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25 RENT Memories from Our Readers to Mark the Show's 25th Broadway Anniversary

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April 29 marks the 25th anniversary of Jonathan Larson's Rent premiering on Broadway!

We asked our readers to share their most meaningful memories of Rent on the show's 25th Broadway anniversary.

On this day in 1996, Rent, written by Jonathan Larson and directed by Michael Greif, opened at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre following a history making, sold out, extended limited engagement at off-Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop. Look back at the production in our On This Day feature.

Read 25 Rent memories from our readers below!


1. "I saw the West End production around 1999 and fell in love. I remember the weekend spent painting the kitchen in my first house in 2001 & listening to the CD over and over. Now my 14 yo DD and I sing it together." -Rebecca M. on Facebook

2. "Literally the best musical I have ever seen saw it with the original cast and a dozen times thereafter. No day but today!" -Lucille B. on Facebook

3. "Saw it in Chicago. I was in college. Dragged my friends to it probably 7-8 times. My favorite show it got me hooked on Broadway. At the age I was and living the life I was it was completely relatable to us. My kids both love it as well and I was able to take them to see it live." -Katie N. on Facebook

4. "My first love. It really turned me on to theater. It wasn't some old fashioned show that I couldn't relate to, it was contemporary and fresh. And the opening 'rock and roll-ness' of the first number blew me away. Saw it about 8 times and was lucky enough to see Adam and Anthony in one of the later shows at the Nederlander!" -Michele F. on Facebook

5. "Opening night - as the cast walked into the party they immediately heard their voices over the sound system singing "Seasons of Love" and they all started singing and dancing along. It was magical." -@fabulousinvalid on Twitter

6. "I got a chance to see it twice on Broadway. I rarely feel that sort of excitement, I was flying. What I take away from the show is that creativity resonates in everyone. You have to bottle that energy so it never dies." -@treblemotif on Twitter

7. "I remember the first song I heard from the show. I was living in Somerville MA and loved to listen to Emerson College's Saturday morning MT radio show. They were so excited about Rent and debuted Christmas Bells on the show. I loved it instantly." -@camusr6 on Twitter

8. "It's a tie: performing Seasons of Love with my high school show choir at our graduation ceremony, or getting student rush tix as an NYU freshman the following year-sat so close we could taste their sweat" -@rachelsdempsey on Twitter

9. "Flying over to New York from Australia knowing this was the musical I had to see in 1997." -@sair_st on Twitter

10. "The first production I ever got to see of Rent was during my freshman year of high school at a local theatre. The characters walked around the stage during Will I? searching so desperately for their dignity - their voices were stunning and it's a moment I'll never forget." -@jenuinleigh on Twitter

11. "when I was a little kid my dad found out it would be playing on tv and talked about it all week, his excitement for it was contagious and we sat and watched it together. I think that was the first time my dad and I bonded over theater." -@kexsaj on Twitter

12. "October 1996. We spent the night outside the Nederlander in line for $20 student rush tickets. All these years later I still can't believe I saw the original cast of Rent from a 2nd row center seat for only TWENTY DOLLARS!" -@allyb75 on Twitter

13. "I got to see this show at the La Jolla Playhouse...with Doogie Howser himself, Neil Patrick Harris, as Mark! This was before HIMYM so he was still Doogie! The show and he were fabulous." -@TaniSchneider71 on Twitter

14. "I didn't see Rent when it was on Broadway, but I did see a production of Mr. Larson's musical "Tick, Tick. . . Boom by a local theater company when we lived in VA. I wanted to call out to his character not give up because he was going to write Rent it was all going to be OK." -EllenE929 on Twitter

15. "Watching the Seasons of Love documentary/livestream back in March. It was such a cool experience." -@theoneamayajones on Instagram

16. "We sang Finale B in districts. So powerful, and oh so special" -@abagailelizabeth04 on Instagram

17. "My mom got me tickets on the last day of junior year in high school. I basically squealed, it's my favorite show ever" -@20buttonsandastrap on Instagram

18. "Waiting in line overnight in Times Square outside the theater to get $20 tickets for the 10th anniversary. We (the people in line) sang Rent songs all night. I was 2nd in that line and got tickets for the front row. Cried tears of happiness for most of the show." -@lunaxmars on Instagram

19. "It's the show that made me fall in love with musical theater!!" -@sandiriveracruz on Instagram

20. "when @trace.b.1323 and I saw the final Broadway tour of #Rent in Toronto and we won the lottery. Saw the show 3 times on that trip and it was amazing." -@takeme2theworld on Instagram

21. "The first time I ever listened to the cast album, I was immediately obsessed! This is one show I have yet to see live, it's on my list!" -@daniellemagnusson on Instagram

22. "So I've sadly never seen Rent on stage, however! I did see the film in a theatre when it came out. Me and my friends had never heard of it (coming from Sweden and not being that into musical theatre at the time not surprising I guess), but we wanted to see a film and it was between Rent and Nanny McPhee. Best decision we made! I left the theatre with my mascara running and a new obsession (even stole one of the film posters at the first opportunity, oops)" -@anyonia on Instagram

23. "Although I've always loved the theatre, it was Jonathan Larson and his creation of RENT that really fuelled my passion for the stage. The story, connected with me on so many levels. Thank you Jonathan Larson for that! I'm glad he left a part of him behind for generations to come. But there is still so much work to be done to have all races, all people, realize that we ALL live in this world together. To make the BEST life we are given, we have to embrace one another.... not separate from one another. Be the love you want in return, say the love you want to be said to you....." -@mottlycru on Instagram

24. "Seeing my friends @raygarcia6 and @sylmac in Boston ! So many great companies around the globe. This cast was magical ! Meeting Jonathan Larson's parents NYC and the story they told me of Jonathan being inspired because I was a young songwriter. I'm still in disbelief and beyond honoured. I was so grateful to have that moment with them. Though I never was cast, I loved prepping for my Maureen audition ! Posted audition rehearsals from my one bedroom on social media. My neighbor Mrs. Friedman was never thrilled when I was belting lol. All theater folks know how much preparation goes into auditioning. I felt like a piece of me actually did the role ! Saw Rent too many times to count. The OG cast and so many along the way. Getting the call from @raygarcia6 that he was going on as Angel after understudying for a long time. I ran to the theater and got to bare witness to his incredible performance !!! Rent. Always moving. Always thrilling. Happy Anniversary !" -@debbiegibson on Instagram

25. "The first time I listened to I'll cover you reprise and seasons of love. I remember I got so emotional and though how can someone write something so moving and get me although I was so far away from what the characters experienced." -@broadwayfina on Instagram


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