I am not here to call myself a RENT-head as I was not a part of the cult following that originated with the show circa 1996 (I was about 8 years old then) but the Jonathan Larson's masterpiece touched me just the same. I am quite embarrassed to say that I saw the movie before I saw the Broadway production, but nonetheless, the movie was my gateway to the show. It was March of 2006 and my senior year of high school when I took a trip to New York with my mom. I was obsessed with RENT's score and we tried to get tickets to the show, but because of the movie's popularity, tickets were hard to come by. We waited in freezing weather at TKTS but the only thing available was partial view. We had recently heard about the show's ticket lottery and decided we would try our hand at that. Our hotel concierge urged us to purchase tickets because the lottery was "nearly impossible" to win, but we thought we'd try our luck anyway.
I remember this like it was yesterday. My mom and I both wrote our names on sheets of paper and anxiously awaited the drawing. I could tell that most of the other people there that night were huge fans of the show and their love for RENT was infectious. Now I am not what I would consider a lucky person, but on that day something just felt right and sure enough, the first name drawn was mine! I couldn't keep from shaking as I handed the box office attendant the $40 to purchase my two front row tickets.
Now I don't know what I can say about RENT that hasn't already been said, but never in my life had I felt so much love and energy in one room. I have now seen the show several times, always from the front row as a lottery winner and I would never want to see it from anywhere else. There is really nothing like it, you feel like you are on stage with the actors and their energy is kinetic. This is one of those shows that has meant different things to me at different points in my life and what spoke to me then was the message "no day but today". It was a difficult time for me as I was preparing to choose a college and transition into a new phase in my life and the show's message really gave me the strength to seize these new opportunities. My first time seeing RENT is an experience that I will never forget and of all the theatre lotteries I've won over the years, this was truly the luckiest I've ever felt.