THEATER: LOWER EAST SIDE STORY

RENT, A ROCK LA BOHEME IN THE AGE OF AIDS, IS A SENSATION NOW HEADED FOR BROADWAY. ALL THAT'S MISSING IS ITS CREATOR

JONATHAN LARSON WAS LOOKING TIRED and pale all week, but it might have been just the stress of preparing for the opening of his new musical, Rent. Twice he went to the hospital, complaining of chest pains and a fever; his trouble was diagnosed as food poisoning, and he was given a battery of tests. He managed to drag himself to the last dress rehearsal, but colleagues were concerned: Larson, who rode his bicycle even on the coldest winter days, came in a taxi. "You could see he was trying to conserve his strength," says director Michael Greif. The next morning,...

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