MUSIC: LULLABIES OF BROADWAY

NEW YORK'S TWO HIPPEST MUSICALS ARE OUT ON CD. ARE THEY STILL HIP AS ALBUMS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT?

Broadway, almost by definition, is an elitist place. It's located in a single area in a single city; the tickets are pricey, and the shows often appeal to glitzy, tuxedo-wearing values from a seemingly bygone era. But two of Broadway's biggest recent hits, the rock opera Rent and the tap-dance epic Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk, in some respects stand in opposition to all that. Rent is about fighting landlords and hiv; Noise/Funk is about struggling with the Man, racist cab drivers and whitewashed history. Still, despite the populist appeal of these shows, you can see them in...

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