Rent To Own

If there's one term in music that doesn't always live up to the hype it's "rock opera." Sure, The Who and Bowie pulled off their versions pretty well, but for every Tommy there's a "rock opera" that's really more of an "adult contemporary musical". Case in point: Rent, the 1996 Jonathan Larson musical best summed up as "a Meatloaf album with AIDS." Not that there's anything wrong with that. Though Larson famously died of a brain aneurysm on the eve of Rent's opening, the effects of his work have been felt the world over. The daring subject matter--equal parts HIV, homelessness and drug addiction--revitalized musical theater for a new generation, while at the same time easing gay culture into the bedrooms of teenage girls across Middle America (as more states wise up and follow the lead of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa and Vermont on gay marriage, we'll have Larson, at least in part, to thank.) It just doesn't quite "rock." Sorry, Rent-heads. But if you're jonesin' to hear "Seasons of Love" live, we've got quite the treat for you this week, as Rent rolls into the Music Hall in Fair Park for eight shows beginning at 8 p.m. Tuesday (and running through Sunday, May 10). This production features original cast members Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp in their roles as Roger Davis and Mark Cohen, respectively. Tickets are $20 to $80. Visit
Tue., May 5, 8 p.m.; Wed., May 6, 8 p.m.; Thu., May 7, 8 p.m.; Fri., May 8, 8 p.m.; Sat., May 9, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., May 10, 2 & 8 p.m., 2009
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Noah W. Bailey
Contact: Noah W. Bailey