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Adventures in Provincetown!

by Steve Desroches

Did Michelangelo know when he was painting “The Last Judgment” on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel that it would still be considered a masterwork nearly 600 years later? Did Aretha Franklin know when recording Lady Soul, did Jørn Utzon know when he designed the Sydney Opera House? Did Tennessee Williams know when he was typing away in Provincetown that The Glass Menagerie would become an iconic classic? The answer is generally no. Artists often are so focused on the work that the reception from the general public seems so far out of their control, that they let all expectations go and allow each creation to have a life of its own.

There are all kinds of classics, but none that seem to garner more passion than the cult classic, when a devoted group of fans delve into the minutiae of a film, play, album, or what have you, launching the work with such praise that it bounces it into an unexpected stratosphere for generations. You can’t predict and you can’t force it, as it’s a completely organic process insusceptible to corporate focus groups or slick marketing campaigns. When an artist’s work connects with an individual over and over again, it forms deep community.

With such a wide and varied career as an actor and singer, Anthony Rapp has had those moments of kismet that have him in the minds of so many devoted fans for his roles in the cult classic films Adventures in Babysitting and Dazed and Confused, as well as his part in the original Broadway cast of the game-changing musical Rent. An actor since a very young age, making his Broadway debut at 10, those projects that take off as only a cult classic can are like these sparkling gems on his resume and in his memory.
“They really were wonderful projects to work on,” says Rapp. “When you work on something, you never know what kind of life something is going to have. When you’re part of something that is authentic and live and touches people’s hearts, it’s an honor to be a part of it….I’m grateful something was so meaningful. I can’t say there was a sense of that. You never know what the different factors are.”

Fans of Rapp are in for a special evening when he comes to Provincetown for a one-night-only show at the Crown and Anchor this Saturday, presenting an acoustic set of songs from shows he’s been in, as well as ones he wishes he was in, and songs by other artists who have inspired him. While this marks his solo debut in town, Rapp first came to Provincetown back in 2015 when he did a show with his good friend and fellow Broadway actor, Telly Leung, who himself performed at the Crown and Anchor a couple of weeks ago.

Always on the lookout for new roles in interesting new productions, Rapp keeps an eye on Broadway and likes what he sees – an ever-expanding community opening up to tell more stories, featuring a diversity of viewpoints and identities, something he and his cast members in Rent were a major influence on back when the show opened on Broadway in 1996.

Last October Rapp became a very visible part of the Me Too Movement when he alleged actor Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted him in 1986 when Rapp was 14 (Spacey was 26). Rapp had initially come forward with his story back in 2001 in an interview in the Advocate magazine, which declined to name Spacey out of fear of a lawsuit, and because of their policy of not outing closeted celebrities. Rapp was inspired to come out with the story again by all the women who did so in regards to Harvey Weinstein. Since Rapp went public with his story, 14 other men have also made similar allegations against Spacey, who, in response to Rapp’s allegations, said he doesn’t remember the incident, but offers his “sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” The culture of Hollywood, in particular, has maintained this kind of culture of sexual harassment and abuse for so long that it felt as if this was just the way things were, those responsible were too powerful to take down, and justice was elusive. Thanks to those victims who bravely continue to speak out, the culture is on the precipice of real change.
“It seemed liked everything was never going to change,” says Rapp. “It felt like it was never going to change. But I do not think this moment is a flash in the pan. I think things will change now. I don’t see it going back. That’s huge. I think things are finally going to change.”

Anthony Rapp performs at the Crown and Anchor, 247 Commercial St., Provincetown, on Saturday, August 25 at 7 p.m. Tickets ($35/$50/$65) are available at the box office and online at There is reserved seating in each ticket price section for those who dine at the Crown & Anchor Restaurant prior to the show. Call 508.487.1430, ext. 3 to make a reservation and make sure to mention the show and start time when calling. For more information call 508.487.1430.

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Graphic Artist

Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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