The Story of RENT Essay

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The Story of RENT Jonathan Larson is the father of the masterpiece that is RENT. He was born on February 4, 1960 to a Jewish family in White Plains, New York. Larson's parents were great lovers of the arts, and exposed their children to the theatre productions such as 1776, Fiddler on the Roof, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, and La Boheme, amongst many others (the later two became enormous influences) whenever it was possible. Larson attended White Plains High School, where he acted in all of the school's productions. After graduation, he received a full scholarship as an actor to attend Adelphi University on Long Island. During his four years there, Larson's passion shifted from acting to composing and writing music. He would write music for the school's cabarets which would provide a place for political insight. Jonathan was asked by a department head to write the music for a piece he had been working on. During his time at Adelphi Larson met his idol Stephen Sondheim, who advised him to follow his dreams of composing. After graduating, Larson moved into the city into a five floor walk-up loft with no heat, and some of the most horrible living conditions, complete with a bathtub in the kitchen. He worked as a waiter at the Moondance Diner, three days a week, barely just enough to pay the bills, so he could have as much time as was possible to work on his music. Jonathan wrote music and lyrics constantly. He expressed his desire to write a new song everyday. He created several pieces prior to RENT including Superbia, a musical about a media controlled society, based on George Orwell's 1984, and tick, tick…BOOM!, a rock monologue which expressed Larson's frustration at his lack of achievement at the age of thirty, and struggling with the decision of whether to continue or not. Though these shows had small productions, they weren't enough to make a

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