Twelve years and 5,124 performances later, Broadway bids adieu today to Rent, the New York Daily News reports. The beloved musical, which follows a group of bohemians and street folk through AIDS-ravaged, early-1990s East Village, “speaks to people's hearts," an original cast members tells the AP. It also spoke their wallets: The award-winning musical has grossed more than $280 million on Broadway.
Like the drug-addled artists it depicts, Rent had humble and tragic origins. It wowed critics off-Broadway before rocketing to the bigtime, but creator Jonathon Larson died of an aortic aneurism in 1996 before Rent's first performance. “I don't miss what he didn't write,” a producer said. “I feel bad that he isn't here to enjoy what he did."