize symbolizes the tranquil integration occurring in the given
space between these different cultures. Furthermore, within this group of friends, interracial, romantic