I first saw RENT on Broadway two days before I graduated high school back in 2004–my dad took me to see it as a graduation present (my chorus performed Seasons of Love outside of Lincoln Center the month previously). Your Eyes struck me as hauntingly beautiful.
For those that have never seen the show, Roger meets Mimi on Christmas Ever when she knocks on his door looking for a match (she wanted to light a candle) and despite his best attempts to avoid her (he was going through things), he fell in love with her. Unfortunately, no matter how hard they tried, they just didn’t work, and Roger moves to Santa Fe, while Mimi gets sicker (they both have AIDS). At this point in the show, Roger has returned home to NYC and has been looking for Mimi ever since he got back. Suddenly, Maureen and Joanne yell up to Mark and Roger that they have Mimi with them and need their help because she’s not doing well, and after they get her upstairs, they realize that she isn’t doing well. 911 is called, but Roger has one thing he needs to do for the girl he loved and lost–sing the song he wrote for her.
(And, yes, SMASH fans, that is the actor Debra Messing’s character cheated on her husband with in the first season.)