Soap fans and Broadway fanatics alike are in for a treat. Rent — the long-running musical that closed in September after an 12-year stay — is now available on DVD. The final performance, which starred Renee Elise Goldsberry (ex-Evangeline, OLTL) and Jay Wilkison (ex-Riley, OLTL), was released today, Feb. 3. Titled Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway, the DVD includes the cast’s Sept. 7 performance live, as well as many special features. For more information or to make a purchase, visit www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/rentfilmedliveonbroadway. Check out what Goldsberry and Wilkison had to say about their experiences below.How excited are you that your performance has been made permanent with the release of Rent’s final Broadway performance on DVD?
Wilkison: I was very excited that the show was documented in such a great way. I will treasure it and always be grateful for getting to be a part of the show. It changed my life.
Goldsberry: I was honored to have been in the final performance of Rent on Broadway. And I am thrilled that the performance and the experience as a whole that night lives on DVD in this movie.
What was it like that final night, performing in front of all of the cameras and the die-hard Rent-heads?
Wilkison: As I’m sure anyone else would say, the last night was surreal. I was at a loss for words the entire night and the week to follow. It took a bit to register that it was finished on Broadway.
Goldsberry: The final night was surreal, with so many layers to it. We were performing the show for the very last time, so we were trying to enjoy every last moment and say goodbye. We had movie cameras in the house recording our performance for posterity. This added the pressure of wanting to give a performance that did this important story justice. And the house was filled with previous Broadway cast members, including many members of the original cast. It is always daunting to perform for your peers. Fortunately they were in the house sending love to the stage, cheering us on all the way. It was truly awesome — the perfect night.
What was the best part of being in the show?
Wilkison: Being part of that show.
Goldsberry: It’s impossible to single out one thing as best. With this show, there is too much competition. I love this musical. I love Mimi. I could work on that character for years and still discover new truths about her, about me… I loved working or I should say playing with the cast. They are brilliant actors and brilliant people. I was proud to be on stage every night as a member of that family, celebrating love and life.
Any memorable fan encounters while you were in the show?
Wilkison: Almost every fan encounter was memorable, because most of them got the real meaning of the show.
Goldsberry: My fans have never let me down. I have never been a part of any event where I didn’t have at least one fan show up to support me. And this is in spite of me — I am horrible at letting people know what I am up to. So yes, I had ONE LIFE TO LIVE fans there all of the time. And we often turned it into a big party, using the show as an excuse to reconnect. I have these moments saved for posterity as well because they showered me with presents to keep, and we took a lot of pictures.
Did you get a lot of OLTL fans turn out to see you perform?
Wilkison: Through my time in the show, I encountered a good amount of OLTL fans who came to the show. Some that knew I was there and some that didn’t. They were all very sweet.
Since you are both singers, are you pursuing that currently in addition to acting endeavors?
Wilkison: I will always love to sing, but most of my focus for work is acting.
Goldsberry: I am so grateful to be able to pursue both singing and acting endeavors. I feel blessed to work in film, television and in the theater. What’s happening in my career is only rarely front-page news, but it never gets boring.
Is there anything else you would like the fans to know?
Wilkison: Thanks for all the support to all the fans!
Goldsberry: I would like to thank my fans again for being there for me. I look forward to our next reunion!