Rent is what is known as a rock musical (think Hair or Grease). The music, lyrics, and book are all from Jonathan Larson, and Rent is loosely based on Puccini’s opera La Bohème (which is also about the lives of poor young artists).
Rent tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City’s East Village under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
The musical, which began off-Broadway in 1993, won a Pulitzer Prize and moved to Broadway on April 29, 1996. It won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical, among other awards. The production closed on September 7, 1008 after a 12-year run and 5,123 performances. In 2005, it was adapted into a motion picture and featured many of the original cast members.
Here, one last time, is “Seasons of Love” from Rent: