There has never been a show like RENT: set in “current” times, dealing with real, tough issues (AIDS), not shying away from “edgy” language or sexual explicitness (hetero or homo), with real diversity (gay, lesbian, cross-dressers, multi racial)- with beautiful music, wonderful lyrics and important messages. And sadly, with Jonathan Lawson’s ironically untimely death, just as he was beginning to change the norms of musical theater- who knows when something this special will appear again.
While of course, we must “forget regret or life is yours to miss”. It is impossible not to be a little sad that after tonight, with almost 13 years on Broadway (in the top 10 longest running shows), Mimi’s candle will remain unlit. The homepage of the RENT site has fitting opening today, and some links to great articles and multimedia presentations honoring the show.
Thankfully, the touring company is still schedule out through summer ’09 (although not in DC- but Chicago hint, hint Tootsie). However, the traveling production cannot replicate the amazing setting provided by the Nederlander Theater. Its sad to think about amazing RENT décor- inside and out- being replaced.