2. Jonathan’s Apartment
A significant part of the film’s action also takes place inside Jonathan’s apartment, located at 508 Greenwich Street in Soho, where he writes his musicals (“SUPERBIA,” “tick, tick… BOOM!,” and “RENT”), hosts friends, and stages rehearsals. It would also be where Larson was found dead on January 25, 1996, the morning of what was going to be Rent’s first off-Broadway preview, from a sudden aortic aneurysm. Eagle eye musical folks may note that the apartment in Rent is located in Alphabet City, an agreement Larson made with playwright Billy Aronson with whom he worked on the original concept. DiGerlando says that the apartment is “hallowed ground for the Broadway set.”
The apartment building has remained basically the same since the 1990s so the production designers were able to recreate the apartment on a set, with assistance from photos and home videos from Larson’s family and friends to decorate the interior. Some items on the set actually belonged to Larson and others were created for the set to match.