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Without You

A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Anthony Rapp captures the passion and grit unique to the theatre world as he recounts his life-changing experience in the original cast of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Rent.

Anthony had a special feeling about Jonathan Larson's rock musical from his first audition, so he was thrilled when he landed a starring role as the filmmaker Mark Cohen. With his mom's cancer in remission and a reason to quit his newly acquired job at Starbucks, his life was looking up.

When Rent opened to thunderous acclaim off Broadway, Rapp and his fellow cast members knew that something truly extraordinary had taken shape. But even as friends and family were celebrating the show's success, they were also mourning Jonathan Larson's sudden death from an aortic aneurysm. By the time Rent made its triumphant jump to Broadway, Larson had posthumously won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize. When Anthony's mom began to lose her battle with cancer, he struggled to balance the demands of life in the theatre with his responsibility to his family. Here, Anthony recounts the show's magnificent success and his overwhelming loss. He also shares his first experiences discovering his sexuality, the tension it created with his mother, and his struggle into adulthood to gain her acceptance.

Variously marked by fledgling love and devastating loss, piercing frustration and powerful enlightenment, Without You charts the course of Rapp's exhilarating journey with the cast and crew of Rent as well as the intimacies of his personal life behind the curtain.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 12, 2005 – 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 Larsen, 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 including Larsen, who died before the April 1996 Broadway opening night of his Pulitzer-winning show as well as the long, painful demise of his 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. Photos.

Customer Reviews


Anthony Rapp is probably most famous for his role of Mark in Rent and here is a book that tells Rent fans a bit about the life of their favorite film maker and what it was like putting the show together. Anthony is such a great writer, he actually makes you feel all the excitement, grief, and happiness that he felt through out the events in the book. This is a must read for any Anthony Rapp or Rent fan!


Absolutely loved this book!!!


I remember the first time I saw rent. Anthony was not there that night and I realize now that he was probably in the midst of the aftermath of his mom's death. I love the show so much, and what it represented in my life, but I never thought too much about the actors playing the roles and what might have been going on backstage, besides the budding romance of Idina and Taye.
For anyone who has ever seen the show or saw the movie, this book is a must read.
Thank you for sharing your story with us and I only wish I read it earlier.

Without You
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Oct 31, 2006
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings