RENT the Musical
There's a scene in the new musical "RENT" that may be the
quintessential romantic moment of the '90s. Roger, a
struggling rock musician, and Mimi, a junkie who's a
dancer at an S/M club, are having a lovers' quarrel when
their beepers go off and each takes out a bottle of pills. It's
the signal for an "AZT break," and suddenly they realize
that they're both HIV-positive. Clinch. Love duet. If you
don't think this is romantic, consider that Jonathan Larson's
sensational musical is inspired by Puccini's opera "La
Boheme," in which the lovers Mimi and Rodolfo are
tragically separated by her death from tuberculosis.
Different age, different plague. Larson has updated
Puccini's end-of-19th-century Left Bank bohemians to
end-of-20th-century struggling artists in New York's East
Village. His rousing, moving, scathingly funny show,
performed by a cast of youthful unknowns with explosive
talent and staggering energy, has brought a shocking jolt of
creative juice to Broadway. A far greater shock was the
sudden death of 35-year-old Larson from an aortic
aneurysm just before his show opened. His death just
before the breakthrough success is the stuff of both tragedy
and tabloids. Such is our culture. Now Larson's work,
along with "Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk," the
tap-dance musical starring the marvelous young dancer
Savion Glover, is mounting a commando assault on
Broadway from the downtown redoubts of off-Broadway.
Both are now encamped amid the revivals ("The King and
I") and movie adaptations ("Big") that have made
Broadway such a creatively fallow field in recent seasons.
And both are oriented to an audience younger than
Broadway usually attracts. If both, or either, settle in for a
successful run, the door may open for new talent to
reinvigorate the once dominant American musical theater.
"RENT" so far has the sweet smell of success, marked no
only by it's $6 million advance sale (solid, but no guarantee)
but also by the swarm of celebrities who have clamored for
tickets: Michelle Pfeifer, Sylvester Stallone, Nicole Kidman
and Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Ralph Fiennes...name your
own biggie. Last week, on opening night, 21 TV crews,
many from overseas, swarmed the Nederlander Theatre to
shoot the 15 youthful cast members in euphoric shock
under salvos of cheers. Supermogul David Geffen of the
new DreamWorks team paid just under a million dollars to
record the original-cast album. Pop artitsts who've
expressed interest in recording songs from the 33-number
score include Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton and Boyz II
Men. A bidding scrimmage has started for the movie rights
among such Hollywood heavies as Warner Brothers,
Danny DeVito's Jersey Films, Fox 2000 and Columbia.
The asking price is $3 million, but bonuses for length of run,
Musicals, a play in which singing and dancing are essentials parts that developed from light opera in the early 20th century. Now because of our technological advances musicals are able to come to life in movies such as the West Side Story. This is not the only change that has happened, there is also the genre of music used to tell their story. Hamilton is a great example of this change.
Generation X has finally taken out a lease on the future of theatre, and it looks like it is more than able to pay the "Rent" (Coulbourn 43). "Rent" is a musical for our time, for our generation and for generations to come. It has won numerous Tony Awards including best musical, book, score, lyrics, and ensemble performance. This musical is an excellent representation of cultural religion and it has had a profound impact on society both in the 90's and today. "Rent" is not only a representation of the culture of the new millennium but is an excellent representation of the faith of a new generation.
As in all genres, the musicals have had its share of failures. Some worthy dramas have been pressed into service and musicalized and sometimes butchered in the process, and audiences have had to watch a fine play diluted into a mediocre musical. But the successes have been many and spectacular and they have left a long lasting effect on the American art and culture.
The musical Rent is a representation of the Bohemian lifestyle of being different and being able to explore and be unique. What makes this musical so unique is its revolutionary musical style and a plot like no other. The lyricist and composer of the musical Jonathan Larson did something no one would ever imagine and go outside of the box. Who would have thought of putting lesbians, gays, HIV and AIDS victims, and the life of a Bohemian into one rock and pop based musical? This struggle to survive and accomplish things makes Rent amazing.
A Chorus Line is a musical that focuses on Broadway dances who are auditioning for spots on a chorus line. Throughout the play, the different backgrounds and struggles of the different dances are shown to the audience, explaining the behavior of the dancers. As the past of each of the dancers is unfolded, the audience understands and appreciates the musical more and more. Not only does A Chorus Line portray the difficulties that performers must overcome to be successful, it also demonstrates the real world fact that not everyone can “make it.”
Stephen Sondheim was born in New York on March 22, 1930. His mother was a fashion designer, and his father a dress manufacturer. At age ten, Sondheim’s parents divorced, and he moved to rural Pennsylvania with his mother shortly after (“Stephen Sondheim- Academy of Achievement”). In Pennsylvania, Stephen befriended his neighbor, James Hammerstein, as well as James’ parents Dorothy and Oscar. The Hammersteins would become like a second family to Stephen. He especially admired Oscar, a musical theatre giant, saying of the man, “I wanted to be whatever Oscar was… if Oscar had been a geologist, I would have become one too” (“The World of the Play: Stephen Sondheim”). Sondheim, mentored by Hammerstein, went on to study music and, eventually, became one of the most distinguished composers in musical theatre (“The World”). Stephen Sondheim’s writing redefined American musical theatre and inspired creativity among others in his field. He has worked on some of the most iconic modern musicals and continues to make meaningful contributions to the world of musical theatre (Miranda).
Rent. To most people it is associated with an apartment, house, or another object. This word rarely conjures pleasant memories, but more often annoyance and stress. However, when someone mentions rent to me, my mind races to some of the most memorable experiences in my life.
One of the very first electrified streets in the United States was Broadway. This gave it many opportunities to become a large icon for our nation. As we know now it is one of the most well-known places for great entertainment. However Broadway was not always the iconic entertainment center it is today; it was stolen, had New York City emerge around it, and persevered through many difficult economic and cultural times.
April 29, 1996. Rent’s opening night on Broadway at the Nederlander theater. From there on out the lives of the cast and crew of the musical would never be the same. People of all classes sit in the audience. Adam Pascal, who plays Roger in the musical, begins singing his solo: “One song glory, one song before I go. One song to leave behind. Find one song, one last refrain.” A parallel to the life of the writer of Rent, Jonathan Larson, for it was his ‘one song’.
Romance serves as a strong foundation for many stories. Winner of eight Tony Awards, Once weaves an intricate love story between a Guy and Girl through the use of emotionally captivating songs composed by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. The soundtrack is composed of contemporary folk music with Irish and folk-rock influences which aids in developing intangible properties of the play such as the theme as the songs transcend the lyrics through their use of genre. Innovative direction allows the performance to be immersive and engages the audience by giving the cast a dual purpose: operating as both the actors and musicians. The ways in which the songs are incorporated into the story also differs from standard musicals. The style and decisions
The flowers are in bloom and so is Selinsgrove Area High School's Spring musical. Beloved librarian and managing director Laurie Knitter was in a deep search of a musical that offered a splendid affair. After being on a quest for a musical that was a hysterically, humorous comedy that drew in heaps of laughter, family friendly, and gave mirthful opportunities to the students, Mrs. Knitter unearthed the marvelous ensemble which was full of color and amusing costumes—Xanadu. Xanadu is a Broadway musical which showed in the year 2007 and was so well liked that it achieved to run for over five hundred performances. Xanadu give the audience a bundle of divergent emotions such as love, woe, and joy. Somehow, Xanadu has accomplished the impossible
The 2000s/ 2010s brought in a wave of movie musicals- adapted from the stage shows. These brought new audiences into the theatre world, and for the first time in 20 years, brought a love to some of the timeless musicals. With slightly altered songs to appeal to a newer audience, these films brought in much needed money into the industry, with films including: Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Fame- and many more. Together with this, musicals began to push the concept of the songs in them, with a wave of new styles being written. Rap musicals such as ‘Hamilton’ and ‘In The Heights’, Pop musicals including ‘Waitress’ and ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ and Rock musicals of ‘American Idiot’ and ‘Spring Awakening’. Together they pushed boundaries of a ‘traditional’ musical theatre sound, and brought in something never before seen. Due to the influence of ‘Rent’, controversial issues and themes began to be explored more, such as Teen suicide, Murder, Ethnic barriers and everything else, which brought with them, a world of opportunities. It was clear that musical theatre was once again showing for a promising
A few months ago me and a friend went and watched High School Musical at Parkrose High School. High School Musical is about a story about two high schoolers, Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez from opposite cliques that try out for the leads in their school musical. Troy is a “jock”, the captain of the basketball team, and Gabriella is a shy “nerd”, captain of the scholastic decathlon. They inspire their peers not to “stick to the status quo” and get out of their comfort zones. Sharpay Evans, the “theater queen” does anything she can to be with Troy or sabotage Troy and Gabriella’s relationship with the help of her brother Ryan Evans. Troy and Gabriella end up getting the part with the help of their best friends, Taylor and Chad who are surprised at their hidden theater talents.