New York Magazine, February 24, 1997
By Bob Ickes
Only for the love of theater would Anthony Rapp cross 14th Street on his day off. Rapp, who plays the suffering- for-his-ideals filmmaker in Rent was invited last Monday
to a fifteenth-anniversary performance of Forbidden Broadway honoring yet another anniversary- Rent's first.
Various Renters said they'd drop by. Up, up, uptown they crawled, in untucked shirts and leg-warmers, to- God help them --the Upper West Side. In the bourgeois entertainment complex called the Triad, they sipped Pellegrino, awaiting a sketch called Rant.
A kindly man of 25 who has discussed Rent in terms of "catharsis" and "healing," Rapp braced for the worst. As the lights went down, hand-in-hand with his boyfriend, Josh, he chewed gum and blinked.
At intermission, two girls from Five Towns approached his table. "We love you so much," they cried. "We've seen the show three times and are going back for my Sweet 16 party." Rapp tightened his grip on Josh. Mercifully, the second act be- gan.
In a staggering, perhaps dangerous transformation, the strapping Forbidden Broadway actor Tom Plotkin had become Anthony Rapp. Flaxen hair. Impassioned gestures. "Ooh, I'm go- ing with him," Josh whispered. "He's cuter." Rapp stared, transfixed, as Plotkin waved his arms and spread his fingers (picture Anthony Newley trapped in the body of a teen Jeopardy! champion.
When the lights came up, Plotkin rushed toward Rapp. "I hope that wasn't too hateful," Plotkin said. Rapp smiled for the Five Towns girls, who'd returned with their mother --and a camera. "No," he said, relieved. "I think that was fine."
NOTE: I was actually there the day the cast of RENT and Beauty and the Beast were seeing the show. The reporter is on crack. I'm assuming i'm one of the "Five Towns Girls". Let it be known that i'm not from Five Towns and i never said anything besides "hi" that night.