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Shows - Show History
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 15:31

Jan 8 - Feb 27, 2010

Rent is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of AIDS.

On January 24, 1996, after the musical's final dress rehearsal before its off-Broadway opening, Larson enjoyed his first newspaper interview with music critic Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times, attracted by the coincidence that the show was debuting exactly 100 years after Puccini's opera. Larson would not live to see Rent's success; he died from an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm (believed to have resulted from Marfan syndrome) in the early morning of January 25, 1996, just a few hours after his first and only interview. The first preview of Rent was canceled and instead, friends and family gathered at the theater where the actors performed a sing-through of Rent in Larson's memory.

The show premiered as planned and quickly gained popularity fueled by enthusiastic reviews and the recent death of its composer. It proved extremely successful during its off-Broadway run, selling out all its shows at the 150-seat New York Theatre Workshop. Due to such overwhelming popularity and a need for a larger theater, Rent moved to Broadway's previously derelict Nederlander Theatre on 41st Street on April 29, 1996.

<p>On Broadway, Rent gained critical acclaim and won a Tony Award for Best Musical among other awards. The musical is largely responsible for helping to increase the popularity of musical theater amongst the younger generation. The Broadway production closed on September 7, 2008, after a 12-year run and 5,124 performances, making it the eighth-longest-running Broadway show in history. <p>

Rent gathered a following of fans who refer to themselves as "RENT-heads." The name originally referred to people who would camp out at the Nederlander Theater for hours in advance for the discounted $20 rush tickets to each show, though it generally refers to anyone who is obsessed with the show. These discounted tickets were for seats in the first two rows of the theater reserved for sale by lottery two hours prior to each show. Other Broadway shows have followed Rent's example and now also offer cheaper tickets in efforts to make Broadway theater accessible to people who would otherwise be unable to afford the ticket prices.

Rent was nominated for ten Tony Awards in 1996 and won four:  Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical: Jonathan Larson,  Best Original Score: Jonathan Larson, and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical: Wilson Jermaine Heredia.

  • Ron Banks
  • Ana Bateman
  • Christina Disla
  • Adam Galarza
  • Krystal Gillette
  • Wyatt Glover
  • Zachary Hassan
  • Jon Jimenez
  • Katrina "Kat" Johnson
  • Derik Lawson
  • Adam McCabe
  • Scherezada Morales
  • Michael Osowski
  • Desiree Perez
  • Jessi Riese
  • Joshua Roth
  • Lana Stevens
  • Shonda Thurman.

Director: Leesa Halstead
Musical Director: Don Hopkinson
Choreographer: Laura Dewey
Stage Manager: Heather Lam
Asst. Stage Manager: Nora Crookshank
Costume: Tara Corless.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 April 2010 02:17