Today Broadway says goodbye to an incredible show.
'Rent' inspires. There really isn't anything I can say about this show that hasn't been said on a thousand blogs and the very few broadway sites that are out there. No matter how you feel about this show, you cannot deny just how much it changed Broadway.
'Rent' was the first show I ever saw. In my younger years I did the "Renthead" thing like many (MANY) others. When I grew up and the early-teen obsession died away, I was able to take away all of the best things from the show. Hell, half of my vocal training was from screaming to the soundtrack in my bedroom. The first time I ever said to myself "Wow...I really want to do THAT!" was sitting in the Nederlander theatre watching 'Rent.' A couple months later I auditioned for my first community theatre show.
This past month, after 4 or 5 years of not seeing the show, I brought myself back to the Nederlander to see it for the very last time. This time I went in a very different way by going with some cast members from Spring Awakening, knowing some of the people in the closing company. I was so moved watching the show and was suddenly thrown back into my pre-teen days, completely obsessed again. I left the theatre beaming. In some way...that certain-special-rock-musical motivated me to find my way into another certain-special-rock-musical on Broadway today. I couldn't wait to get back into the Eugene O'Neill the next night and perform.
Watching 'Rent' for my last time, I was reminded of the importance of performing in a show like that. I was surrounded by other screaming fans that night. Some of them didn't look very much older than I was when I first saw the show and some of them much older than I am now. It's incredible to see what a show like 'Rent' can do for people. That show certainly added a lot of things to my life and I know that 'Spring Awakening' has also inspired a lot of people in the same way. I feel honored to be a part of this community. Whatever the show is, I know that Broadway will continue to inspire.
So...since this is the last time that I can be painfully cliche and a total geek...
Thank you, Rent. You rocked.