Houston’s summer is meandering its way into the hottest part of the year, but theatergoers will stay cool both figuratively and literally at the 20th Anniversary tour of RENT at The Hobby Center.
In 1996, an original rock musical by unknown composer Jonathan Larson opened on Broadway and changed the landscape of American theatre. More than two decades later, RENT continues to speak loudly to audiences all over the world. RENT is the last production of Houston’s 2018-2019 Broadway Across America season and will run from August 6 – 11.
Tickets can be purchased from the Hobby Center and, keeping with RENT’s Broadway tradition, a limited number of seats in the first two rows of the orchestra section will be available for $25 for every performance. This tradition began in 1996 in New York City when the show moved to Broadway after a sold-out run in a small downtown theater. Lucky for us, the producers of the show are committed to continuing this ticket offering in each city the show will play.
In Houston, the $25 tickets are available for in-person cash only (two per person) purchases at the Hobby Center Box Office on the day of each performance only, two hours prior to the show.
We have put together a list of five facts that will make RENT’s appeal even more evident – proof that, in a world of fickle audiences with increasing pulls on their wallet and attention, this modern-day Broadway classic has withstood the test of time.
1. A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds the audience to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.
2. RENT won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. At the time RENT won the Pulitzer Prize, only eight other musicals had been awarded the honor since 1917.
3. The musical didn’t begin on Broadway – it actually premiered off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop on February 13, 1996 and then transferred to Broadway on April 29, 1996.
4. RENT is the 10th longest running Broadway production, and people that see it multiple times are nicknamed Rent-Heads. It has been translated into more than 10 different languages and performed in over 40 different countries.
5. Many of the original cast members of RENT, including Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs, starred in the movie adaptation of the musical in 2005.
RENT will be in Houston from August 6 – 11 at The Hobby Center.
Cover photo Carol Rosegg
Gabi De la Rosa lives in Houston with her husband and three children. You can usually find her at a great local restaurant or out exploring HTX with her family. Visit her on Instagram @gabioftheroses_htx