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WEDNESDAY

Now that drug cocktails routinely stay AIDS deaths and the zillionaire Olsen twins represent the zenith of bohemian chic, the concerns of Rent—playwright Jonathan Larson’s ode to struggling artists being washed away by disease and gentrification in early-’90s New York City—seem like ghosts. Without You is original cast member Anthony Rapp’s tear-streaked rehash of the show’s auspicious opening, the sudden death of Larson, and Rapp’s mother’s cancerous decline. If Rapp’s relationship with his mom grounds the memoir, scenes of his gay sexual awakening and of performers choking back tears while belting out songs by a dead-before-his-time composer add campy context. Like last year’s film adaptation of Rent, Rapp’s book arrives 10 years past the point of relevance. Then again, tales of grief and triumph never really get old. Rapp appears at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 418 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 638-7610. (Melonyce McAfee)