How do you measure 20 years of Rent? For the cast of Hamilton, it was by paying tribute to the musical smash on the two-decade anniversary of its 1996 Broadway opening.
On Friday, the Hamilton Twitter account shared a photo of its cast alongside one from Rent, along with a quote from the song “What You Own.”
“’When you’re living in America at the end of the millennium, you’re not alone.’ Tonight, we honor Rent after 20 [years],” the post said.
Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda also paid tribute to Rent’s creator, Jonathan Larson, who died on the eve of his show’s first off-Broadway preview in 1996 at the age of 35. “I think about an alternate timeline where Jonathan Larson is 56 years old, with many shows written & more on the way. Wish I could hear ’em,” Miranda wrote.
The musical, about struggling young artists in New York City’s East Village, ran on Broadway for nearly 5,000 performances before closing in 2008. It also was adapted into a 2005 feature film.
Rent’s connection to Hamilton goes beyond both being Broadway smashes with devoted fan bases. Current Hamilton cast members Leslie Odom, Jr. (Aaron Burr) and Renée Elise Goldsberry (Angelica Schuyler) both appeared in Rent during its Broadway run.
“One of the kind of crazy things about this experience is being in the opening company of Hamilton and being in the closing company of Rent,” Goldsberry said earlier this year during a panel at BroadwayCon. “And to think about what they set up for us so far down the road. I think about that a lot with this, because this is so much bigger than us sitting on this stage. This is something that will live so long ahead of the future.”
“There’s something that’s in the wood. It’s a legacy, they show you how to do it,” added Odom, Jr. “So you are quite literally walking in their footsteps. But without question, that’s the show that opened my heart.”