Act I 
The Time: Christmas Eve. The place: New York City - an East Village 
industrial loft. Mark, a young filmmaker, sets up his camera. His 
roommate Roger, a songwriter and ex-junkie, struggles to pick out a song 
on his electric guitar. Mark trains the camera on Roger, taunting him 
about his songwriter's block (Tune Up #1). 
The phone rings: On the answering machine, Mark's mother leaves her son 
a consoling, motherly message. Mark, who has just lost his girlfriend, 
Maureen, to another woman, screens the call (Voice Mail #1). The phone 
rings again: Collins, and old friend, is at a pay phone downstairs. Mark 
picks up, but the call is cut short - Collins is being mugged (Tune Up 
#2). The phone rings once more. Again Mark and Roger pick up, hoping it 
is Collins, only to find Benny, their wealthy former-roommate-turned 
landlord, on the line instead, demanding the rent. As if things couldn't 
get any worse, the electrical power blows. 
Loudly, Mark and Roger rage (Rent). They burn their past - to keep warm 
- using Roger's rock and roll posters and Mark's screenplays for fuel. 
The past is not so easily wiped out, though; the phone rings yet again 
and this time it's Maureen calling, begging Mark for technical help with 
her performance piece scheduled for later that night in the vacant lot 
next door. Haplessly, he agrees. 
Outside, a badly beaten Collins is discovered by Angel, a street 
musician, who offers bandages, comfort, and an invitation for a night on 
the town (You Okay Honey?). Their instant attraction becomes a bond with 
the realization that both are HIV-Positive. 
In the loft, Mark also urges Roger to come out for the evening, but 
Roger refuses. Left alone, he stoically takes his AZT and dreams of 
writing one last song to redeem his empty life (Tune Up #3 / One Song 
Glory). He is interrupted by a beautiful stranger from downstairs, Mimi. 
Mimi needs a match, her electricity is down too (Light My Candle). She 
and Roger are instantly drawn to each other, but Roger resists. Mimi, he 
recognizes, is a junkie. 
Elsewhere, Maureen and Joanne's answering machine receives a message 
from Joanne's parents, (Voice Mail #2), but she is not home to hear it. 
At last, Mark returns with Collins, who brings provisions and - better 
yet - funds, in the person of Angel, now decked out in glorious drag. 
Angel explains how he has earned a fast $1,000 which he is eager to 
share (Today 4 U). Benny barges in with a deal: If Mark and Roger will 
stop Maureen's performance tonight protesting the clearing of a tent 
city from Benny's adjacent vacant lot, Benny will forgive Mark and 
Roger's back-rent(You'll See). Once Benny is gone, Mark, Angel and 
Collins head out for the evening, leaving Roger alone again. 
In the lot, Mark gathers his courage to meet the formidable Joanne, 
Maureen's new lover, who has also usurped Mark's stage manager duties. 
When Joanne reluctantly accepts Mark's technical assistance, the two 
quickly find common ground in their shared experiences of the 
self-centered, unfaithful albeit irresistible Maureen (Tango: Maureen). 
Angel and Collins attend an AIDS Support meeting; Mark arrives to 
document it on film. The group affirms its determination to live without 
fear; "no day but today" (Life Support). Meanwhile, in her apartment, 
Mimi is dressing to kill. Turning up again on Roger's doorstep, she 
implores him to take her out (Out Tonight). Roger is tempted, but his 
fear ultimately compels him to push Mimi away (Another Day). 
Simultaneously, a young support group member quietly asks, "Will I lose 
my dignity... Will someone care?" His questions are echoed by each 
member of the community, including Roger, who decides finally to leave 
his loft room in search of answers (Will I?). 
In the lot, Mark, Angel and Collins rescue a homeless woman from police 
harassment (On the Street). The woman, however, is hardly grateful. 
Mark, Angel and Collins fantasize about leaving New York behind to live 
the good life, far away (Santa Fe). Mark goes to check on Roger, leaving 
Angel and Collins alone to declare their newfound love (I'll Cover You). 
Joanne dials Maureen from a payphone, simultaneously juggling two other 
calls on her cell-phone (We're Okay). In St. Mark's Place, the homeless, 
sidewalk vendors, junkies, drug dealers, and cops comprise a human 
mosaic. Angel buys Collins an overcoat, Mark meets up with Roger, and 
Mimi hunts for a fix (Christmas Bells). Roger spots her, apologizes for 
his behavior in the loft, and invites her to dinner. She accepts. 
Maureen arrives and presents her performance piece, a satirical protest 
that calls for a communal "leap of faith" against Benny's commercial 
development (Over the Moon). 
Afterward, everyone meets at the Life Cafe, where they hear a gloating 
Benny declare that Bohemia is dead. Mark and his fellow bohemians 
joyously reject Benny's pronouncement (La Vie Boheme). Benny exits in 
anger, stopping only long enough to hound Mimi, who is, it would seem, a 
former lover. As her beeper sounds, Mimi pauses to take her AZT. Roger 
discovers that his secret and his illness are Mimi's also. Exhilarated 
and frightened, they resolve to assume the risk of romantic involvement 
as well (I Should Tell You). 
Joanne has several times been ordered back to the lot by Maureen. Fed 
up, she finally rebels, announcing that their relationship is over. She 
also informs everyone that a riot has broken out on Avenue A (La Vie 
Boheme B). Benny has padlocked Mark and Roger's building and called the 
police. The bohemians continue to celebrate. The riot continues to rage. 
Roger and Mimi share a small, lovely kiss. 

Act II 
In the wake of the riot, the community pauses to ask, "How do you 
measure the life of a woman or a man?" The unqualified answer - "measure 
in love" (Seasons of Love). 
New Year's Eve, Mark films a "breaking back into the building party" (
Happy New Year). Mimi and Roger are there and in love. Maureen humbles 
herself to earn back Joanne's favor. The celebration is complete when 
Collins and Angel arrive with a blowtorch. 
Once inside, Mark discovers a phone machine message left for him with a 
job offer from a tabloid television show hostess named Alexi Darling (
Voice Mail #3). Benny crashes the party to ostentatiously apologize, 
offering the boys new keys to their old loft (Happy New Year B). 
Suspecting Benny's motives, Roger balks. Furious, Benny implies that 
Mimi helped change his mind by sleeping with him Mimi angrily denies 
this, but the damage is done; Roger is bitterly jealous. Mimi is 
cornered outside by her dealer with a little something to assure her 
"happy new year." 
Valentine's Day. Roger is living with Mimi, but remains terribly 
jealous, often threatening to leave. Angel and Collins survive together 
wherever they can. Mark still lives behind his camera. At their 
apartment, a warring Joanne and Maureen issue each other an ultimatum 
(Take Me Or Leave Me). Neither backs down - they split up once again. 
Spring. Everyone feels the coming changes. The community asks: "How do 
you measure a last year on earth?" (Seasons of Love B). Roger walks out 
on Mimi, accusing her of being unfaithful with Benny. Alone, Mimi mourns 
the impending loss of love, while Collins nurses the increasingly ill 
Angel (Without You). The end of Spring brings reconciliation for Roger 
and Mimi, as well as Maureen and Joanne, but all is tentative at best. 
Summer's end, and Alexi is still calling, enticing Mark with big money 
(Voice Mail #4). Much lovemaking is witnessed, framed by attendant 
frustrations in the age of safe sex (Contact). By the fall, Roger, Mimi, 
Joanne and Maureen are all on the outs again. Collins and Angel's 
separation, however, is profound and final. Angel has died. 
At Angel's memorial each friend offers a loving tribute. Clutching the 
overcoat Angel gave him at Christmas, Collins reaffirms his undying love 
(I'll Cover You (Reprise)). Outside the church, Mark phones Alexi and 
accepts her job offer, despondent at how drastically life has changed 
since that Christmas night just one year before (Halloween). As the 
mourners exit the church, Mimi learns that Roger is leaving town for 
good. A nasty scene ensues, with arguments erupting between all the 
estranged lovers. Collins, in sorrow, begs them all to stop. Maureen and 
Joanne are moved to try once again to reconcile. Mimi and Benny leave 
Mark tries to convince Roger to stay in New York and confront his pain, 
but Roger lashes out, accusing Mark of also remaining detached, hiding 
behind his camera. Mark wonders whether Roger is simply afraid to watch 
Mimi die. Mimi appears and lets Roger off the hook, insisting that she 
has just come to say goodbye (Goodbye Love). Roger leaves for Santa Fe 
and Mimi begs Mark for help. Benny turns up and offers to pay for Mimi's 
drug rehabilitation but she refuses and instead runs away. When Benny 
covers the cost of Angel's funeral, he and Collins warm to each other 
and head off to get drunk as Mark prepares for his meeting with Alexi. 
Mark questions the choice he is about to make and the world in which he 
lives. His thoughts are echoed by Roger on his way to Santa Fe (What You 
Own). They both remember the beauty of last Christmas Eve, when they 
felt connected, and their friends were a family. Roger begins to 
discover his song. Mark turns down the TV tabloid job to finish his 
Roger, Mark, Mimi and Joanne's parents all wonder where their children 
are as the holidays approach (Voice Mail #5). 
Another Christmas Eve. Mark has pieced together a rough cut of his film, 
which he hopes to screen tonight. Roger has moved back into the loft and 
has finished his song (Finale). No one has been able to find Mimi. The 
power blows again but the night is brightened by the arrival of Collins. 
Then Maureen and Joanne appear on the sidewalk below carrying a 
desperately ill Mimi. 
Laid out in the loft, Mimi finally manages to tell Roger that she loves 
him. Begging her not to leave him, Roger sings his "one song" for her 
(Your Eyes). "I have always loved you," Roger whispers, then cries out 
her name as Mimi slips away. 
Moments later, however, she returns, with stories of a warm white light 
and Angel steering her back to life (Finale B). Celebrating the wonder 
of life's terrible uncertainty, the community re-affirms love as the 
strongest force we know, acknowledging there is always, "No day but 
- ??
Transcribed by Sally Chou


Another Day
Finale B
I'll Cover You
I'll Cover You (Reprise)
Light My Candle
One Song Glory
By: Mikey
Out Tonight
By: BuzzLightb
Seasons of Love
By: Steven Leigh
Take Me or Leave me
What You Own
By: Donald Kreifels
Without You
By: BuzzLightb
Would You Light My Candle?
Your Eyes

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