Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway

Synopsis: Set in New York City's gritty East Village, the revolutionary rock opera RENT tells the story of a group of bohemians struggling to live and pay their rent. "Measuring their lives in love," these starving artists strive for success and acceptance while enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness and the AIDS epidemic.
165 min

We begin on Christmas Eve with me,

Mark, and my roommate, Roger.

We live in an industrial loft on the

corner of 11th Street and Avenue B.

It's the top floor of what was once

a music-publishing factory.

Old rock 'n' roll posters

hang on the walls.

They have Roger's picture

advertising gigs... CBGB's and the Pyramid Club.

We have an illegal

wood-burning stove.

Its exhaust pipe crawls up

to a skylight.

All of our electrical appliances

are plugged...

...into one thick extension cord

which snakes its way out a window.

Outside, a small tent city has sprung

up in the lot next to our building.

Inside, it's freezing

because we have no heat.


December 24th, 9 p. m.

Eastern Standard Time

From here on in,

I shoot without a script

See if anything comes of it

Instead of my old sh*t

First shot Roger

Tuning the Fender guitar

He hasn't played in a year

- This won't tune

- So we hear

He's just coming back

From half a year of withdrawal

- You talking to me?

- Not at all

Are you ready?

Hold that focus steady

Tell the folks at home

What you're doing, Roger

I'm writing one great-

- The phone rings

- Saved


Zoom in on the answering machine

- Speak.

- Speak.

That was a very loud beep

I don't even know if this is working

Mark? Mark? Are you there?

Are you screening your calls?

It's Mom

We wanted to call

And say we love you

And we'll miss you tomorrow

Cindy and the kids are here

Send their love

Oh, I hope you like the hot plate

Just don't leave it on, dear

When you leave the house

Oh, and Mark

We're sorry to hear

That Maureen dumped you

I say c'est la vie

So let her be a lesbian

There are other fishies in the sea

Love, Mom

Tell the folks at home

What you're doing, Roger

- I'm writing one great song

- The phone rings

We screen

- Speak.

- Speak.

- Chestnuts roasting

- Collins

- I'm downstairs

- Hey

Roger picked up the phone?

- No, it's me

- Throw down the key

A wild night is now preordained

I may be detained

What does he mean?

What do you mean, detained?

- Benny. Sh*t.

- Sh*t.

- Dudes, I'm on my way

- Great, f***

- I need the rent

- What rent?

- This past year's rent, which I let slide.

- Let slide?

You said we were golden.

- When you bought the building

- When we were roommates

- Remember, you lived here?

- How could I forget?

You, me, Collins and Maureen.

How is the drama queen?

She's performing tonight.

I know.

Still a production manager?

Two days ago, I was bumped.

- You still dating her?

- Last month, I was dumped

- She's in love

- Oh, she's got a new man?

- Well, no-

- What's his name?

- Joanne.

- Joanne.

Rent, my amigos, is due,

or I will have to evict you.

Be there in a few.

The power blows.

How do you document real life

When real life's getting more

Like fiction each day?

Headlines, bread lines

Blow my mind

And now this deadline

Eviction or pay


How do you write a song

When the chords sound wrong?

Though they once sounded

Right and rare

When the notes are sour

Where is the power

You once had to ignite the air?

- We're hungry and frozen

- Some life we've chosen

- How we gonna pay?

- How we gonna pay?

- How we gonna pay?

- How we gonna pay?

- How we gonna pay

- How we gonna pay

- Last year's rent?

- Last year's rent?

We light candles.

How do you start a fire

When there's nothing to burn

And it feels like something's stuck

In your flue?

How can you generate heat

When you can't feel your feet

- And they're turning blue?

- And they're turning blue?

You light up a mean blaze

- With posters

- And screenplays

- How we gonna pay?

- How we gonna pay?

- How we gonna pay?

- How we gonna pay?

- How we gonna pay

- How we gonna pay

- Last year's rent?

- Last year's rent?

Don't screen, Maureen, it's me.

Joanne, your substitute

production manager.

Hey, hey, hey. Did you eat?

Don't change the subject, Maureen

But, darling,

You haven't eaten all day

You won't throw up

You won't throw up

The digital delay

didn't blow up, exactly.

There may have been one teeny,

tiny spark.

You're not calling Mark.

How do you stay on your feet

When on every street

It's trick or treat

And tonight it's trick?

Welcome back to town

I should lie down

Everything's brown

And, uh-oh, I feel sick

- Where is he?

- Getting dizzy

- How we gonna pay?

- How we gonna pay?

How we gonna pay?

How we gonna pay

Last year's rent?

Allison, baby

You sound sad

I can't believe those two

After everything I've done

Ever since our wedding, I'm dirt

They'll see

I can help them all out

In the long run

The music ignites the night

- With passionate fire

- Maureen, I'm not a theater person.

The narration crackles and pops

With incendiary wit

Could never be a theater person.

Zoom in as they burn the past

To the ground

And feel the heat

Of the future's glow

Hello. Maureen.

Your equipment won't work?

Okay, all right, I'll go.

How do you leave the past behind

When it keeps finding ways

To get to your heart?

It reaches way down deep

And tears you inside out

Till you're torn apart


How can you connect in an age

Where strangers, landlords, lovers

Your own blood cells betray?

What binds the fabric together

When the raging, shifting winds

Of change keep ripping away?

Draw a line in the sand

And then make a stand

- Use your camera to spar

- Use your guitar

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Jonathan Larson

Jonathan David Larson (February 4, 1960 – January 25, 1996) was an American composer and playwright noted for exploring the social issues of multiculturalism, addiction, and homophobia in his work. Typical examples of his use of these themes are found in his works Rent and tick, tick... BOOM! He received three posthumous Tony Awards and a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the rock musical Rent. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 4 Mar. 2024. <>.

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