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What's Objectionable about 'Rent' Play?

Since the Monrovia School District thought the play Rent was inappropriate for a high school play, I thought I'd skim through it to see what might be objectionable. You can read it yourself, here:

UPDATE:I should make clear that this is from a script I found on the Internet. If the play the High School was thinking of putting on has been modified, then the information below may not fully apply.

Well, it is certainly very racy and gritty. There are scenes that are distinctly sexual. Not something I'd go to. Here are a few clips and comments about the script, and note that the stuff below is pretty strong in itself:
~ It uses very crude language in places. It lets you know right away it's not Oklahoma! You run into your first "sh_t" in the opening lines and in various places thereafter, and there is the "f" word in its various iterations, including the one with "mother" in front of it.

~ There is drug abuse and drinking. Quoting from the script: "April buys a packet of white powder from a dealer, THE MAN, a sinewy, greasy, sleazy dope dealer" and "A heavy rain. Roger and April shoot heroin beneath a fire escape" and, as part of a toast, "To marijuana" and "Wine and beer" and, after a funeral, "C'mon. Let's go get drunk."

~ There are sex scenes and sexy scenes. From the script: "Roger and April make love." and "Maureen and Mark are making love." and "Maureen is just grinding as she dances with another guy." and "Maureen shares a passionate kiss with the man, then turns, shares another with the woman" and "Angel lies face down on the table. Mimi mimics giving it to her from behind."

~ There is suicide: "April's lifeless arm dangles over the side. A heavy stream of blood mingles with the bathwater, spilling over onto the floor."

~ There are references to various forms of sexuality: Maureen works at a sex club that features bondage. "Handcuffs. Leather. Whips." and - as part of the toast referenced above - "To sodomy. It's between God and me." and "To S and M!" and there are references to dildoes and masturbation and cross-dressing and a lesbian relationship.

~ There is Santa Claus in drag.

~ There is a crude reference or two to the birth of Christ. A song says "In this week when we celebrate the birth ... / In that little town of Bethlehem, we raise / our glass, you bet your ass to ... /
[The song is interrupted as "Maureen moons Benny's table." Then is continued by Mark] / "La Vie Boheme!"

~ A guy kills someone's pet dog by throwing it from a 23rd story window.

~ There is a strip scene, though it appears the audience only sees the backs of the actors: "Mimi and Angel throw off their leather. All bra and panties. Mimi and Angel whip off their bras. We see them from behind."

~ There is a reference to sucking on a cow's udder. [Not sure how to classify that.]

- Brad Haugaard

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