Anthony Rapp is the Norma Desmond of RENT

Because even close friends must be tired of hearing 37 year-old Anthony Rapp say, “Remember the time I was in RENT…” over and over again, the one-time Adventures in Babysitting star is back, in a “farewell tour” of RENT, opening in Cleveland this month, playing the 24 year-old proto-hipster protagonist. RENT’s like the Cher of musicals and we’re pretty certain we’ll see Rapp when he’s 50 playing Cohen in the 15 minute Vegas-version of the show, which will play next to the buffet line at Caesars.

Rapp tells Spangle Magazine that:

“Mark Cohen’s issues are also Rapp’s, as he explained in his 2006 memoir, Without You. “… I knew once again that I shared Mark’s ability to avoid dealing with pain in his personal life by pouring himself into his work,” he writes.

I asked if that’s the same, now that he’s more than a decade older.

“I feel that I’m less that way with the newer people in my life,” Rapp says. But with friends and family who have been in his life longer, he says the old patterns occasionally emerge.

Tackling the character of Mark Cohen as a 37-year-old, instead of a 24-year-old, isn’t so different, Rapp says. He’s still a “young man trying to make his way in trying circumstances in New York City at the turn of the millennium.”

“What I hope has happened,” he continues, “is that I’m a more seasoned actor so I don’t have to work so hard in showing things. … “I imagine that some of the things that I’ve been through in the past 10 to 12 years come through.”

The actor also explains how he’s working on turning his memoirs about RENT into a one-man show with songs, a feat that promises audience’s meta-pretension and overwrought self-involvement at once, all set to song. Wait, didn’t we see that show already?