Trivia / RENT

  • Author Existence Failure: Jonathan Larson, the author of both the book and the music, died on the night of the final dress rehearsal. It's a tragically appropriate illustration of the show's message that you never know when your life will be over, so you should do as much as you can all the time. Contrary to popular belief, he died from an undiagnosed heart condition and not AIDS.
  • Cast the Expert: Roger is usually played by a guitarist.
  • Cut Song:
    • The stage show is nearly entirely sung-through; the movie converts several songs into dialogue or nixes them completely. Notable cuts include the various "Tune-Up" and "Voicemail" sequences, "We're Okay", "Christmas Bells", "Happy New Year" and "Contact". Furthermore, "Halloween" was recorded and filmed, but cut from the theatrical release. Less than 1/3 of "Goodbye Love" made the cut.
    • Not to mention all the songs that got cut from the stage version. Some are rather bad ("You'll Get Over It"—a duet between Mark and Maureen about her dating a woman—made him sound like an ignorant lout and her like a callous whore). Others, like "Real Estate" (a trio between Benny, Mark, and Alison where she and Benny try to convince Mark to give up filmmaking and go into the real estate business with Benny instead) were cut for length. Some would keep their melody with their lyrics being almost entirely rewritten, like "Right Brain" would become "One Song Glory".
    • The high school edition of RENT cuts Contact on account of the onstage orgy.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Mimi "You look like you're sixteen." "I'm nineteen, but I'm old for my age!" Marquez, originally played by the 27-year-old Daphne Rubin-Vega (though, since many of the other characters are only mid-twenties, the potential exists for them as well).
    • The age of the cast in the film seems to add to this as well — most of the actors were in their thirties at the time, and while their ages weren't set in stone in the play or film, they certainly felt more like twenty-something "starving artists".
    • The 20th anniversary tour in the UK removed the line about her age entirely due to Mimi being played by the gorgeous but in no way teenager like 32 year old Kerry Ellis.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: In a Cast Full of Gay, the only actor in the original cast who was actually gay was Anthony Rapp as Marc, a straight man.
  • Name's the Same: The Mark Cohen in this show is in no way related to the guy who wrote "Walking In Memphis."
  • The Other Darrin: Only Mimi and Joanne are recast in place of the originals for the movie, because Daphne Rubin-Vega was pregnant at the time and obviously gained too much weight to play a junkie dancer with AIDS, and Fredi Walker felt she was too old to portray a recent law school graduate. Her one request was to keep Joanne black.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Inverted — Jonathan Larson wrote this in memorial to his friends who had died of AIDS, but it's almost as if he wrote his own memorial. See the book "Without You" by Anthony Rapp for details.
  • Referenced by...: See here.
  • Romance on the Set
    • Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel met during the original production and were then married for ten years, afterwards becoming Amicable Exes.
    • Wilson Heredia and his makeup artist from the movie.
    • In the 2007 Australian production, Anthony Callea (Mark) and Tim Campbell (Roger), perhaps ironically.
  • Star-Making Role: Idina Menzel quickly became a Broadway sensation after playing Maureen.
  • Those Two Actors: Movie version - Tracie Thoms and Rosario Dawson also starred together in Death Proof.
  • Throw It In:
    • In the movie version of "The Tango Maureen" the eyebrow lift and jacket toss were added in for fun during rehearsals, and the director kept it in.
    • In the movie's "Today 4 U" Tom making the 'whipped' gesture and sound effect, and Angel popping out of the frame were ad-libs the actors after the director called "cut".
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The movie, starts on Christmas Eve 1989, but the show has always been synonymous with The '90s. The internet and Virtual Reality as an evil takeover plot, AIDS spreading like wildfire, etc. However, the movie also created a serious anachronism: The Thelma & Louise joke in "Today 4 U".
  • What Could Have Been
    • One pass of the script began at Angel's funeral, with Marc flashing back to How We Got Here.
    • NBC reportedly considered televising a live production in December 2017, until they instead decided to air Bye Bye Birdie in that timeslot.
    • Jennifer Hudson auditioned for the role of Joanne in the film version. American Idol contestant Frenchie Davis was also considered.
    • There was a shot of April lying dead in the bathtub but they couldn't decide where to put it in, and left it out of the final film.
    • An early idea for the film adaptation was to have it all revealed to be a Film Within a Film.

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