Rent opened on Broadway 26 years ago today

Originally published at: Rent opened on Broadway 26 years ago today | Boing Boing


We saw it live once and largely did NOT like the show. The notable exception was the 525 Thousand Six Hundred Minutes song - that was memorable.

Rent was a game changer. The whole genre owes it a lot. It took a medium that was having some trouble staying relevant and helped it turn a corner to new presentation styles and new music. It laid the foundation for Hamilton and other popular newer musicals.

It’s also funny in the way you think about fashion. For so much of its history it’s been in that “unpleasantly dated” window of too-recent history. Now we’re getting far enough away for the fashion of the time to have turned a corner.

A lot of people who love the show hate the movie. It’s interesting that Sondheim still felt like the show was unfinished and somewhat cluttered story-wise. The movie streamlines the story and I wonder what he thought of that re-write and what Larson would have thought of it.

In any case, I highly recommend Tick, Tick… BOOM on Netflix if you haven’t seen it yet and still have Netflix.

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I can’t stand Rent. Too pretentiously hipster and impressed with itself.

The Landlord Baby GIF

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Despite all the parodies and backlash, the play (and cast album) still holds up for me. As @srin notes, it was really a turning point for Broadway musicals. The show also has some nostalgic connections for me personally as I lived in NYC at the time.

I don’t like the movie because it omits “Christmas Bells Are Ringing”, which I was hoping to see staged at the entrance to Tompkins Square Park.

When it came to talent like Larson, Sondheim was a tough and exacting critic but he was also a generous one. As I recall he acknowledged both the strengths and weaknesses that emerge in a young creator’s work.



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