PLAYS AND READINGS - RENT the first act of the show takes...

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RENT: the first act of the show takes place on Christmas Eve The show begins as Mark Cohen, a filmmaker (and the narrator of the show), begins shooting an unscripted documentary in his loft. He turns the camera on his roommate and best friend Roger Davis tuning his guitar. Roger is a reformed junkie who became a recluse after his girlfriend committed suicide after learning they had contracted HIV. Mark's mother interrupts the filming with a phone call; she reassures Mark about his performance-artist ex-girlfriend Maureen Johnson dumping him for a woman. Roger and Mark's friend Tom Collins arrives at their building but is mugged before he can enter. Meanwhile, Roger and Mark receive a call from former friend and roommate Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III. Benny bought Mark and Roger's apartment building, as well as the lot next door. He tells them the rent is due, despite his promise to let them live there for free. Mark and Roger refuse to pay their rent (Rent). Meanwhile, Joanne Jefferson (Maureen's new girlfriend) is setting up for Maureen's performance protesting Benny's plan to develop the lot where many homeless people are currently living. When the sound system blows, Maureen calls Mark, who agrees to help against his better judgment. Back on the street, Angel Dumott Schunard, a street drummer and drag queen, spots Collins injured and comes to his aid. They are instantly attracted to one another and quickly discover that they both have AIDS. Back at the loft, Mark tries to get Roger out of the apartment before reminding him to take his AZT. Roger attempts to write a great song to make his mark on the world before he dies of AIDS. Roger is interrupted by Mimi Márquez, a beautiful stranger, knocking on his door to ask him for a match to light her candle. There is mutual attraction while Roger learns that she is a nineteen-year-old exotic dancer and junkie who lives in the apartment downstairs. Joanne's parents call her, wondering why she is stage managing and reminding her that she has to attend her mother's confirmation hearings. Meanwhile, Collins arrives at the apartment and introduces Mark and Roger to Angel, who describes how he earned $3,000. Benny arrives with an offer: if they convince Maureen to cancel her protest, he'll let them live in his new studio project, rent- free. However, the two rebuff his offer. After Benny leaves, Angel and Collins invite Mark and Roger to attend Life Support, a local HIV support meeting. Mark meets Joanne at the lot. While fixing the sound equipment, Mark tells Joanne of how Maureen flirted and cheated with other men while he dated her. At the Life Support meeting, the group talks about living with AIDS.
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Mimi dances up the fire escape to Roger's apartment and asks Roger to take her out for the night. Roger rejects her, telling her he cannot love again, and demands that she leaves. Focus is then set on the Life Support meeting, as people from the group wonder if they will lose their dignity because they have AIDS On their way to the show, Collins,
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PLAYS AND READINGS - RENT the first act of the show takes...

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