It’s no surprise this book was on my to-read list – I’ve been a huge RENT fan since first seeing it in 1999. I saw it a few more times on various traveling tours since then, even driving five hours to see original actors Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp perform as Roger and Mark in 2009. I would have driven ever further.
So, this book? First, a complaint – I listened to the audiobook and the quality just didn’t seem 100% there. A little tinny and distracting, at first. Overall though, very fun. Not recommended if you haven’t seen – and enjoyed – RENT; the book obviously covers more of Rapp’s life, but focuses on the years he was involved with the play.
From Amazon.com: “Anthony Rapp had a special feeling about Jonathan Larson’s rock musical Rent as early as his first audition, which won him a starring role as the video artist Mark Cohen. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent opened to thunderous acclaim off-Broadway — but even as friends and family were celebrating the show’s first success, they were also mourning Jonathan Larson’s sudden death from an aortic aneurysm. And when Anthony’s mom began to lose her battle with cancer, Anthony found himself struggling to balance his life in the theater with his responsibility to his family.”
I really enjoyed this. For starters, I am a memoir junkie. This one really sticks out as cream of the crop though. Many people might not like it, but I loved how the book jumped back and forth between Cummings’s experiences on Who Do You Think You Are? (that celebrity genealogy show) and childhood memories (traumatic childhood memories). It was a lovely balance. I ended up reading the book cover to cover in one sitting with a couple glasses of wine.
From Amazon.com: “When television producers in the UK approached him to appear on a popular celebrity genealogy show in 2010, Alan enthusiastically agreed. He hoped the show would solve a family mystery involving his maternal grandfather, a celebrated WWII hero who disappeared in the Far East. But as the truth of his family ancestors revealed itself, Alan learned far more than he bargained for about himself, his past, and his own father. With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as a film, television, and theater star. At times suspenseful, deeply moving, and wickedly funny, Not My Father’s Son will make readers laugh even as it breaks their hearts.”