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Things That Make Me Feel Old: The Rent Remake

When I was an angsty, misunderstood teenager, I wanted few things more than to see Rent on Broadway. It was, after all, a musical for "our generation." I was a sucker for the story, which seemed then like edgy political commentary, and of course I loved the semi-racy, semi-rockin' soundtrack.

Well, apparently I'm no longer hip, and neither are my fellow 20- and 30-somethings who fell hard for Rent the first time around. See, Rent is being remade for British theater — and the producers are calling their show a "contemporary" take on the musical.


This version is "digital production for a digital world — more a pop opera than a rock opera," the director told Variety. He also said that the "grunge-style electric guitar" is all but gone from the soundtrack. Gone the way of flannel, old-school Smashing Pumpkins and the stereotypical Generation X slacker, I suppose.

Granted, Rent is itself a remake of La Boheme, and its story is pegged to a very particular time and place. Parts of the story were feeling dated already when the movie version came out two years ago. But saying Rent needs to be retooled for a younger, cooler generation makes me long for the days when "Seasons of Love" felt deeply meaningful — and maybe even revolutionary.


talloolah talloolah 9 years
interesting. i dont know why they'd redo it. rent is a classic in its own right.
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
i've never seen an opera theatre empty before - and i've been to quite a few, so clearly people still go out to see the old classics - why would they do such a thing as this??
stefsprl stefsprl 10 years
I think part of what is great about Rent is the fact that it can transcend generations and reach so many different ages. I guess I just don't think it's necessary, but I agree with keli0k that they need to rename it, just out of respect to Jonathan Larsen.
martinique1 martinique1 10 years
Not contemporary enough?? That's completely ridiculous. :/
miss-britt miss-britt 10 years
i don't know, i don't think Rent should be revamp for a younger generation. Because it's weird when i was younger i was in love with rent even though i wasn't quite sure what it all meant, and now my little niece who's 13 loves the show and the music.So.. i think rent is kind of timeless in a way because it keeps getting more people to become rentheads. I myself have moved on to spring awakening.
keli0k keli0k 10 years
I just hope they rename it. It doesn't seem fair to redo a show however you want and be able to keep using the same name.
CocoChic CocoChic 10 years
Oh this is so sad!
Today Today 10 years
Opps, I meant to include a link to the article about the returning cast members. Here it is:
Today Today 10 years
Sheesh, I felt old when I read that two of the original cast members were returning to the show after 11 years. But this... Wow. ()
KathleenxCouture KathleenxCouture 10 years
When I was in high school we did a rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar and it was waaayyy too fun!(i was a diciple) Rent is the same way it should be LEFT as a ROCK OPERA because its meant to be that way
KathleenxCouture KathleenxCouture 10 years
POP OPERA?!?!?! Since when did Broadway sell out!? This is way too messed up! Rock operas are the BEST! Rent and Jesus Christ Superstar are frickin' GENUS! How are they gonna go and scRew it up and SELL IT OUT! I'm beyond pissed......
wickedk8 wickedk8 10 years
You can't mess with Rent!
JCP0240 JCP0240 10 years
this is too bad. i love rent and have ever since it first came to broadway in 1996 - sure theatre does lots of revivals but they don't take the original and change all the music and change the time period.
ALSW ALSW 10 years
Leave Rent alone!
fireyelectra fireyelectra 10 years
Wow, I guess I was wrong when I thought Rent was the only musical you can't really update.
Melissa55 Melissa55 10 years
This always happens in theatre, it's not just Rent. Every director out there wants to put their own spin on things, whether making it "more modern" or "more retro" or trying to shock people by doing an all-drag cast (though that's more of-Broadway), etc... Look at the millions of different way people interpret Shakespeare! Just roll with the "artistic" punches, it doesn't mean you're old.
LoveLAD22 LoveLAD22 10 years
They should just leave the show alone! friends and I are going to see it in NY in a couple of weeks. I'm so excited!
princess_eab princess_eab 10 years
Uh... huh?? Are they going to remake the thing every ten years so it's "current"? I mean, how stupid is that.
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
I think the show is pretty powerful, but it feels dated to me somehow (and I am no kid, believe me!). I'm curious about this new take.
tchan01 tchan01 10 years
:-O are you kidding me? Rent should be left alone...but the producers will do what they will do. Maybe they'll give it a different name. Aw, Buzz you shouldn't feel old...just that you're growing and maturing, not old :-).
Pink_Lipstick Pink_Lipstick 10 years
What?? How is it not contemporary enough? This is ridiculous! Rent should be left alone.
shafiii shafiii 10 years
making it more pop!? thats outrageous. im a teen and i loved the older version when i saw it on DVD and when i downloaded the real broadway version. i think it shouldnt be tampered with!
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
This makes me feel really old, too. Some "period pieces" just shouldn't be tampered with and Rent is one of those.
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