Anthony Rapp has been acting professionally since he was nine years old. He's best known for originating the role of Mark Cohen in Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer Prize-winning landmark rock opera Rent, taking the show from off Broadway to Broadway, Chicago, and London. He shared an OBIE Award with the rest of the original cast for his performance. He has appeared in numerous films, including Adventures in Babysitting, Dazed and Confused, the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind, and, most recently, the film adaptation of Rent. In 2000, he released his debut album, Look Around. He lives in New York City with his partner, Rodney To, and their three cats, Emma, Sebastian, and Spike. This is his first book.
As Rent hits the big screen, Rapp, who appeared in the film and the original cast of the Broadway hit, has written a sensitive, heartfelt memoir chronicling his life on and off stage. The actor who played video artist Mark Cohen pulls back the curtains to show the musical's genesis, which involved endless rehearsals and false starts. He lauds the genius of Jonathan Larson, its creator, and the supportive New York Theatre Workshop, which lent its facilities to the exuberant troupe and director. Rapp writes most movingly of his friends who lost their battle with AIDS; the death of Larson, who died of an aortic aneurysm before the April 1996 Broadway opening night of his Pulitzer-winning show; and of the long, painful demise of his own mother from cancer. While the book sometimes plunges too deeply into its twin themes of love and loss, Rapp recognizes the healing power of drama and theater, writing that acting is "an escape of sorts." Absorbing, warm and hopeful, the book celebrates a man, his work and a generation struggling with AIDS but determined to survive.(Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"Beautifully written...[Without You] shows that a life story truthfully told can be stranger (as well as more touching) than fiction."
-- William Georgiades, New York Post
"No roar-of-the-crowd, smell-of-the-greasepaint scrapbook; it's a sprawling, tear-streaked life story and unabashedly sentimental ode to his mother...[Rapp's] voice is unpretentious and unfailingly honest."
-- Melissa Rose Bernardo, Entertainment Weekly
"The tragic, compelling back story to Rent extends the book's appeal far beyond the show's fans."
-- Web Behrens, Chicago Tribune
"Pitch-perfect...a book for anyone who has experienced great loss, [and] for anyone who has survived and grown because of that loss."
-- David Weigand, San Francisco Chronicle
"A memoir roiling with personal revelation and uncensored emotion."
-- Christine Dolen, The Miami Herald