RENT vs. Mortgage —
Are You What You Own?
A question for you:
Where would you go if you had the entire world at your feet?
A lyric from one of my favorite shows, Rent — Jonathan Larson’s hit rock musical from the late 90’s.
Loosely based on the Puccini opera “La Boheme”, Rent won multiple awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical (1996) and flourished on Broadway for 12 years.
It then expanded into multiple national tours, a hit movie in 2005, and also a live TV presentation starring A-list celebrities in 2019.
But sadly, Jonathan Larson never had the opportunity to enjoy the worldwide prosperity of his work. He merely kindled the flame, that ignited an entire era. In a tragic twist of events, Larson passed away unexpectedly of an aortic aneurysm, the night before Rent was to make its premiere debut off-Broadway in 1996.
Some may argue the show is no longer relevant. But it was definitely a reflection of 90’s pop culture, and the overall social & political environment at the time.
It essentially embodies everything that was loved, hated, endured, provoked and questioned throughout an entire decade of evolution and angst.
A coming of age narrative, before everything became so technologically-dependent and “smart”.
The show centers around a circle of friends trying to navigate their lives through challenges, love interests, money woes and health crises. And it has a main focus on the AIDS epidemic, which plays heavily into many of the character progressions.
I, for one, choose to embrace the multiple messages woven throughout the storyline and within the score. Knowing it was a reflection of the day, and absolutely imperative to that very specific point in time. So that’s why I feel it will always be a musical classic.
But present day relevance aside, the lyrics below are what have recently sparked my interest, to result in this blog post.
It’s about the past, and it’s about the future. And it’s also about taking advantage of what is now sitting there in front of you —