Rent

Rent, loosely based on the classic Puccini opera, La Boheme, brought a whole new generation of audience members to the Broadway theater…namely, teens and young adults. This musical is not your traditional song and dance production but provides young audiences (and seasoned theater-goers) with something a little different. Back up by a three-piece rock band, the actors speak and sing about some of today’s most controversial issues, including AIDS, homosexuality, drug abuse, and homelessness. The songs and stories are touching, told by a group of struggling artists on NY’s East Village, and the audience finds themselves intimately involved with the characters by the end of the show. Rent won the Best Musical Tony in 1996, despite the fact that its creator, Jonathan Larson, died suddenly on the eve of opening night. It was also the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for drama.