Rent musical is the seventh longest running Broadway show in history. It has made an impact on people around the world. But the length of its run is not nearly as significant as the kind of show it was. An East Village rock version of Puccini’s opera La Boheme, Rent musical brought a youthful energy and young theatre goers to Broadway. Rent musical also brought with it a real life story that is so affecting that is would have overwhelmed the musical itself had the substance of the musical had it not been so intertwined with the story of its creation.
Rent musical opened in February 1996, two and half weeks after Jonathan Larson’s death. Critics were ecstatic, Broadway landlords were battling to play host to an uptown transfer and everyone in town, including celebrities like Steven Spielberg and Anna Wintour was scrambling to get tickets to a 150 seat off Broadway theatre in East Village. Already a theatre phenomenon, Rent Musical exploded onto Broadway two months later, under the direction of Michael Greif. Rent musical was so successful that it won four Tony Awards, including the best musical and the Pulitzer Prize.
The young cast of Rent Musical, which included the now familiar names such as Taye Diggs, Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, and Jesse L Martin suddenly appeared on the cover of many magazines. Productions of Rent Musical have been mounted on six continents. In 2005, Rent musical hit the movie theatres under the form of a movie, which starred almost all the members of the original cast. Although the musical was very successful, Rent musical the movie was considered a failure.
Recently, the show’s take at the box office was consistently less than it costs. A closing date for the Rent musical is on the horizon, and after some not amicable back and forth discussions of the Broadway Producers, agreed to keep the show running until June 1. Rent Musical is one of the most inspiring musicals in Broadway history and will certainly remain in the memory of Rent-heads everywhere around the world.