HELLO THERE BROADWAY FANS. It’s getting closer to Broadway’s biggest night of the year which is only 10 days away. This is the point in our Top 30?Tony Awards Countdown playing you the best Top 10 performances.
At #10 in our countdown is one of the most groundbreaking musicals that ever hit Broadway in the 90’s. It changed a face of a generation bringing more younger audiences to the Theatre. It’s a story of love, loss, struggling, and letting your voice be heard. The show is of course Jonathan Larson‘s legendary hit RENT.
From the 1996 telecast, the original cast perform a medley of two of the show’s anthems, “SEASONS OF LOVE” and “LA VIE BOHEME.”
RENT (a rock Opera based on PUCCINI’S LA BOHEME) first premiered Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1996 before transferring to Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre that same year playing a total of 5,123 performances (currently the 10th Longest Running Show in Broadway History). It was nominated for 10 Tonys that year and won 4, including Best Musical. It also made history as one of the few musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. RENT was later revived Off-Broadway at New World Stages for 482 performances. Coming up later this year in celebration of its 20th Anniversary, RENT will be heading back to the road.
FUN FACT: Unfortunately, Jonathan Larson never lived to see RENT in its 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 publicly and instead invited all of Jonathan’s friends and family for a special memorial edition of the show. His family and friends showed up crying and being moved by the entire show. At the very end, there was a moment of silence and someone cried out, “THANK YOU JONATHAN LARSON.” From there, RENT became a worldwide hit on stage and on screen twice (the 2005 film adaptation in which a majority of the original cast reprised their roles, and the 2008 filmed performance of the show’s closing performance on Broadway). In addition, RENT also launched the careers that introduced some of the biggest names of Stage and Screen, including Tony Award-winning superstar Idina Menzel, Taye Diggs, Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal,?Jesse L. Martin, and more. It also opened the door to a future generation of contemporary Musical Theatre composers now earning that same success as Jonathan, including Tony and Pulitzer Prize winners Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey and one of our very own Lin-Manuel Miranda who is nominated again this year for another groundbreaking musical which has been called THE NEW RENT OF THE 2010 ERA,?Hamilton: An American Musical.
For all you RENT-heads out there, most recently we at New York Broadway Tours have launched our all new INSPIRATION OF RENT Walking Tour taking you guys around the East Village to key places whether mentioned in the show or places that Jonathan Larson was inspired by to write for the musical.
Thank You Jonathan Larson!