“Rent” ends its lease this Sunday
The end of an era is here. One of Broadway’s longest running shows “Rent” closes it’s curtains of the final time this Sunday September 7th.
Jill Scott (who performed in the Canadian version of the musical had this to say)
“I am really sorry that ‘Rent’ is closing, but it did have a good run! Broadway specifically.”
(full article here)
Unfortunately, I have never made it to see the Broadway version. Going to a performing arts school I have constant reminders of this play…random outbursts into songs from the play. It saddens me to see the final curtain go down. For those of you that don’t know the story behind the show please go here.
The most touching part of the story is about Jonathan Larson the musical’s composer and writer.
In 1996, after the musical’s final dress rehearsal, 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. Theater critic Ben Brantly later gave Rent a glowing review, calling it an “exhilarating, landmark rock opera” with a “glittering, inventive score” that “shimmers with hope for the future of the American musical.” Larson would not live to see Rent’s true 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 became the hottest ticket in town, popularity fueled by its genuinely raw material, relevant subject matter, enthusiastic reviews, and the recent death of its composer. The show 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.
Little known fact about this musical is Taye Diggs met his wife during the production of the original show.
As the “Seasons of Love” ends, remember that the songs will still live on due to the emotional energy behind it. I think Mr Larson would be proud.
Rent says good-bye