"Rent" Hits the Big Screen


In January, 1996, a musical hit Broadway that is still playing the Great White Way almost ten years later. It was called "Rent."

It was a rock opera loosely based on Puccini's "La Boheme." The setting was New York City in 1989. The props were sex, drugs, AIDS, poverty and death. The themes were love, joy, youthful yearning, and life.

"Rent" always drew a line between those who winced at its melodrama and those who soared with its passion. Now it's out in movie theaters, directed by the man who took Harry Potter to film and directed "Home Alone." And it's still working up the crowd.

Hear a conversation with director Chris Columbus and the music and cultural history of "Rent."


Chris Columbus, director of the new movie "Rent." His other directing credits include "Adventures in Babysitting," "Home Alone," "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

Evelyn McDonnell, pop culture writer at the Miami Herald. Former senior editor at The Village Voice, where she worked from 1988 to 2001. She interviewed more than 70 people to write the story of Rent's creation, which accompanies the show's libretto in the book "Rent: Vocal Selections."

Wilson Jermaine Heredia, winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Award for playing Angel in the musical Rent. He plays Angel in the movie version of Rent. His film credits include "Flawless" and "Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God...Be Back by Five."

Tracie Thoms, she has had a long acting career in regional, off-Broadway and Broadway productions, including "Drowning Crow," "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," "The Exonerated" and "Raisin in the Sun." She appeared in the 2004 indie film, "Brother to Brother."
She plays Joanne in the movie Rent.

This program aired on December 2, 2005. The audio for this program is not available.


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