The Life Cafe

Anthony Rapp, Mark Cohen in Rent, outside The Life Cafe.

The Life Café is where the end of the first act of the Rent takes place. The song “La Vie Bohème”, which occurs before the intermission and is one of the most popular scenes from the play, is performed here. The Life Café was chosen for this particular scene because Jonathan Larson was a frequent of the café. The Life café webpage reads, “Jonathan Larson frequented the East Village and he liked hanging out at Life Cafe, sipping coffee while watching, interviewing and writing Rent. He observed the neighborhood people who regularly met at Life Cafe.” Larson liked to hang out in the Life Café. In fact, while Larson was writing Rent he would write in the café at times.[14] Sadly, however, the Life Café has closed permanently. While it was open, Jonathan Larson wrote much of the play at the café and the café worked to keep his memory alive after he died. The café first opened in 1981 and closed in 2012.