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A rock musical based on Giacomo Puccini's opera, La Bohème

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Well, We'll get along fine

  • Dec 5, 2008
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Based on Giacommo Puccini's La Boheme, Rent is a modern rock opera. What does this mean? It means over 90% of the dialogue is sung. This is a far different experience in the classic operatic language of Italian than modern day American English. This lends itself to several odd lines as the story progresses. 

Jonathan Larson may not have been the most skilled lyricist, but he wrote a beautiful opera with engaging characters. The songs are catchy, despite the wordiness inherent to the genre. He took Puccini's group of artists and made them family in a way that young people often create families of their own choosing. The relationships are deep, complex and ring true. The characters deal with disease, heartache and poverty in different ways but ultimately show that no situation is so dire that it cannot be lived through.

For instance: How do we address the fact that two newly introduced characters have AIDS? Simple:

Angel: There's a Life Support Meeting at 9:30. Yes this body provides a comfortable home to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
Collins: As does mine
Angel: Ooo, we'll get alone fine...

This encounter is the start of the most beautiful (and functional) relationship in the play. Above we see two people rather comfortable with their situation. They say it with ease and move on. As they shout later in La Vie Boheme, they are "living with (living with living with)- not dying from disease". they are strong people, living with disease and encountering any number of hardships, but they love and live and flourish nonetheless.  

Along with Wicked, I would recommend this as a good first dive into musicals for anyone who's leery, 

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December 13, 2008
almost every incarnation of Rent (from the touring shows to the broadway fixtures) is wonderful.
December 05, 2008
I almost made this whole review about how much the movie sucked royally compared to the play. This could be because I'm such a huge fan, but I thought the film adaptation ruined several aspects of the story. Angel and Collins in the movie are totally unbelievable as a couple. And that first encounter I'm so in love with in the play becomes some heavy-handed after school special in the movie. (Angel: "Life Support is a group for people with AIDS... People... like... ME." Oh shut up.) Because of the rock style, you can actually get pretty decent performances from smaller community groups. I know San Bernardino Community Players put on Rent ever couple years and I really enjoyed the performance I saw with them. I would highly suggest seeing it if you get the chance.
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Quick Tip by . March 20, 2010
I've seen Rent twice. Great songs, fantastic cast, and good story. I even bought the CD!
Quick Tip by . March 05, 2010
I don't know the big deal over rent. I thought it was BORING. Girlfriend loved it through. But it was her first Musical
review by . December 13, 2008
Rent is not a musical to enter into lightly.  The feint hearted and the musical newbies might be very easily intimidated by a rock opera in which the majority of the exposition is delivered through song, the complex relationships of the characters have to be spelled out on a program insert, and audience participation causes the entire theatre to ring with "Moo!"    Still, Rent offers a stunning contribution to the musical theatre catalogue.  With memorable songs, genuine …
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Lia Lara-Tellez ()
I work for a wholesale travel agency when I'm not Lunching (ok, sometimes when I am). No, this does not mean I can hook you up with a free hotel. It does mean I can hook myself up witha free hotel, so … more
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Rent is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson[1] based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème. It tells a story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

The musical was first seen in a limited three-week workshop production at New York Theatre Workshop in 1994. This same New York City off-Broadway theatre was also the musical's initial home following its official January 25, 1996, opening. The show's creator, Jonathan Larson, died suddenly the night before the off-Broadway premiere. The show won a Pulitzer Prize, and the production was a hit. The musical moved to Broadway's larger Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996.[2]

On Broadway, Rent gained critical acclaim and won a Tony Award for Best Musical among other awards. The Broadway production closed on September 7, 2008, after a 12-year run and 5,124 performances, making it the eighth-longest-running Broadway show by that time, ten years behind The Phantom of the Opera as of December 2009. The production grossed over $280 million.[3]

The success of the show led to several national tours and numerous foreign productions, and in 2005, it was also adapted into a motion picture that features most of the original cast members.

Productions involving high school students have generated controversy

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