About Me

My photo
I'm an NYC-based director, and this is an outlet for my various musings about theater and about the city of New York. Sometimes the subjects run together, sometimes they are entirely separate, but between the two they comprise the most fitful, most intense, most trying love affair of my few years. They fill my head, my heart, my mouth every hour of every day; they could fill a book.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I just found out, through this post on Kevin Daly's Theater Aficionado at Large that there is a Rent revival in the works at New World Stages.

This comes as fabulous news to me, as Rent is one of approximately 9507843957 shows in New York that I really, really meant to see and yet found myself on the day of its closing wondering if it was too late to get tickets. Rent has a particularly special place in that category because, as a sensitive and somewhat strange adolescent growing up in the mid-to-late nineties, I had a lot of friends who were Rentheads. Like, a lot a lot. AND I was a theater kid, which made it doubly bad. I always wanted to know what the kerfuffle was about, but somehow missed it each of the few times it came on tour to my hometown. When I moved to New York, I thought, great, now I'll definitely see this show - it's right there. But I never actually got around to it, because I knew it was right there. And then, one day, it wasn't.

"Oh well," I told my friend Sarah after it closed. "I'll just have to wait for the revival."

"You're going wait around for 10 years?" she asked.

"What?" I said, "I'm clearly not in any big hurry to see it."

As it turns out, I didn't have to wait nearly so long. Mr. Daly posits the question in his post: how soon is too soon? Normally, I would say that there is an appropriate amount of time to wait before remounting a show. The point of a revival is to give old material new perspective for new eyes. I was a little affronted when Les Mis re-opened so quickly. What, exactly, was the point of that? It seemed somehow disrespectful to the original production.

Rent, though, because it's moving to an off-Broadway venue, seems like a different animal to me. More akin to the recent moves by Avenue Q and The 39 Steps than the big Broadway revival of Les Miserables. True, unlike Q and 39, Rent will not be the same show moving to a smaller space. It will have new producers and be under new direction. But I think the idea is the same: here is a new environment for an old show where it is more likely to thrive. So I'll allow it.

But this news has gotten me thinking. I am so excited to see this show which, only a few years ago, I thought I had missed out on completely. I'm sure I'm not alone. So, is there a market out there for
big shows to go out Celine Dion-style, coming in and out of retirement as many times as they can inflate the ticket price of a "comeback performance"? Has anyone ever tried this?

No comments:

Post a Comment