Larson's unhappy with RENT

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wafflehouse2005
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Larson's unhappy with RENT#1
Posted: 7/12/11 at 10:24am
I have heared through some very reliable sources that the family of Jonathan Larson is not pleased with the changes made in this new production of RENT. Apparently, some staging, specific dance moves, and the reorchestrations are the cause of their disdain.


Has anyone else heard anything on this?
romgitsean
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Larson's unhappy with RENT#2
Posted: 7/12/11 at 10:35am
I'm not surprised. I think the Larsons would like to remember Rent in its original form, how Jonathan left it, which is understandable to a degree, but also unrealistic.
Recent Broadway and Off-Broadway:: Carrie, Merrily, Ionescopade
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songanddanceman2
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Larson's unhappy with RENT#2
Posted: 7/12/11 at 10:40am
I can't see them being that upset about it, they allowed the disaster that was Rent Remixed here in the UK to happen and that changed EVERY song
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
dramarama3
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Larson's unhappy with RENT#3
Posted: 7/12/11 at 10:40am
How do you think the Shakespeares feel?
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backwoodsbarbie
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Larson's unhappy with RENT#4
Posted: 7/12/11 at 10:44am
If the family doesn't allow RENT to evolve, it will become a museum piece like my beloved A Chorus Line.
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backwoodsbarbie
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Larson's unhappy with RENT#5
Posted: 7/12/11 at 10:44am
Oops double post
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Updated On: 7/12/11 at 10:44 AM
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Larson's unhappy with RENT#6
Posted: 7/12/11 at 10:44am
Oops double post
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Updated On: 7/12/11 at 10:44 AM
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Larson's unhappy with RENT#7
Posted: 7/12/11 at 10:44am
From what I understand, that's exactly what's going on. They're saying "stage the original or don't stage anything at all". I understand the sentiment of paying respect to Jonathan by keeping the show 'forever frozen', but stifling all creativity to do so is not worth it.

We had the original production for 12 (not so long ago) years. Give us something new.
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songanddanceman2
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Larson's unhappy with RENT#8
Posted: 7/12/11 at 10:47am
Maybe after seeing all that went wrong with Rent Remixed they have got scared of allowing any changes to happen, i would not blame them

For those who never saw or heard Rent Remixed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRLQE8xMs9I
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Larson's unhappy with RENT#9
Posted: 7/12/11 at 10:50am
That family is a weird bunch - Larson might still be alive today if they had paid for his health insurance instead of refusing because they thought he was wasting his time at this theatre thing.

Now, perhaps out of guilt, they try to turn him into a God of some kind.

What they did to poor Lynn Thomson, who actually helped write the piece, was as nasty as not providing their son with a doctor. They are not admirable people.
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Larsons unhappy with RENT#10
Posted: 7/12/11 at 10:55am
Is this what's holding up all the PR? Hmm.
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Larsons unhappy with RENT#11
Posted: 7/12/11 at 11:46am
What the hell does the Larson estaste have to do with "specific dance moves?" I can't rmember who choreographed the oroginal FRENT, but it wasn't Jerome Robbins, and it sure as helll wasn't Jonathan Larson.

Or does the script actually say, "Mark now dances on the table in the exact same spastic style as Anthony Rapp did in 1996, making sure his too-small shirt rides up, exposing his navel?"
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Larsons unhappy with RENT#12
Posted: 7/12/11 at 12:00pm
That's funny cuz it's true.

I'm glad to hear it's not a carbon copy. And it's not exactly like Michael Greif is going to gut the thing. I don't believe this gossip, as much as I love gossip.
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Larsons unhappy with RENT#13
Posted: 7/12/11 at 12:03pm
I've never understood the alchemy that supposedly turns executors and beneficiaries into artists.

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Larsons unhappy with RENT#14
Posted: 7/12/11 at 12:06pm
Towson University alters the ending of RENT: "OMG WTF WON'T SOMEONE PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF JONATHAN LARSON'S VISION"

Off-Broadway production alters the show enough that the Larson Estate raise their voices in concern: "F*** THE LARSONS, RENT SHOULD GROW AND EVOLVE WITH EACH NEW INCARNATION"
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Larsons unhappy with RENT#15
Posted: 7/12/11 at 12:09pm
^There is a huge difference between changing the script and the storyline verus changing a few aspects of the production. Remember that the "show" is different from the "production" of that show.
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Larsons unhappy with RENT#16
Posted: 7/12/11 at 12:29pm
Everything newintown said, with the addition of how they kicked Sarah Schulman in the teeth.
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Larsons unhappy with RENT#17
Posted: 7/12/11 at 12:31pm
They had two tables at NYTW because that's what they could afford. They had two tables on Broadway because that's what they had at NYTW.

How sacrosanct, really, and two g.d. tables?

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Larsons unhappy with RENT#18
Posted: 7/12/11 at 12:49pm
I'm a little appalled that Larson's family is being so personally attacked over unspecified hearsay on how the Larsons feel about the latest production of RENT - on a message board, which, even if the hearsay is true, falls well within their rights and jurisdiction.

"What they did to poor Lynn Thomson, who actually helped write the piece, was as nasty as not providing their son with a doctor. They are not admirable people"

First of all, are you seriously, even if indirectly, blaming the family for Larson's death? How many 30-somethings do you know whose mommy and daddy pay their health insurance? Larson died of complications of Marfan's, a syndrome that is not so well-known and was, in him as with many sufferers, undiagnosed. As is well-known, he had seen two doctors in the days leading to his death, for all the good it did him. To suggest that his family failed him by not paying his insurance isn't really reasonable, and to call them (or their behavior) "nasty" is uncalled-for.

As to Thomson. She was a dramaturg, who herself admitted her primary input was historical research. After Larson's death, Thomson sent the family a letter, claiming Larson would have wanted her to have a small percentage of his royalty, and they offered 1%, even though they were under no legal obligation whatsoever to do so. When Thomson rejected that, the offer was doubled. Then negotiations broke down, and Thomson sued the family. Billy Aronson had protected himself legally for his input to RENT. Thomson did not protect herself for whatever she contributed - did not, in fact even make contemporaneous notes of her contributions. At worst, she looks like a grave-robber. At best, she looks foolish for not insisting on documentation of the relationship, as Larson and Aronson did. In any case, she brought her case to court and lost the lawsuit.
Thomson's lawsuit
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Larsons unhappy with RENT#19
Posted: 7/12/11 at 12:53pm
"There is a huge difference between changing the script and the storyline verus changing a few aspects of the production. Remember that the "show" is different from the "production" of that show."

Authorship for musical theater doesn't begin and end with the libretto. Jonathan Larson was also a musician. We can't choose to be outraged that his plot was violated by Towson while hand-waving away drastic changes to his music off-Broadway. That's not how integrity works.



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Larsons unhappy with RENT#20
Posted: 7/12/11 at 12:58pm
You want to separate the "show" from the "production"? Ok. Then don't blatantly try to confuse the public into thinking they are going to see the original "production" by using the same logo and artwork of the original production.

The logo is being used with the intent to sell tickets to people thinking they will see the original "production" and "show". The logo even carries with it the tag phrase of "Returns" as in "Rent - RETURNS July 14." Not "Rent - Re-imagined Starts July 14."

For those of you saying, "we have seen Rent for 12 years , do something different with it." Who is this "we"? Not everyone has seen the show. If they're going to market it as "Rent - Returns" then the people seeing it for the first time deserve to see what the show actually was in order to understand what all the hype was about.

You want to do "something different" with the "production" of the "show"? Fine. Go do it in the Iowa at The Hole-In-The-Wall Theatre company presents Rent. But if it's being sold to people as "Rent Returns" in the NY theatre market then it should be the original "production" of the "show". Anything else is false advertising and the Office of Public Advocate should look in to it the same as they did with Spiderman claiming it was "Now on Broadway" while it was in previews for a year.
LegallyBroadway2
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Larsons unhappy with RENT#21
Posted: 7/12/11 at 1:00pm
hahaha how darest they
Updated On: 7/12/11 at 01:00 PM
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Larsons unhappy with RENT#22
Posted: 7/12/11 at 1:20pm
hyperbole and a half-
You seem to be missing something. They aren't changing anything to the script or score. Larson didn't do his own orchestrations (and besides, how often do we see the original orchestrations ever?). It's the staging that's being changed.

IF the revival were going to change the end and have Mimi die, then the family's unhappiness would be justified. It's because it isn't that we all think it's silly.

AND while you may say that it's perfectly fine to change the end so that Mimi dies, would you also say it was ok for a company to change the end of Sound of Music so that the Nazi's capture the von Trapps? A West Side Story where Tony lives? I think not.
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LegallyBroadway2
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Larsons unhappy with RENT#23
Posted: 7/12/11 at 1:25pm
hyperbole_and_a_half! that was perfect.
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Larsons unhappy with RENT#24
Posted: 7/12/11 at 1:26pm
Perfectly incorrect!