Feature photo: The Company of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, photo by Carol Rosegg
A Pulitzer Prize winner.
A 20th anniversary tour.
A SOLD OUT run in Philadelphia.
This is RENT.
It’s no surprise that Jonathan Larson’s RENT once won the Tony award for best musical. It’s also no surprise that this show, about a group of young friends living with HIV/AIDS, received so many other accolades as well during it’s 22-year (and still going strong) run.
RENT follows a year in the life of eight characters as they learn to live with a disease that was identified not many years before Larson wrote this musical. Based loosely around Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT is still so relatable two decades later as it focuses on young artists and dreamers who try to make it in NYC and fight for a better world. We root for the characters as they stand up for what they believe in, what they feel is right, help out those who need a little push on a positive path, and celebrate love. Love is the most powerful message in RENT; love doesn’t see gender, color, imperfections, disease.
I first saw the show back in 2003, when it wasn’t even a decade old. Last night, I saw RENT for the 7th time. It never gets tiring. A new lesson always shines through. I notice things I may not have noticed before. The cast in each performance I have seen is always exceptional (Lyndie Moe as Maureen and Logan Marks as Mark are especially authentic). They all put so much love and effort into their respective roles. With eight main characters, audience members won’t have a hard time finding someone they can connect with on some level.
If you are lucky enough to have tickets, don’t take your eyes off the stage for one second. Deri’Andra Tucker’s performance of “Out Tonight” as Mimi is perfect. Every move, every note. And “La Vie Boheme” is always a crowd pleaser with an incredible amount of energy. Good luck not dancing along in your seat.
Every single performance between now and March 10th at the Merriam Theatre is sold out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the audience is filled with people who have seen the show more than once. Thanks to the support of these RENT-Heads, RENT will be back at Merriam Theatre from October 18th to 20th. Tickets are available now. Hurry.
At Tuesday’s opening night, the Kimmel Center presented a check for $1,500 to AIDS Fund Philly, a wonderful organization that provides financial and housing assistance to Philadelphia area residents living with HIV. Additionally, this season’s sponsor TD Bank has donated $5,000.
You may still have a chance to get tickets to this month’s SOLD OUT performances. A limited number of $25 rush tickets will be available two hours prior to each performance. Line up early at the box office and have cash. This show is absolutely worth the wait. After you (hopefully) get your tickets, head to Volver inside the Kimmel Center to try their RENT themed cocktail, the “Spent the Rent Fizz” (gin, lemon juice and sparkling wine).
Read more about RENT’s impact on Broadway, recent partnerships in Philly and our interview with Lyndie Moe here.