Act 1 - Rudolfo hangs behind as his friends head out to the bar to celebrate a recent windfall. Mimi wanders into the flat, drops to the floor hacking and then sings for 10 minutes about how she arranges fake flowers and how people call her Mimi but she doesn't know why (neither do we). This seems to be right up Rudolfo's alley - the bar is set low, and they're both professing their undying love for one another faster than the kids on an episode of a teen mom show.
Act 2 - Rudolfo and Mimi join the group at the bar, where Musetta, the self-adoring ex of Marcello (and every other man in town) is vying for his attention. She manages to enrage him with the rich old coot that she's with, but ends up going home with him in the end and leaving her sugar daddy to foot the bill.
Act 3 - Just as quickly as a hormone-fueled, drama-driven pre-teen romance, the two new power couples, Midolfo and Musello, find their relationships crumbling. Jealously sees the men transform into abusive jerks. We find that, more honestly, Rudolfo is distancing himself from Mimi under the pretense of jealousy because he fears she is dying (he's a real stand-up guy). Marcello, on the other hand, is just jealous (because, to be fair, Musetta is a psycho floozy). Mimi overhears her diagnosis and decides she's going to leave Rudolfo (who was pretty weepy after having his bluff called). But, they're wishy-washy messes and decide they'll just go ahead and stay together until spring...because winter's a real drag anyway and it's just a tough time to take the hit. Is there hope for Marcello and Musetta.............?...uh, no, they're for sure over.
Act 4: Mimi's more than half dead. Musetta goes to sell her earrings to buy her a muff because it's her last request - turns out Musetta's not the wretched devil woman Marcello thought (plus, you know...she's hot), so he hops back on board. Mimi and Rudolfo are left alone to recount every single interaction we've already seen: remember how I came to the apartment and told you about how I arrange flowers and how they call me Mimi and I don't know why (and we still don't either) and let's tell the whole story of the first act again...recounting, recounting, recounting...think I'll take a nap, aaaaand Mimi's dead. ...finally. The curtain drops on Rudolfo wailing over her body, and your husband turns to you and says (sarcastically) "Alright! I feel good!"
I'm sure it wasn't the worst opera we could have picked (I was saved by the fact that I mentally substituted most of it with the corresponding performances from Rent), but if I'm being honest, I'd have to say the cheese plate at intermission was probably the highlight (in all fairness to Puccini, it was a really good cheese plate). Still, the evening was quite an event, and while the specific show wasn't a total hit, the experience, in sum, was a great one. We would definitely go back for another opera performance. We took quite a few photos, though you obviously can't take any during the performance, so get ready for a boatload of selfies in 3.....2...