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Jonathan Larson’s exuberant East Village rock version of Puccini’s opera La Bohème won the Tony Award for Best Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Larson’s stirring and life-affirming score captures the heart and spirit of a generation of struggling artists, addicts, and impoverished young people living in the shadow of AIDS, battling the coming wave of gentrification. A time capsule of a world where hope crawls out of dark despair, these Bohemians find the salvation of love within each other and prove there can be a better world where art thrives, and everything good is free.

The poignancy of Rent is heightened by the unexpected and untimely death of the composer Jonathan Larson on the morning of the first preview performance off-Broadway in 1996.