The closing night cast of the Broadway musical Rent included
Frankfort's Will Chase as Roger, Michael McElroy as Tom Collins, Eden Espinosa as Maureen, and Rodney Hicks as Benny. Copyrighted photo by Casey Stouffer for Sony
Rent's grand finale appears to have created one of those wish-you-were-there moments you can really only get from live performance.
The groundbreaking Broadway production closed Sunday night after 12 years and 5,124 performances at the Nederlander Theatre.
Of course, 525,600 minutes is what Rentheads truly care about, the time being the measure of a year and the show the story of struggling artists in New York's East Village battling AIDS, addiction, poverty, society and some fading dreams of glory.
Most shows close quietly with a notice and a last bow in front of the dwindling audience that prompted the end of the run. But Rent became a cultural icon, and by numerous accounts closed in front of an adoring audience that got to see original cast members join the current performers for a rendition of the hit Seasons of Love.
~ The Associated Press reported that last night's performance was dedicated to Jonathan Larson, the creator of Rent who died right after the final dress rehearsal, just like the first show. Reflecting on Larson, producer Allan S. Gordon told the AP, "I don't miss what he didn't write. I feel bad that he isn't here to enjoy what he did."
~ Broadwayworld.com covered the dedication of a bench at the real Life Cafe to Larson.
~ Over the Weekend, The New York Times' Anthony Tommasini reflected on his historic interview with Larson, just hours before he died.
~ Sara Krulwich, the Times' photographer with Tommasini on that assignment, recalls her journey with Rent, including telling the cast that Larson had posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Both of their pieces remind me of the value of arts journalism and beat reporting as the first draft of history.
The closing cast included Frankfort's own Will Chase as Roger, and though Rent has closed on Broadway, we will get to the see the show. The final cast was filmed, and the it will be shown in movie theaters Sept. 24, 25, 27 and 28. The Lexington Theatres will be Regal Hamburg Pavilion and Fayette Mall Cinemas.