Rent Is Too Gay And Full Of AIDS For Some Folks In Coeur d’Alene, ID

On January 13th, the Lake City Playhouse’s production of the rock musical Rent in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho will be met with picketing protestors who say the show promotes vulgarity, celebrates promiscuity and sets a bad example because some of the characters are gay and have AIDS and HIV. Oh, is that all?

A local letter to the local newspaper from local resident Arcadia Nicklay set off a letter writing campaign to the Lake City Playhouse’s creative director both in support and opposition to the play. Detractors plan to protest the play’s opening. You can express your support here.

Geez, from the sound of it, you’d think the haters had learned all about Rent from Team America‘s send-up of the Broadway show, where the characters joyously dance and sing about AIDS. But as anyone who has actually watched Rent knows, AIDS sets an ominous, hardly celebratory backdrop to the show’s rebellious, hopeful tone.

Presumably, there has been no outcry against the other shows in the theater’s 2011-2012 season, like A Streetcar Named Desire which features spouse abuse, alcoholism, gambling, prostitution and rape.

Gotta choose your vices carefully, we guess.

Via Towleroad

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  • dolfo


    The only people in northern Idaho are native americans and white supremacists (Aryan Nations).

  • Chris

    If people don’t like the show, all they have to do is stay home or go somewhere else. All the protesting is ridiculous. Where do people find so much spare time?

  • Marie Cohn

    Many people in and around Heart of Alene (what’s with the French name?) DO love that hit musical “Springtime for Hitler.”

  • Mike

    Isn’t this town the most Mormon place in the world outside of Utah?

  • Vman455

    @Mike: You’re thinking of southern Idaho, which was settled by Mormons in the 1850s (along with parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and California). Northern Idaho isn’t nearly as heavily Mormon, but it is still a very conservative place.

    “Many people in and around Heart of Alene (what’s with the French name?) DO love that hit musical ‘Springtime for Hitler.'”

    “Couer d’Alene” means “heart of the awl.” The first whites in the area were French Catholic missionaries, which is why many place names today are French.

    “The only people in northern Idaho are native americans and white supremacists (Aryan Nations).”

    The Aryan Nations (which no longer has the rights to that name) was headquartered in the neighboring town of Hayden Lake. Following a successful lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center several years ago, they lost their property there and relocated to another state. My grandparents moved to Couer d’Alene in 1942 and ran the Woolworth’s store through the 70s, and my (LGBT-supportive and, yes, Mormon) sister still lives there with her family…they’re not all white supremacists.

  • Vman455

    @Vman455: Coeur d’Alene. Doh.

  • Doc the Gaffer

    @ Vman455 and Chris, Thank you for your post.
    I must say I find it more than a bit unusual that postings on a gay website are judging people based on geography. If we are nothing more than Native Americans sprinkled with white supremacists maybe the federal government should take away our right to perform RENT. Do I have your attention now? Some of these postings hurt me when I red them and that’s OK. That is what America is all about. People speaking they’re minds in a free society. However, saying that people who live in this region are nothing more than white supremacists is unfair and untrue. To me it’s like saying all pedophiles are homosexuals. It’s just NOT true. It’s bigotry, nothing more, nothing less. RENT is a story about love and I intend to spread that message. Will you please join me?
    ~Doc the Gaffer

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