I would be remiss not to mention the closing of one of the most beloved Broadway musicals of our time. So if you're not a RENT-head like I am then please indulge me as I pay homage to a show that greatly impacted my life and ushered in a new era in musical theater.
After more than 12 years on Broadway, the hit musical "Rent, ended it's run on Broadway at the Nederlander Theater making it the seventh longest running musical in history.
Loosely based on Puccini's "La Boheme" and set against the backdrop of the Lower East Side, "Rent" originally opened off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop in January 1996. It transferred to the Great White Way that spring.
Sadly, the show's young creator, Jonathan Larson, never lived to see the success of his work. On the night of the final off-Broadway dress rehearsal, Larson died of an aortic aneurysm at the age of 35.
Never has a show meant so much to me like RENT. As a starving artist/college student fresh off of the plane from Alabama in New York, not a week went by that I didn't see the show along with my friends. I learned how to "second act" a show by seeing RENT. Yeah, we got real good at going in with the rest of the audience during intermission as if we'd purchased tickets! LOL!
RENT was the first show that I'd ever seen that had a cast of openly gay characters. And when Angel and Collins kissed onstage I almost lost it! I could go on and on about the show but instead of boring you with that I'll just leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the show that I try to live by.
There's only us
There's only this
Or life is yours to miss
No other road
No other way
No day but today
Get into original cast members Jesse L. Martin (Collins) and Wilson Jermaine Heredia (Angel) singing "I'll Cover You" and Today 4 U from the 10th Anniversary performance below.