GOOD MORNING BROADWAY FANS! We are only 1 more day till Broadway’s biggest night of the year. Can you believe tomorrow is the 71st Annual Tony Awards?! As promised, we are proud to present the # 1 show on our TOP 30 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN. So here we go…
At # 1, we take you to down to New York City’s bohemian lifestyle in the Bohemian Alphabet City part of the East Village filled with struggling artists, drag queens, drug dealers, and people dying from serious diseases including HIV/AIDS. This is of course Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking rock musical Rent.
From the 1996 telecast, the original Broadway cast perform a medley of songs (which is a perfect way to celebrate Tony night tomorrow) including the show’s anthems SEASONS OF LOVE & LA VIE BOHEME.
RENT originally premiered downtown in a sold out run at the New York Theatre Workshop before transferring to Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre playing a total of 5, 123 performances. It was well known as the breakout musical for many of it’s original cast members including Tony winning superstar Idina Menzel, Taye Diggs, Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Jesse L. Martin, and much more. The show went on to win 4 Tonys (including Best Musical and Best Score for Jonathan Larson) and also one of the few musical that has won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The show also brought more younger Theatergoers into the world of Theater. In addition, the show opened the door for many of Broadway’s current acclaimed Tony Award winning and nominated writers including Lin-Manuel Miranda (In The Heights, Hamilton: An American Musical, and Moana), Pasek and Paul (Dogfight, La La Land and Tony nominees this year for Dear Evan Hansen), and the dynamic duo of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal, If/Then Musical).
Rent was later revamped as an Off Broadway revival in 2011 playing New World Stages for only 482 performances.
Unfortunately, Jonathan Larson never lived to see RENT in it’s worldwide success. On the morning of the musical’s first public preview performance at the New York Theatre Workshop, he unexpectedly died of an aortic aneurysm. Due to the emotional loss of their friend, the cast and creative team came together and decided to cancel the first preview publically and instead invited all of Jonathan’s friends and family for a special memorial edition of the show. At the end of the show, there was a moment of silence and what broke it was a person in the audience cried out THANK YOU JONATHAN LARSON before erupting into a standing ovation.
If you want to learn more about RENT and it’s road to Broadway. Be sure to join us on our INSIRATION OF RENT WALKING TOUR where we’ll take you to some of the key locations win the East Village here Jonathan got RENT on it’s feet as well as places he was inspired by that he wrote about for the show.
Well, that’s it!! We hope you all enjoyed our selection of Broadway shows on our TOP 30 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN. Tomorrow is going to be a really exciting evening. Be sure to tune in to the 71st Annual Tony Awards tomorrow night at 8pm eastern standard time / 7pm central time. The ceremony will be coming to you live from Radio City Music Hall hosted by Kevin Spacey. In addition, we will be following along and tweeting throughout the ceremony here on social media.
We cannot wait to do this countdown next year as we countdown 365 days till Tonys 2018!!!
Look back at RENT’s 1996 Tony Awards performance, as the legendary, multi-award-winning and ground-breaking musical celebrates its incredible 20th anniversar…
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