Saturday, August 23, 2008

Final Rent To Pay

Only 2 more weeks until Rent finally closes on Broadway on September 7th 2008. It's the end of an era and a seminal musical that had a profound life altering experience for me, and oddly enough, I was reminded about all that on Thursday when I saw my friend (who happened to be in the Broadway and Canadian productions of Rent) perform in a local regional production of Jonathan Larson's other musical tick, tick, Boom, a not-so-thinly-veiled autobiographical look at his own life while he was trying to write Rent before he died (in real life) just as Rent was about to open Off-Broadway, where it went on to Broadway, become a smash, create Rentheads like me, and last more than 12 years on the Great White Way.

I'm not even sure how many minutes that has been. If only Jonathan Larson could see his little show now!

And it's all coming to an end. Sony's Hot Ticket has taped the August 21st performance to be shown in cinemas (Just like the Met Opera's they've been doing) across North America (tickets are already listed in Canada) on Wednesday September 24th, Thursday September 25th, Saturday September 27th and Sunday September 28th only.

I was going to wait until Sept. 7th to rapture my eulogy for the show, but between oddly JUST seeing tick, tick, Boom for the first time, about Jon's turning 30, just as I had turned 30 and pretty much going through my pre-mid-life crisis as he was, I'm getting all verklepmt about the show again and remembered how affected I was by Rent. (And apparently everyone else. Here's former cast members saying their final goodbyes to Rent).

I now wish I could see the show just once more on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre. So while I think it's a bit ridiculous that the tickets (at least in Canada) cost more than what I paid to see it live ($23 for the movie vs $20 lottery/rush tickets I usually got to see it live), I think the memories are flooding back that I may just have to see it in movie theatres.

The show will still live on in an already announced 2009 National Tour starring originals Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, in high school and community productions, and in revivals way in the future I'm sure, but still, the little show that nobody thought would make it on Broadway managed to defy the odds and become one of Broadway's longest running shows when it finally closes and at least for me, altered my youth forever.

On a side note, while the last few years I've been rhapsodizing about Spring Awakening, which follows in Rent's footsteps, and most recently Hair, which spawned the rock musicals that the other two have followed in, I've pushed Rent aside to make room for newer life altering theatrical experiences, but just hearing "No Day But Today again almost gives me tears in my eyes again.

On another side note, if Hair didn't get extended again, they would have closed on the same day. Interesting.

1 comment:

Esther said...

I was a latecomer to Rent - I saw the movie when it came out on dvd, I saw the show on tour in January. I do love the score and it's still very compelling but obviously it didn't have the same impact as if I'd seen it on Broadway when it first came out. But reading bloggers' reactions when it was announced that Rent was closing really gave me the sense of how important it was to a lot of people. I'm looking forward to the movie.

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