I didn't know about this till it was over, but apparently something called "Rent Remixed" played in London for almost five months, ending a few weeks ago.
And from what I can tell, it wasn't nearly a short enough run.
Mark, ripping off his Abercrombie shirt at the end of "La Vie Boheme" to show his six-pack? An Angel who doesn't wear drag? A white Joanne? Mimi doing "Out Tonight" as a burlesque with backup dancers?
I know Rent just didn't work in London originally. I saw it twice there, and it was all American tourists. It's just too New York of a story to last anywhere else.
(Although - to digress for a little story - and Karen can back me up - closing night in London was unbelievably moving. Mimi stayed onstage as the lights came up, and did a sad little dance in the center spotlight, holding her hands up to catch the end of the snow falling down on her. And then, outside, the cast looked down on Shaftesbury Avenue from their dressing room windows, while the audience poured out into the street and, impromptu, sang "Seasons of Love" up to them. It still gives me chills just to think about it. Brrr.)
But to do this to the show? I won't go all melodramatic and call it blasphemy. People liked it, and it's cool that that they had a general admission offer. And I thought the movie was pretty bad, too, so clearly I'm an old grump.
But why couldn't they all just have left the original alone? Yes, it's an early-90's period piece now. What's wrong with that?