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Idaho Production of 'Rent' Under Fire Because Characters are 'Infected with AIDS' and Gay: VIDEO


Is it 1985 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho? You'd think so. A production of the musical Rent at The Lake City Playhouse is under fire:

"This rock opera is stirring controversy because some of rent's characters are infected with AIDS or HIV and some are gay."

The playhouse has received dozens of letters and people are planning a protest of the show when it opens on January 13.

Contact the Lake City Playhouse HERE and tell them you and Towleroad support them!


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  1. This is so funny, the movie has been on TV. Did these fine moralists protest in front of their TVs?

    Posted by: Gus | Dec 22, 2011 11:27:07 AM

  2. Yeah I heard the same people are going to protest a production of Hair.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Dec 22, 2011 11:28:16 AM

  3. I suppose they'd protest productions of West Side Story and Porgy and Bess too.

    Posted by: RJ | Dec 22, 2011 11:31:15 AM

  4. Rent "celebrating promiscuity"? Someone apparently hasn't seen the show, where six of the seven main characters are in assumed monogamous relationships.

    Posted by: RJ | Dec 22, 2011 11:36:43 AM

  5. i think the rural areas of america are just hypersensitive about glbt issues.

    they see the roaring avalanche of our civil rights coming towards them and they just don't know how to fight it anymore because we have or are very close to the critical mass of support where it is inevitable we will win.

    Posted by: sleepy bear | Dec 22, 2011 11:42:04 AM

  6. best publicity they could ask for

    Posted by: gomez | Dec 22, 2011 11:56:32 AM

  7. Sleepy Bear: You are so right. These are the death throws of a group of people in a panic as they see "their way of life" disappearing before their eyes.

    Posted by: NightowlBC | Dec 22, 2011 12:20:16 PM

  8. what a stupid reason to protest the show.

    they should protest the show because it's horrible, not because it has anything to do with the gay or HIV.

    Posted by: truthiness | Dec 22, 2011 12:23:22 PM

  9. not surprising coming from the former cradle of the US aryan nation.

    Posted by: alguien | Dec 22, 2011 12:26:50 PM

  10. I agree with Truthiness... Personally I find the play to be insufferable but for very different reasons.

    Posted by: M | Dec 22, 2011 1:05:16 PM

  11. Coeur d'Alene is the heart of neo-nazi country. This news does not surprise me.

    Posted by: DanO | Dec 22, 2011 1:06:20 PM

  12. This is the best publicity ever, stir up the controversy, people will come just out of curiosity.

    Homophobia runs deep from Spokane through the silver belt of Idaho and on into western Montana.

    Posted by: ronsfo | Dec 22, 2011 1:15:53 PM

  13. ten bucks says these protesters had no problem showing their children mel gibson's "Jesus Chainsaw Massacre".....

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 22, 2011 1:36:47 PM

  14. Money talks... let's all donate to support the theatre! There's a link on their website.

    Posted by: Paul | Dec 22, 2011 1:48:16 PM

  15. OMG, the gay characters are coming, the gay characters are coming!

    (hmm, that almost sounds like porn...)

    Posted by: johnny | Dec 22, 2011 2:09:18 PM

  16. "We're living in America/Leave your conscience at the tone..."

    Posted by: Dback | Dec 22, 2011 2:15:07 PM

  17. You NOT? "... promoting or celebrating from an institutional standpoint"!?
    That is BS and a cowardly thing to say mr. Executive artistic director. Jonathan Larson did not give his life to this work to not promoting or celebrating the life of these people.
    Cop out.
    I know you may need to be pc in that part of the woods that might take away your funding but that was a lame statement.

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Dec 22, 2011 2:22:07 PM

  18. What about the part where Rent sucks? Didnt anybody get the memo on what a lousy musical it is? Maybe they are doing everybody a favor?

    Posted by: Lisa G | Dec 22, 2011 2:24:49 PM

  19. It doesn't matter what you think of the play . Artistic freedom is the issue. Medical privacy is the issue.

    The Artistic Director should get up on the stage, as WB Yeats did , and face down the bigots , if necessary.

    "Players and painted stage took all my love,
    And not the things that they were emblems of ".

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 22, 2011 2:59:18 PM

  20. They should hire Tebow to play the lead, if he's not too busy with Jesus Christ Superstar.

    Posted by: M. Scott Hernandez | Dec 22, 2011 3:16:48 PM

  21. Woohoo! Free publicity! This should boost ticket sales.

    Posted by: justinw | Dec 22, 2011 3:26:57 PM

  22. Thank-you guys so much for your support!!! No Day But Today!

    Posted by: TT | Dec 22, 2011 7:40:39 PM

  23. I agree with MCNNYC--well stated! The guy had the opportunity to talk about Rent's positive messages (that have nothing to do with promiscuity, but everything to do with hope and self-determination). Instead he says we are not promoting it from an institutional standpoint. After that interview, you almost think they WILL cave and close the show.

    Posted by: Josh | Dec 22, 2011 8:37:00 PM

  24. They'd probably protest the opera La Boheme, on which Rent is based, too! Promiscuity?
    I hardly think so!

    Posted by: Pierce_mn | Dec 22, 2011 9:23:39 PM

  25. @ Truthiness. Oh yes, the show is just so aweful. That's why it won Best Musical, ran for 12 years, toured for even more years, won the Pulitzer Prize, reinvigorated what a musical can & should be, and has a countless base of fans whose lives are forever changed by it's message.

    Posted by: J.R. | Dec 22, 2011 11:08:50 PM

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