5 Fun Facts About RENT

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway…and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives through the only thing that truly matters—love.

  1. Creator, Jonathan Larson, loosely based the plot and characters off of an opera entitled “Puccini’s La Bohème.” The Broadway has attracted audiences over the years from the timeless story of misfits finding a family within themselves.
  2. RENT is set in New York City, but more specifically in Alphabet City in the East Village.
  3. The show was ahead of it’s time by celebrating diversity among the cast. RENT first premiered on Broadway in 1996 and contained characters who were black, white, brown, straight, gay, bisexual and transgender. Over 20 years later, audiences still connect to the power of diversity in ethnicity and relationships within the story. Each generation has connected with the story in a different way.
  4. Larson died from an aortic aneurysm only one night before the show was scheduled to premiere Off-Broadway. Unfortunately, he did not live to see the success of his work. The show went on to be an international success. RENT has been translated into 10 separate languages and the show has been performed in 40 countries.
  5. The Broadway production of RENT is listed as number 10 of the longest running Broadway shows. The show is currently performing their 20th Anniversary tour. Fans who have seen the show more than once refer to themselves as RENT-Heads.

The 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT will be performing at Elliott Hall of Music on October 13th at 7:00 PM. It is a show that you will not want to miss!