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Rent by Jonathan Larson Original Broadway Cast Recording 2CD set Dreamworks
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Rent by Jonathan Larson Original Broadway Cast Recording 2CD set Dreamworks
Rent by Jonathan Larson Original Broadway Cast Recording 2CD set Dreamworks

Rent by Jonathan Larson Original Broadway Cast Recording 2CD set Dreamworks

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"RENT" The Musical by Jonathan Larson ****Original Broadway Cast Recording **2CD set ** DreamworksThe Story of Jonathan Larson and Rent is as passionate and intriguing as the Pulitzer Prize Winning Musical. Read on...BornFebruary 4, 1960 in White Plains, New York. Larson lived in poverty, waited tables, andworked seven years to bring his rock opera “Rent” to the stage — only tocollapse and die the night before previews were to open at the Off-Broadway NewYork Theater Workshop. The show’s initial five-week run sold out within 24hours of opening night, and the play became an enormous critical and popularsuccess. In addition, “Rent” achieved Larson’s ambition of updating musicaltheater and making it socially and personally relevant to a younger audience.Newsday’s Linda Winer called it “the first original breakthrough rock musicalsince ‘Hair.'” The fresh, provocative, and exuberant show — and Larson’sheartbreaking story — quickly became Broadway legend. “The show features, amongforty well-sung numbers, three songs that are as passionate, unpretentious andpowerful as anything I’ve heard in musical theatre for more than a decade,”John Lahr wrote in The New Yorker. “His songs have urgency — a sense ofmourning and mystery which insists on seizing the moment. … Larson’s … talentand his big heart are impossible to miss. His songs spill over with feeling andideas; his work is both juicy and haunting.”Larsonlived his childhood amidst drama clubs and music lessons. He played the tuba inhigh school and attended Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. Althoughhe graduated with dreams of becoming an actor, Stephen Sondheim encouraged himto focus on composing. Larson was a Sondheim disciple and his early worksuggested his future success. He won the Richard Rodgers Studio ProductionAward from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for a workshop version of“Rent,” and a Rodgers Development Grant for a futuristic rock musical called“Suburbia.” He also earned a Stephen Sondheim Award from the American MusicTheater Festival; composed the eclectic rock-to-ragtime score for a musicalcalled “J.P. Morgan Saves the Nation”; and performed a rock monologue called“Tick, Tick, Boom” at the New York Theater Workshop and other stages.Amongthe original cast members of "Rent" were Idina Menzel and Jesse L.Martin. “Rent”is based on the classic Puccini opera “La Bohème.” The musical is set in adingy, dishevelled loft apartment in New York’s East Village and depicts “young… artists struggling to celebrate life in the shadow of drugs,poverty and AIDS,” Jonathan Wiederhorn wrote in ROLLING STONE. Larson’s scoreblends pop, dance, salsa, rhythm and blues, gospel, and rock music,while his characters update those of Puccini: Rodolfo, the lovelorn poet, isresurrected in punk-rocker Roger; Marcello the painter becomes Mark thevideographer; Mimi trades tuberculosis for HIV. “In both productions,”Wiederhorn noted, “the main characters are threatened with eviction and burntheir written work to stay warm.” Larson, however, leavens the lost dreams andlives with his show’s “emphasis on love, friendship, and survival.”As thedebut of “Rent” approached, Larson lived in poverty similar to that endured byhis characters. He stopped working in a SoHo diner only two months before theplay opened and dreamed of earning enough money to afford cable TV. Ten daysbefore he died, Larson sold some of his books to get money for a movie ticket.“It’s both tragic and ironic that Larson … never saw ticket holders enjoy hisshow,” Wiederhorn wrote. “Even more uncanny are the parallels between Larson’slife and his characters’ — many of whom cling to life knowing that it could endat any moment.”JONATHANLARSON --Born:February4, 1960 --Died:January25, 1996 --KeyShows"Rent" --StephenSondheimLarsonis survived by his parents, Allan and Nanette Larson of New Mexico, and hissister, Julie McCollum of Los Angeles. “For Mr. Larson’s parents and sister andfriends, opening night was glorious and heartbreaking,” Mel Gussow wrote in THENEW YORK TIMES. “‘It’s the best and worst moment of my life,’ said his sister.‘This play was Jonathan. It is totally my brother.'”On Broadway,Rentgained critical acclaim and won a Tony Award for Best Musicalamong other awards. The Broadway production closed on September 7, 2008 after a 12-year run of 5,123 performances
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