525, 960 Reasons to See Rent’s 20 Anniversary Show at the Shubert Theatre

by Stacey Marcus

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece is here in Boston through November 10 in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production.

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 us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love. RENT won the 1996 Tony Award® for Best Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

While I could list over a half million reasons to see the amazing production during its short run in Boston, I’ll limit it to five and get right to the point-



It’s a story everyone should see.
When RENT opened in 1996 it broke barriers talking about AIDS, LGBTQ rights, drug addiction and gentrification and created authentic conversations that needed to begin. Twenty years later it is an inspiring reminder about how we need to keep talking, caring and loving.


The singing and dancing are mesmerizing.
The audience was spellbound by the energizing performances. While each number evoked powerful emotions, I was blown away by Maureen’s (Kelsee Swigard) rendition of “Over the Moon” and the Company’s collective harmony in performing “Season’s of Love.”


It awakens your humanity.
RENT points an arrow at the center of your heart cracking it open to feel the power of love. In today’s chaotic technological world, it is important to take two hours and forty minutes to remember that we are all humans, imperfect and in need of healing.


Keep Jonathan Larson’s legacy alive.
The story of RENT showcases elements of Larson’s life experiences and can be summed up in his words, “No day like today.” Although he passed away the night of the final dress rehearsal, of aortic dissection (as a result of Marfan’s syndrome), his spirit lives in the audiences that enjoy RENT.

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Measure your life in love.
While there were myriad messages of the complex production, if there is one takeaway is to measure your life in love.

Click here to learn more and for ticket information.