Without You

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February 08, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

Without You, a ”Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent” definitely demands an avid interest in the 1996 rock opera. But Rapp’s book is 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 (she died of adrenal cancer in 1997). Anthony Rapp’s personal and professional lives were like warped mirror images: As Rent went from workshop to Tony-winning theatrical sensation (Rapp played cynical filmmaker Mark), the actor watched his mother waste away. ”I wanted desperately, selfishly, to be there…for her final moments. To live that dramatic deathbed scene from so many movies,” he writes. His prose can be clunky and overwrought, but his voice is unpretentious and unfailingly honest. A rare (and refreshing) occurrence in a showbiz memoir.

Without You

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Without You

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