“Rent”: The Beautiful Struggle

Rent opened on Broadway in the spring of 1996, months after the tragic death of composer Jonathon Larson, and was an instant pop-culture smash, the likes of which weren’t seen again until Hamilton. The play fundamentally changed contemporary musical theater by organically incorporating pop music (including grunge) into the production. The inspiring “live for today” message, presented so accessibly, spoke to young people in a way that the stale Broadway classics often failed to. The show launched many careers (including Idina Menzel and Jesse L. Martin), and this oral history brings them back to when it all came together.

Rent: The Oral History

Vulture.com, 5.1.16