I considered whipping up an overly effusive review for the touring production of Rent after seeing the opening of its five-day run at the Paramount last night. But then I figured, it's fucking Rent. Everybody knows it's good. The rock musical about struggling artists and friends coping with AIDS and poverty on New York's Lower Eastside has won a billion Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize. It was even turned into a pretty decent film starring Rosario Dawson and the hot black guy from Law & Order a couple years ago.
The music is awesome ("Out Tonight" is one of my karaoke staples), the storyline and characters are compelling, and the cast includes Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp reprising their roles from the original Broadway production. It's worth coughing up some cash for.
But Rent's creator Jonathan Larson was a broke guy who lived in a tiny apartment and died just days before his masterpiece made its public debut. In honor of his memory, the seats in the two front rows are sold for $20 apiece so that struggling folks like Larson can enjoy a great theater experience. The tickets are available at the Paramount box office each evening starting two hours prior to show time. It's an awesome deal, but some words of advice: Get there early.