Rent is the musical theatre adaptation of Puccini's La Boheme
. Written by Jonathan Larson
, who saw it reach off-Broadway
success, then re-wrote it for Broadway
. He saw the first performance on January 24, 1996, returned to his home content, and died that night of an aneurysm.
The play it set in New York's East Village
. It focuses on two artists who are squatters
in a building. One is a film maker who isolates himself from the world by using his camera, the other is a musician who has AIDS
. The musical shares with its audience a year in the life of these two men, along with that it shares the lives of all the people they are involved with. From ex-lovers, to old friends.
This won the Tony
award for best musical in 1996. Rent
had a following of groupies, partly due to their sale of 20 dollar front row tickets to those fans who would wait outside the theatre for hours. Some considered this play to be revolutionary and timeless. Those who felt that way were mostly theatre novices. Critics felt that the lyrics and plotline were dated, and that would keep Rent
from becoming a Broadway
staple like Phantom of the Opera
and Les Miserables