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Rent [Original Broadway Cast Recording] ()

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An optimistic modernization of Puccini's opera La bohème, Jonathan Larson's Rent was revered by the theater community as the revitalizing hope for the Great White Way. While the musical itself is highly acclaimed and lauded, having acquired numerous Tonys and Obies, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for drama, this Dreamworks recording lacks much of what makes the live performances so endearing. The music, an eclectic jumble of pop ballads, gospel, dance, and anthems, holds up well through repeated listens. The lyrics, however, when placed under close scrutiny, rely far too much on clichés, and they have a noticeable sense of incompletion. This could stem from the fact that Jonathan Larson died tragically the evening before the first off-Broadway performance. Mostly, though, what is noticeably missing is the spark of energy provided by the interaction between an exuberant cast and an adoring audience. Still, many of the songs are infectious, and the musical as a whole is very uplifting and hopeful.... Hide synopsis

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