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'Rent' Controversy In Idaho: LGBT Content In Lake City Playhouse Musical Sparks Backlash

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The original Broadway company performs in Jonathan Larson's
The original Broadway company performs in Jonathan Larson's "Rent."

Though its subject matter seems a trifle old hat now, the Broadway musical "Rent" is causing controversy once again -- this time in Idaho.

As local news channel NWCN is reporting, not everyone is thrilled about the upcoming Lake City Playhouse production of Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1996 musical, with some locals in Coeur d'Alene objecting to its portrayal of gay, lesbian and HIV-positive characters, which was undoubtedly groundbreaking for its time.

"It's not just because there are gays and lesbian involved. It's because they are fornicating gays and lesbians," resident Arcadia Nicklay told before noting that the characters' behavior is immoral. "There are still absolute truths. We are still, I hope, a society that says this is right and this is wrong."

Though the playhouse has reportedly received dozens of letters and a protest of the musical is planned for its Jan. 13 debut, the cast and crew of "Rent" are nonetheless pledging to go on with the show. Troy Nickerson, the play’s director, says he was surprised at the backlash, but nonetheless tells the Spokesman-Review, "If you don’t want to see it, please don’t come."

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