Rent is a rock musical with music and lyrics by
Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème.
It tells the 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 AIDS.
The musical was first seen in a limited three-week
Workshop production at the 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.
On Broadway, Rent gained critical acclaim and
won a Tony Award for Best Musical among other awards. The musical
brought an ethnically diverse cast and controversial topics to
a traditionally conservative medium, helping to increase the popularity
of musical theater amongst the younger generation. 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, eight years behind The Phantom of the Opera. The production
grossed over $280 million.
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