Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rent's Nederlander Lease Expires In About 197,946 Minutes

Rent's Nederlander Lease Expires In About 197,946 Minutes

One of Broadway's longest running tenants is set to close June 1. Just 5,012 performances into its award-winning run, Jonathan Larson's Rent will vacate Broadway's Nederlander Theatre.

Based in part on Giacomo Puccini's classic La Bohème, Rent captured a moment in the Big Apple '90s when there was little hope for those told they had HIV. Fortunately, those times have changed dramatically, but it has turned the once rebellious little production into more of a dated old relic that's barely taking in an audience capacity of 50%. Last week, the show was filled to 54.5% capacity with the average seat costing just $51.48.

Still, this show not only served as a wonderful springboard for such talents as Idina Menzel, Taye Diggs, Adam Pascal and Daphne Rubin-Vega, but it managed to touch my heart when I first saw it back in 1996 -- Rent was the first piece of live theatre to bring tears to my eyes. The Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning work had that kind of power and presence back in the day.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 16 January, 2008, Blogger Esther said...

I'm seeing Rent on tour this weekend. I've never seen it on stage - only the movie. Like you said, the story has lost some of its immediacy as HIV/AIDS has fortunately become something that you can live with, at least in this country. I wonder if I'll feel the same sense of poignancy. I don't know, I think if the music is good and the story is told well, it can still tug at you emotionally, no matter how dated the plot may seem. I also wonder how much longer Rent will keep touring now that the Broadway show is closing.

At 16 January, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Great question, Esther. I don't know the answer, but can tell you that the current tour is running at least through April 21 when the show makes a stop in Pembroke, North Carolina. After that, who knows.

At 17 January, 2008, Blogger Vance said...

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one that was so emotionally affected by Rent way back when, and although my recent return last summer was less impactful, Rent still has a special place in my life.

At 17 January, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Vance, Rent will always have a special place in my heart. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, too.


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