Montreal Fetish Weekend coming up

Erik von Gutenberg recommends the Montreal Fetish Weekend coming up September 1 to 6, 2010 in Canada.

6 YEARS . 6 NIGHTS . 60 SHOWS . SEPTEMBER 1st-6th, 2010

More than a group of artists or a mere event, the Montreal Fetish Weekend represents an ideal where one can express a desire to celebrate their fantasy turning it into a reality.

The Montreal Fetish Weekend attracts attendees from all over the world. Montreal’s legendary hospitality invites you to explore your secret self.

All inclusive VIP passes are available at a reduced price of $200 and includes a VIP goodies bag as well as accept to VIP lounge and play areas and 2 exclusive VIP events.

http://fetishweekend.com/

Wednesday September 1st

MEET & GREET – Dungeon & Garden Mai : VIP exclusive event

Thursday September 2nd

CLUB SIN 6th Anniversary – Cabaret Cleo, 1230 St-Laurent : tickets : $20

Friday September 3rd

KABARET KINK Fashion Gala l’Olympia, 1004 Ste-Catherine E. : tickets : $35

Saturday September 4th

WORKSHOPS – Hôtel des Gouverneurs, 1415 St-Hubert St.: 2-day pass $60

LATEXTACY Fetish & Fantasy Ball – l’Olympia, 1004 Ste-Catherine E. : tickets : $35

Sunday September 5th

WORKSHOPS – Hôtel des Gouverneurs, 1415 St-Hubert St.: 2-day pass $60

EXHIBITIONIST PHOTO TOUR – Leaves from the Gouverneurs – admission is free

NIGHT OF MASKS AND VAMPIRES – l’Olympia, 1004 Ste-Catherine E. : tickets : $35

Monday September 6th

FAREWELL SUPPER – Restaurant Julien, 1191 Union Ave. : VIP exclusive event

Not only is the event worth to go, but also the city of Montreal is just beautiful in September to visit:

http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=5977,40491560&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

Montreal Fetish Weekend coming up

Erik von Gutenberg recommends the Montreal Fetish Weekend coming up September 1 to 6, 2010 in Canada.

6 YEARS . 6 NIGHTS . 60 SHOWS . SEPTEMBER 1st-6th, 2010

More than a group of artists or a mere event, the Montreal Fetish Weekend represents an ideal where one can express a desire to celebrate their fantasy turning it into a reality.

The Montreal Fetish Weekend attracts attendees from all over the world. Montreal’s legendary hospitality invites you to explore your secret self.

All inclusive VIP passes are available at a reduced price of $200 and includes a VIP goodies bag as well as accept to VIP lounge and play areas and 2 exclusive VIP events.

http://fetishweekend.com/

Wednesday September 1st

MEET & GREET – Dungeon & Garden Mai : VIP exclusive event

Thursday September 2nd

CLUB SIN 6th Anniversary – Cabaret Cleo, 1230 St-Laurent : tickets : $20

Friday September 3rd

KABARET KINK Fashion Gala l’Olympia, 1004 Ste-Catherine E. : tickets : $35

Saturday September 4th

WORKSHOPS – Hôtel des Gouverneurs, 1415 St-Hubert St.: 2-day pass $60

LATEXTACY Fetish & Fantasy Ball – l’Olympia, 1004 Ste-Catherine E. : tickets : $35

Sunday September 5th

WORKSHOPS – Hôtel des Gouverneurs, 1415 St-Hubert St.: 2-day pass $60

EXHIBITIONIST PHOTO TOUR – Leaves from the Gouverneurs – admission is free

NIGHT OF MASKS AND VAMPIRES – l’Olympia, 1004 Ste-Catherine E. : tickets : $35

Monday September 6th

FAREWELL SUPPER – Restaurant Julien, 1191 Union Ave. : VIP exclusive event

Not only is the event worth to go, but also the city of Montreal is just beautiful in September to visit:

http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=5977,40491560&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

Fetish Nation at Circus July 3

Erik von Gutenberg recommends Fetish nation this Saturday!

Celebrate the 1 year anniversary of

FETISH NATION
SATURDAY, JULY 3rd
(and every 1st saturday of the month)

represent your favorite fetish theme from FN over the last year:
military, medical, nun, schoolgirl, latex, police officer,
french maid, etc.

– first 100 through door receive vip cards for the new HELL,
relocating to Circus july 17.

– FN snuff girls serving complimentary white lines

– 2 for 1 beers/well drinks before 10:30pm on 2nd level

– resident player performances by Mistress Melissa, The OtherWorld,
CharlyB, Sir SkipDog, Master D, Ladies of the Dominion, Fetish Noir,
Mistress Nicolette & Giggles, Rubber Necro and
aerial acts by Leigh of Bound Lotus.

Bondage Ball joins this event’s insanity to help celebrate our 1 year mark.
confirmed special appearances by Dahlia Dark, Dungeon Servitus,
Julie Simone, Masuimi Max, Mosh, Perish, and Victoria Vengeance.
for full access, including Bondage Ball, get tickets at www.BondageBall.com.

3 huge zones of electro-goth-industrial dance music inflicted by:
Robo-DM, Dem6nSeed, Asphyxiation, Juicy Jay, Sally, Bruce Perdew,
Amanda Jones, Matthew Grim, Danny Graver, Hypnotica, and Slaughter.

Vending by Uncensored Designs, Vamps & Tramps, Yxtabay, and Brand-X Toys

FETISH NATION
contained within hollywood’s
most massive club venue:
C I R C U S
6655 santa monica blvd.
(couple blocks east of highland)
hollywood, ca 90038

Clinic party in Amsterdam June 5

Erik von Gutenberg recommends the Clinic party in Amsterdam.

The Clinic Winter Edition was absolutely FAB! We received the first reservations immidiately after that weekend! We promise you that the Summer Edition will be a blast too!!  Tickets are on sale now and they’re selling fast, make sure you get them soon!  This is our DJ line-up: Resident DJ Guan, Storm, Ed Mission, Ko-C, Spider and Emiel Roche. Mark your calendar, think about your best fetish outfit and check your toys. But most important of all…..

MISTRESS XENA – USA                                              mistressxena.com

Mistress Xena was introduced to the Chicago BDSM scene, at the age of 18.

As a Mistress she was involved with big organisations like DomCon in LA, BondageNightChicago and ClubFEM.  She appeared in numerous worldwide publications, and has created several fetish movies. Beside Pro-Domination, Mistress Xena loves the art of a good performance.

MISTRESS LAURETTA – NL                                             mrs-lauretta.nl 

She love to dress in leather, PVC or latex clothing. Wearing high heels and stainless steel accessories are a symbol of dominance to her. She does not tolerate rebelliousness, and lack of respect will be severely punished. If you like to see her perform be warned. Her show is a dazzling mixture of fear and anxiety, excitement, torment, pleasure, pain, humiliation and rewarding, temptation and restriction.

ADULT ACTRICE FOXXY – NL                                                   sexy-foxxy.nl

 Foxxy Angel, likes to make porn movies and she loves modelling and performing. “It’s the best way to express myself and I love the attention”. The shows she has done: BDSM-shows, Burlesque, Cage-dancing, CandyGirl Dancing, Erotic Wrestling, Fetish-shows Freak-shows en Hardcore-shows. Foxxy is a girl who knows what she wants and she don’t care what other people think. Come see and look for yourself……

MISTRESS MADIEANNE – NL                                         madieanne.com

Mistress Madieanne is a lifestyle Domina. She’s specialized in sessions such as transformations, cross dressing, different bondages, total enclosure, fetish role play etc etc. She like to challenge, teaze and puzzle men and women. She loves to be in the public display and she adores to perform. You’ll see…..

website: http://www.clinicweekend.com/

Emilie Jerard unique designer and fashion enthusiast at VG Ball March 13

Von Gutenberg Magazine is proud to announce Emile Jerard Fashion performing at the VON GUTENBERG FETISH BALL 2010! She will be vending and we will see a fabulous fashion Show Saturday Night at the Grande Fetish Ball in the Glas Kat Club! March 13, 2010 Emile Jerard Fashion Show in San Francisco at the Fetish Ball!

Emilie Jerard is a native of New Jersey, with a big-city heart and attitude. She is a natural designer without formal design training. ‘It’s a gift and I am willing to share it’, says Jerard. She is a gifted seamstress and design constructor who has an eye for style and a flair for creativity.  She is an the only alternative designer who specializes in high quality PVC material. Her fashionable fetishwear transends the scene attire with its versitility.  The corset that shapes you perfectly can be worn with jeans when you go out for drinks.  The shiny slacks that make you feel like a rockstar can be coupled with your favorite blazer and jacket for a vanilla party.  This high quality brand adds an array of color to fetish that reinvents wearing PVC.

Her website: http://emiliejerard.com/

I know you like to be different. I love that TOO!  Expression of INDIVIDUALITY is what EMILIE JERARD is about. EMILIE JERARD products express the unique sensuality and personality of her customers. My BRAND satisfies their need to be unique and to wear quality clothing with good value. Using classic construction techniques, the designer incorporate modern design concepts and new age materials to produce innovative and attractive apparel. EMILIE JERARD’s commitment to using quality materials and workmanship, produces quality garment that makes EMILIE JERARD and you DIFFERENT from the rest. My latest line features suits, dresses, and co0ordinates that work well with my line of corsets and accessories these garments are elegant, edgy and stylistically modern. Each design comes in a wide variety of size and style options that appeal to a broad range of people. I also offer a wide variety of customization options including fabric, color, trim, and pattern.

I enjoyed working on these designs…

Its your turn to enjoy it all. Saturday Night San Francsico at midnight Emilie Jerard Fashion Show in the Glas Kat at the VON GUTENBERG FETISH BALL!

Tickets: http://www.vongutenberg.com/shop/Event-Tickets/

Info: www.vongutenbergfetishball.com

Emilie Jerard unique designer and fashion enthusiast at VG Ball March 13

Von Gutenberg Magazine is proud to announce Emile Jerard Fashion performing at the VON GUTENBERG FETISH BALL 2010! She will be vending and we will see a fabulous fashion Show Saturday Night at the Grande Fetish Ball in the Glas Kat Club! March 13, 2010 Emile Jerard Fashion Show in San Francisco at the Fetish Ball!

Emilie Jerard is a native of New Jersey, with a big-city heart and attitude. She is a natural designer without formal design training. ‘It’s a gift and I am willing to share it’, says Jerard. She is a gifted seamstress and design constructor who has an eye for style and a flair for creativity.  She is an the only alternative designer who specializes in high quality PVC material. Her fashionable fetishwear transends the scene attire with its versitility.  The corset that shapes you perfectly can be worn with jeans when you go out for drinks.  The shiny slacks that make you feel like a rockstar can be coupled with your favorite blazer and jacket for a vanilla party.  This high quality brand adds an array of color to fetish that reinvents wearing PVC.

Her website: http://emiliejerard.com/

I know you like to be different. I love that TOO!  Expression of INDIVIDUALITY is what EMILIE JERARD is about. EMILIE JERARD products express the unique sensuality and personality of her customers. My BRAND satisfies their need to be unique and to wear quality clothing with good value. Using classic construction techniques, the designer incorporate modern design concepts and new age materials to produce innovative and attractive apparel. EMILIE JERARD’s commitment to using quality materials and workmanship, produces quality garment that makes EMILIE JERARD and you DIFFERENT from the rest. My latest line features suits, dresses, and co0ordinates that work well with my line of corsets and accessories these garments are elegant, edgy and stylistically modern. Each design comes in a wide variety of size and style options that appeal to a broad range of people. I also offer a wide variety of customization options including fabric, color, trim, and pattern.

I enjoyed working on these designs…

Its your turn to enjoy it all. Saturday Night San Francsico at midnight Emilie Jerard Fashion Show in the Glas Kat at the VON GUTENBERG FETISH BALL!

Tickets: http://www.vongutenberg.com/shop/Event-Tickets/

Info: www.vongutenbergfetishball.com

Mina De Sade at VON GUTENBERG Burlesque Night March 12

Erik von Gutenberg announces Madame Sadist Rubber ( Mina De Sade ) to perform Friday Night at the VON GUTENBERG FETISH BALL March 12 in the DNA Lounge in San Francisco.

Tickets: http://www.vongutenberg.com/shop/Event-Tickets/  

Madame S/R/N is a Lifestylist of the Fetish , BDSM , and Kink world for over 13yrs. She is currently a educator , Rubber Go-go dancer , BDSM performance artist , Domme and Fetish Model of the BDSM , Heavy Rubber and Latex lifestyle .  Her concentrations and background are Heavy Rubber , Containment fetish , Uniform , Smoking , Femme Domination, Encasement , Medical Fetish/Bondage and Fetish Burlesque . Ms. S/R/N has been seen @ Club Dungeon L.A. , Bondage Ball L.A. , Club Sanctus LA. , Confession LA., Batcave L.A. and Frightmare club L.A.  She was the former Ms. West Coast Olympus Leather 2008 & 2009 and 1st runner up Ms.International Olympus Leather 2008 . Madame Sadist Rubber has been a performer , educator and living the kink , fetish , bdsm life for over 13years and counting.

Burlesque and Rubber, how do you combine both?

I am what I am …. a Rubber go-go … I been dancing and strutting my shininess for over 13 yrs . I usually in pvc or zentia when I dance .. but now it is time to combine My 2 guilty pleasures / Sins …. Rubber and Dance.. Rubber is my skin .. it clings and molds as if you were born with it on …. In burlesque it is a sultry , active display of showing one true nature.. You are exposing ones inner and outer sexual persona …. This is a way for me to show both .. I feel my sexiest in Heavy Rubber and latex.. Since I love being a tease on the dance floor and stage back home in L.A. I want to bring the 2 most sexiest things that are within myself .. Burlesque and Rubber … I want to show that one can dance , tease , and taunt with out having to peel her skin to show the inner her !. I want to have the world fall in love with my second skin while they can still be able to see my ” human form ” … I love being in a transparent latex body and wearing latex lingerie on top . Making me feel so naked but so covered all the same …. I want to show the true flesh and bone of a Rubber girl … She is all transparent, 20g of shiny perfection !.

What do you like about Fetish?

* Fetish is my blood and my mind … I even work in a environment where I get to clean , shine and sell Latex , Leather and Kink supplies all day long . My uniform is complete with a rubber smock which I wear in pride and in lust … I love the psychological connections I have to my sexuality and my personality when involved or surrounded by one of my fetishes . It is even a point that i perform and educate in fetish identification and culture of fetishes and how they can complete a persons life . I know that with out my fetishes … I would be nothing more then a pretty face and mind with nothing else to show … But get me started on My fetishes and We can talk all day everyday with a different fetish for each conversation.

Latex, what is so special about this material?

* Latex , Rubber….I am a heavy Fetishist…The way it makes me feel.. I can not even notice at times that it is even on since it is like a second skin .. If any my true skin ! . I love how it has no gender, it is sexy and serious .. can be domineering or submissive . It can be just be purely for fashion yet can lead into sex.. It is something that has no rules but a beauty and a feel that only those who wear it can truly understand. It is the feel of being completely naked and completely covered . It is the epitome of avant gard and in a functional means . I love the idea of wearing something that is customized by your own shape , style and use . I sleep in Latex , have latex bedding and enjoy nights in my vac bed… I wear rubber and pvc shoes at work and educate other how to wear and handle Latex all day in a Rubber Butchers Smock …. I wear it as my second skin underneath all my other latex wears … A catsuit , bra and panties all latex , and then my fashionable latex outfit of choice …. It makes me feel one of a kind and when I see others in it .. I think they are all one of a kind as well.

What is planned for the VON GUTENBERG Burlesque Night, what will we see from you?

* It is a surprise !. I can definitely say I will give a new meaning to Neo Burlesque and shine a bit of latex and light on to the stage . I want to give a old fashion feel with a neo futuristic style … I believe a woman’s form in heavy rubber , latex and in containment is simply sexy ! . I want to show and introduce a form of beauty , sexuality and kink in a way many possibly have not thought about.. It is one thing having a girl dance in Rubber , another taking it off… But to have a true hardcore fetishist of burlesque , Rubber and Containment get on the stage it will be just as much fun for me , as it will be for those who will watch… All I have to say Erik is … It will be what I keep on that will keep you wanting … not what I take off.

You like San Francisco?

* I love San Francisco … i am planning to move to the East Bay or South SF area in late summer of 2010. I been exposed to SF on a regular basis off and on for 3 years and want to live in the town where i feel I connect most . I use to be part of a hook suspension team called CORE and their headquarters is out here and I want to get back into it . I am also a big advocate for kink and fetish and SF has it all for my evolving and all so collective taste in Fetish . I can definitely say in may instance when I had to pack to go back home to My home town Hollywood CA. I wish I did not .. The people , fun and leisure of SF makes me wish I was a local .. My heart is truly in San Francisco …

What are your plans for 2010 going forward?

To be creative as always ! . I just finished designing a few custom hoods and already have a few ideas in latex designs I want to have made . I am currently active in promoting and participating in the Montreal Fetish Weekend 2010, Dom Con LA. & Atlanta 2010 .. I am planning to visit the Rubber Doll Weekend in Minneapolis and whatever fun , fetish events that are to arise threw the course of the year … I hope to become more active in the many Von Gutenberg events and projects threw out the year as well . I love the magazine and the parties are live! I want to be part of such a evolving group of events . CHEERS !!! VON GUTENBERG!

www.vongutenbergfetishball.com

Mina De Sade at VON GUTENBERG Burlesque Night March 12

Erik von Gutenberg announces Madame Sadist Rubber ( Mina De Sade ) to perform Friday Night at the VON GUTENBERG FETISH BALL March 12 in the DNA Lounge in San Francisco.

Tickets: http://www.vongutenberg.com/shop/Event-Tickets/  

Madame S/R/N is a Lifestylist of the Fetish , BDSM , and Kink world for over 13yrs. She is currently a educator , Rubber Go-go dancer , BDSM performance artist , Domme and Fetish Model of the BDSM , Heavy Rubber and Latex lifestyle .  Her concentrations and background are Heavy Rubber , Containment fetish , Uniform , Smoking , Femme Domination, Encasement , Medical Fetish/Bondage and Fetish Burlesque . Ms. S/R/N has been seen @ Club Dungeon L.A. , Bondage Ball L.A. , Club Sanctus LA. , Confession LA., Batcave L.A. and Frightmare club L.A.  She was the former Ms. West Coast Olympus Leather 2008 & 2009 and 1st runner up Ms.International Olympus Leather 2008 . Madame Sadist Rubber has been a performer , educator and living the kink , fetish , bdsm life for over 13years and counting.

Burlesque and Rubber, how do you combine both?

I am what I am …. a Rubber go-go … I been dancing and strutting my shininess for over 13 yrs . I usually in pvc or zentia when I dance .. but now it is time to combine My 2 guilty pleasures / Sins …. Rubber and Dance.. Rubber is my skin .. it clings and molds as if you were born with it on …. In burlesque it is a sultry , active display of showing one true nature.. You are exposing ones inner and outer sexual persona …. This is a way for me to show both .. I feel my sexiest in Heavy Rubber and latex.. Since I love being a tease on the dance floor and stage back home in L.A. I want to bring the 2 most sexiest things that are within myself .. Burlesque and Rubber … I want to show that one can dance , tease , and taunt with out having to peel her skin to show the inner her !. I want to have the world fall in love with my second skin while they can still be able to see my ” human form ” … I love being in a transparent latex body and wearing latex lingerie on top . Making me feel so naked but so covered all the same …. I want to show the true flesh and bone of a Rubber girl … She is all transparent, 20g of shiny perfection !.

What do you like about Fetish?

* Fetish is my blood and my mind … I even work in a environment where I get to clean , shine and sell Latex , Leather and Kink supplies all day long . My uniform is complete with a rubber smock which I wear in pride and in lust … I love the psychological connections I have to my sexuality and my personality when involved or surrounded by one of my fetishes . It is even a point that i perform and educate in fetish identification and culture of fetishes and how they can complete a persons life . I know that with out my fetishes … I would be nothing more then a pretty face and mind with nothing else to show … But get me started on My fetishes and We can talk all day everyday with a different fetish for each conversation.

Latex, what is so special about this material?

* Latex , Rubber….I am a heavy Fetishist…The way it makes me feel.. I can not even notice at times that it is even on since it is like a second skin .. If any my true skin ! . I love how it has no gender, it is sexy and serious .. can be domineering or submissive . It can be just be purely for fashion yet can lead into sex.. It is something that has no rules but a beauty and a feel that only those who wear it can truly understand. It is the feel of being completely naked and completely covered . It is the epitome of avant gard and in a functional means . I love the idea of wearing something that is customized by your own shape , style and use . I sleep in Latex , have latex bedding and enjoy nights in my vac bed… I wear rubber and pvc shoes at work and educate other how to wear and handle Latex all day in a Rubber Butchers Smock …. I wear it as my second skin underneath all my other latex wears … A catsuit , bra and panties all latex , and then my fashionable latex outfit of choice …. It makes me feel one of a kind and when I see others in it .. I think they are all one of a kind as well.

What is planned for the VON GUTENBERG Burlesque Night, what will we see from you?

* It is a surprise !. I can definitely say I will give a new meaning to Neo Burlesque and shine a bit of latex and light on to the stage . I want to give a old fashion feel with a neo futuristic style … I believe a woman’s form in heavy rubber , latex and in containment is simply sexy ! . I want to show and introduce a form of beauty , sexuality and kink in a way many possibly have not thought about.. It is one thing having a girl dance in Rubber , another taking it off… But to have a true hardcore fetishist of burlesque , Rubber and Containment get on the stage it will be just as much fun for me , as it will be for those who will watch… All I have to say Erik is … It will be what I keep on that will keep you wanting … not what I take off.

You like San Francisco?

* I love San Francisco … i am planning to move to the East Bay or South SF area in late summer of 2010. I been exposed to SF on a regular basis off and on for 3 years and want to live in the town where i feel I connect most . I use to be part of a hook suspension team called CORE and their headquarters is out here and I want to get back into it . I am also a big advocate for kink and fetish and SF has it all for my evolving and all so collective taste in Fetish . I can definitely say in may instance when I had to pack to go back home to My home town Hollywood CA. I wish I did not .. The people , fun and leisure of SF makes me wish I was a local .. My heart is truly in San Francisco …

What are your plans for 2010 going forward?

To be creative as always ! . I just finished designing a few custom hoods and already have a few ideas in latex designs I want to have made . I am currently active in promoting and participating in the Montreal Fetish Weekend 2010, Dom Con LA. & Atlanta 2010 .. I am planning to visit the Rubber Doll Weekend in Minneapolis and whatever fun , fetish events that are to arise threw the course of the year … I hope to become more active in the many Von Gutenberg events and projects threw out the year as well . I love the magazine and the parties are live! I want to be part of such a evolving group of events . CHEERS !!! VON GUTENBERG!

www.vongutenbergfetishball.com

Now and Forever, Everything is RENT

tn-0124In 1988, noted playwright Billy Aronson had an absurd idea. What if someone took the basic plot of the celebrated Giacomo Puccini opera, La Bohème, and updated it to a modern, hip new audience? About a year later, Aronson started putting out calls for collaborators. It wasn’t long before a good friend, new project developer extraordinaire Ira Weitzman, introduced him to an ambitious, relatively obscure young composer with somewhat wild eyes and an even wilder hairdo. That young composer’s name was Jonathan Larson. Incredibly, the young Mr. Larson had lived a “Bohemian life” himself in the legendary hipster area of New York City called SoHo – and he at first suggested, and eventually ended up pleading, with Billy Aronson to allow him to use the original La Bohème concept and truly make it his semi-autobiographical Magnum Opus. Billy Aronson agreed to step aside from the collaboration – but with the agreement that if the project ever actually did make it to the “Big Stage”, in any of the gargantuan New York Theatre wing’s legendary venues, they would equally share in the spoils of their success.

Jonathan Larson - RENTNothing is guaranteed in the world of live theatre, and especially so when any discussion of Musicals begin in earnest. Four years later, the work originated at the New York Theatre Workshop as a piece of Reader’s Theatre. From the initial read-through, the quirky, kinky little project had a limited three week run within the Workshop’s Studio Theatre system. For the next three years, Jonathan Larson and his production team cajoled, nurtured, beat, kicked and hammered out a modern take on Puccini’s masterpiece. Their efforts were finally rewarded with an agreement to produce “the new Bohemian musical” through the renowned Nederlander Group.

Little did anyone know that the twisted little musical – rife with open references to latex, cross-dressing, sadomasochism and (sadly) the scourge of the late last millennium: AIDS – would run for over twelve years and become the seventh longest-running show in Broadway history.

Speaking of tragedy, the show’s wonder kid composer, Jonathan Larson, was destined to never see a single Broadway performance of his magnificent show. Just before what would have surely been the most exciting time of his short life, Mr. Larson was making a tea in his modest kitchen at 3:00 am in the morning when he suddenly collapsed. He never regained consciousness, and died, early in the morning on a cold kitchen floor, on January 26th, 1996 – the very evening of the first preview performance of his musical. Jonathan Larson had succumbed to an aortic aneurysm, and he was just 36 years of age.

RENTHis show, however, continues to live on. What at first many thought would be a dated and era-constrained modern musical has become a rallying cry for an entire new generation of “new Bohemians”. In every major city in North America and in a good percentage of the ancient old cultural capitals of Europe, you are assured to see more than a few solid black or red T-Shirts proudly expounding the new Bohemian mantras: “No Day But Today” and “Forget Regret or Life is Yours to Miss.” Unless you’ve been living under a bridge somewhere for the past fourteen years, the name of Mr. Larson’s odd little ode to Puccini should, by now, be obvious. We are discussing the triumph that is Jonathan Larson’s RENT.

RENT ended its historic run at the Nederlander Theatre in New York City on September 7, 2008. The central “villain” of the piece – the AIDS pandemic of the early and mid 1990’s – isn’t quite viewed today with the same sense of panic, desperation and despair. The treatment for the disease has developed to the point where those infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS could theoretically live fairly lengthy, longer lives. Make no mistake however: while treatment has advanced leaps and bounds since Jonathan Larson’s late days,  AIDS is still very much a death sentence.

Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal RENTIn an off and ironic kind of way, the continued existence of RENT continues to breathe, thrive and induce appreciative hysteria in theatre-goers in several cities across the continent despite the sombre overtones of the show’s central malady. The Broadway Touring production – featuring original and revered cast members Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp and Gwen Stewart – has been performing in front of sold-out, rabid and excessively vocal “Rent-Heads” since the final performance at the original New York venue. Mr. Pascal, Mr. Rapp and Miss Stewart have all gone on to steady, enjoyable careers (within the show and apart from it), but there can be no denying the magic that begins the very moment the character of Mark (Anthony Rapp) walks across the stage, starting the proceedings to the strains of a guitar being tuned, is infectious and encompassing. For three-plus hours, audiences are able to turn back the clock to 1996 (none of the original cast appear to have aged a day) and join in the celebration that is a single year in the life of a small collective of down-on-their-luck friends, trying to eek out a living through illness, rampant drug abuse, urban development and shattered relationships in New York’s grungy Alphabet City.

Lexi Lawson RENTA film version of the show, featuring nearly all of the original Broadway cast, was premiered to luke-warm reviews in 2005 while the Broadway version was still rockin’ and rollin’ enthusiasts in any number of theatres in any number of cities. RENT made a star of the incomparable Idina Menzel (who originated the role of the rubber-catsuit clad Maureen before moving on to much greater acclaim as the misunderstood witch Elphaba in the musical Wicked). The show also spawned the successful careers of Jesse L. Martin (Law and Order) and the powerfully talented Taye Diggs (Chicago). The show’s most recognizable song – Seasons of Love – has been recorded by no less an empresario than Stevie Wonder and still remains the veritable anthem for the downtrodden whose sole asset during those individual darkest times appears to be “hope”.

RENT does, despite the opinions of some of the critics fourteen years ago, remain topical, and timeless. There is no question that a central part of the show’s appeal (beside the music, of course) has to be the underlying raw sensual tension created in the sets and, especially, in the costumery. Sure, there have been other stage productions before that utilized an element of fetish and/or SM as a by-product of the story. As far back as the mid-1960’s, an original production of  Oh! Calcutta! featured an entire scene that revolved around a bound and gagged servent girl about to tied to a whipping post and summarily flogged for an imaginary transgression; and simply because it suited the “curiosity” of the narrator of that particular show. A fantastic little piece written by the late Paul Bartel called Eating Raoul (based on his cult film of the same name) ran successfully “off Broadway” for a number of months. That show, starring the talented but sadly nearly forgotten Adrian Zmed (of television’s TJ Hooker fame), even featured a Dominatrix named Donna as a pivotal character in the show’s plot. A few years back, a show called Urinetown had a musical number that involved a trussed-up and securely gagged damsel in distress struggling against her restraints to the strains of an uncomfortable little tune simply called Snuff That Girl.

Justin Johnson RENTBut, none of those efforts compare in any way to RENT. The tragic moments of Jonathan Larson’s masterpiece feature a high-stepping and plucky little transvestite named Angel, who gamely struts, leaps, sings and incessanty thumps on a ten-gallon plastic pickle tub (her “drum”) at every opportunity. Those familiar with the show are well aware of Angel’s fate – but the moment her tragic destiny is revealed to the audience never fails to illicit torrents of tears from the appreciative crowds gathered to take in the ritual and fetish pageantry that is the pure embodiment of the entire piece itself. Fetishism – 1996 style to be sure but certainly more than relevant in 2010 – is the timeless glue that will forever be the lock-and-stock appeal of RENT as it heads into its fifteenth year of existence. It is worth the price of a ticket alone to see all of the costume designs: from Maureen’s (now) infamous latex catsuit, complete with latex kitty-kat ears, to Angel’s interpretation of “Pussy Galore”, complete with knee-high pink PVC platform Go-Go boots that are a perfect match for her PVC mini-dress. The show’s main female character, Mimi Marquez, early on in the show implores the tortured Roger (Adam Pascal) to “take her out” by stripping off a cumbersome housecoat to reveal what appears to be a painted-on, light-blue “latex” pair of pants accented with a lycra leopard print short tank top and matching high-heeled boots. Her dangerous-girl look is completed with a form-fitting black latex shrug that surely looks as if it will rip itself to pieces the moment she starts to dance, gyrate and “howl at the moon like a cat in heat” as she tries to entice and seduce the love-lorn Roger. The costumes are more than just provocative and sexy: they’re an integral representation of the very attitude that those living a Bohemian existence need to flaunt in order to give their fragile lives a sense of “belonging”, and indeed, a sense of “family”. Similar shows that tried to rely heavily on suggestive costumes, such as the prostitution musical The Life, have come and quickly gone. RENT  is, and forever shall be, regarded as simply timeless – and revolutionary.

RENT  is scheduled to end its current Broadway Tour run in Sacramento, California, in February, 2010. It is doubtful, however, that the show – by far the best marriage of modern musical theatre, fetishism and simple, pure human frailty ever written – will go quietly into the night, let alone the musical theatre history books. RENT  is, now and forever, timeless. The message will continue to resonant to audiences and fans years from now: Forget regret, or Life is yours to miss.

RENT Company Low RES(Photos courtesy of Joan Marcus and the Broadway Touring Production of RENT.) 

Now and Forever, Everything is RENT

tn-0124In 1988, noted playwright Billy Aronson had an absurd idea. What if someone took the basic plot of the celebrated Giacomo Puccini opera, La Bohème, and updated it to a modern, hip new audience? About a year later, Aronson started putting out calls for collaborators. It wasn’t long before a good friend, new project developer extraordinaire Ira Weitzman, introduced him to an ambitious, relatively obscure young composer with somewhat wild eyes and an even wilder hairdo. That young composer’s name was Jonathan Larson. Incredibly, the young Mr. Larson had lived a “Bohemian life” himself in the legendary hipster area of New York City called SoHo – and he at first suggested, and eventually ended up pleading, with Billy Aronson to allow him to use the original La Bohème concept and truly make it his semi-autobiographical Magnum Opus. Billy Aronson agreed to step aside from the collaboration – but with the agreement that if the project ever actually did make it to the “Big Stage”, in any of the gargantuan New York Theatre wing’s legendary venues, they would equally share in the spoils of their success.

Jonathan Larson - RENTNothing is guaranteed in the world of live theatre, and especially so when any discussion of Musicals begin in earnest. Four years later, the work originated at the New York Theatre Workshop as a piece of Reader’s Theatre. From the initial read-through, the quirky, kinky little project had a limited three week run within the Workshop’s Studio Theatre system. For the next three years, Jonathan Larson and his production team cajoled, nurtured, beat, kicked and hammered out a modern take on Puccini’s masterpiece. Their efforts were finally rewarded with an agreement to produce “the new Bohemian musical” through the renowned Nederlander Group.

Little did anyone know that the twisted little musical – rife with open references to latex, cross-dressing, sadomasochism and (sadly) the scourge of the late last millennium: AIDS – would run for over twelve years and become the seventh longest-running show in Broadway history.

Speaking of tragedy, the show’s wonder kid composer, Jonathan Larson, was destined to never see a single Broadway performance of his magnificent show. Just before what would have surely been the most exciting time of his short life, Mr. Larson was making a tea in his modest kitchen at 3:00 am in the morning when he suddenly collapsed. He never regained consciousness, and died, early in the morning on a cold kitchen floor, on January 26th, 1996 – the very evening of the first preview performance of his musical. Jonathan Larson had succumbed to an aortic aneurysm, and he was just 36 years of age.

RENTHis show, however, continues to live on. What at first many thought would be a dated and era-constrained modern musical has become a rallying cry for an entire new generation of “new Bohemians”. In every major city in North America and in a good percentage of the ancient old cultural capitals of Europe, you are assured to see more than a few solid black or red T-Shirts proudly expounding the new Bohemian mantras: “No Day But Today” and “Forget Regret or Life is Yours to Miss.” Unless you’ve been living under a bridge somewhere for the past fourteen years, the name of Mr. Larson’s odd little ode to Puccini should, by now, be obvious. We are discussing the triumph that is Jonathan Larson’s RENT.

RENT ended its historic run at the Nederlander Theatre in New York City on September 7, 2008. The central “villain” of the piece – the AIDS pandemic of the early and mid 1990’s – isn’t quite viewed today with the same sense of panic, desperation and despair. The treatment for the disease has developed to the point where those infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS could theoretically live fairly lengthy, longer lives. Make no mistake however: while treatment has advanced leaps and bounds since Jonathan Larson’s late days,  AIDS is still very much a death sentence.

Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal RENTIn an off and ironic kind of way, the continued existence of RENT continues to breathe, thrive and induce appreciative hysteria in theatre-goers in several cities across the continent despite the sombre overtones of the show’s central malady. The Broadway Touring production – featuring original and revered cast members Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp and Gwen Stewart – has been performing in front of sold-out, rabid and excessively vocal “Rent-Heads” since the final performance at the original New York venue. Mr. Pascal, Mr. Rapp and Miss Stewart have all gone on to steady, enjoyable careers (within the show and apart from it), but there can be no denying the magic that begins the very moment the character of Mark (Anthony Rapp) walks across the stage, starting the proceedings to the strains of a guitar being tuned, is infectious and encompassing. For three-plus hours, audiences are able to turn back the clock to 1996 (none of the original cast appear to have aged a day) and join in the celebration that is a single year in the life of a small collective of down-on-their-luck friends, trying to eek out a living through illness, rampant drug abuse, urban development and shattered relationships in New York’s grungy Alphabet City.

Lexi Lawson RENTA film version of the show, featuring nearly all of the original Broadway cast, was premiered to luke-warm reviews in 2005 while the Broadway version was still rockin’ and rollin’ enthusiasts in any number of theatres in any number of cities. RENT made a star of the incomparable Idina Menzel (who originated the role of the rubber-catsuit clad Maureen before moving on to much greater acclaim as the misunderstood witch Elphaba in the musical Wicked). The show also spawned the successful careers of Jesse L. Martin (Law and Order) and the powerfully talented Taye Diggs (Chicago). The show’s most recognizable song – Seasons of Love – has been recorded by no less an empresario than Stevie Wonder and still remains the veritable anthem for the downtrodden whose sole asset during those individual darkest times appears to be “hope”.

RENT does, despite the opinions of some of the critics fourteen years ago, remain topical, and timeless. There is no question that a central part of the show’s appeal (beside the music, of course) has to be the underlying raw sensual tension created in the sets and, especially, in the costumery. Sure, there have been other stage productions before that utilized an element of fetish and/or SM as a by-product of the story. As far back as the mid-1960’s, an original production of  Oh! Calcutta! featured an entire scene that revolved around a bound and gagged servent girl about to tied to a whipping post and summarily flogged for an imaginary transgression; and simply because it suited the “curiosity” of the narrator of that particular show. A fantastic little piece written by the late Paul Bartel called Eating Raoul (based on his cult film of the same name) ran successfully “off Broadway” for a number of months. That show, starring the talented but sadly nearly forgotten Adrian Zmed (of television’s TJ Hooker fame), even featured a Dominatrix named Donna as a pivotal character in the show’s plot. A few years back, a show called Urinetown had a musical number that involved a trussed-up and securely gagged damsel in distress struggling against her restraints to the strains of an uncomfortable little tune simply called Snuff That Girl.

Justin Johnson RENTBut, none of those efforts compare in any way to RENT. The tragic moments of Jonathan Larson’s masterpiece feature a high-stepping and plucky little transvestite named Angel, who gamely struts, leaps, sings and incessanty thumps on a ten-gallon plastic pickle tub (her “drum”) at every opportunity. Those familiar with the show are well aware of Angel’s fate – but the moment her tragic destiny is revealed to the audience never fails to illicit torrents of tears from the appreciative crowds gathered to take in the ritual and fetish pageantry that is the pure embodiment of the entire piece itself. Fetishism – 1996 style to be sure but certainly more than relevant in 2010 – is the timeless glue that will forever be the lock-and-stock appeal of RENT as it heads into its fifteenth year of existence. It is worth the price of a ticket alone to see all of the costume designs: from Maureen’s (now) infamous latex catsuit, complete with latex kitty-kat ears, to Angel’s interpretation of “Pussy Galore”, complete with knee-high pink PVC platform Go-Go boots that are a perfect match for her PVC mini-dress. The show’s main female character, Mimi Marquez, early on in the show implores the tortured Roger (Adam Pascal) to “take her out” by stripping off a cumbersome housecoat to reveal what appears to be a painted-on, light-blue “latex” pair of pants accented with a lycra leopard print short tank top and matching high-heeled boots. Her dangerous-girl look is completed with a form-fitting black latex shrug that surely looks as if it will rip itself to pieces the moment she starts to dance, gyrate and “howl at the moon like a cat in heat” as she tries to entice and seduce the love-lorn Roger. The costumes are more than just provocative and sexy: they’re an integral representation of the very attitude that those living a Bohemian existence need to flaunt in order to give their fragile lives a sense of “belonging”, and indeed, a sense of “family”. Similar shows that tried to rely heavily on suggestive costumes, such as the prostitution musical The Life, have come and quickly gone. RENT  is, and forever shall be, regarded as simply timeless – and revolutionary.

RENT  is scheduled to end its current Broadway Tour run in Sacramento, California, in February, 2010. It is doubtful, however, that the show – by far the best marriage of modern musical theatre, fetishism and simple, pure human frailty ever written – will go quietly into the night, let alone the musical theatre history books. RENT  is, now and forever, timeless. The message will continue to resonant to audiences and fans years from now: Forget regret, or Life is yours to miss.

RENT Company Low RES(Photos courtesy of Joan Marcus and the Broadway Touring Production of RENT.)