The show, while great, isn't for all ages. There are many parts of the show that are objectionable for children. There is adult language along with many references to drugs and casual sex (some scenes are quite explicit about this as well). That said, as a parent and an economist, that's not the part of Rent that's most inappropriate for children. It's a song at the beginning, Rent. This song doesn't contain the conventional items that parents that would consider inappropriate. They should, however.
Here are some of the lyrics: (Link to song here on Youtube)
How do you document real lifeAnd more:
When real life's getting more like fiction each day?
Headlines, bread-lines blow my mind
And now this deadline, eviction or pay rent
We're hungry and frozen, some life that we've chosenAnd more:
How we gonna pay? How we gonna pay?
How we gonna pay? Last year's rent?
Draw a line in the sand and then make a stand
Use your camera to spar, use your guitar
When they act tough, you call they're bluff
We're not gonna pay, we're not gonna payThis is what's offensive. It's easy to teach that drug use and promiscuous sex are bad. A song that celebrates people who want to live for free in a place without paying rent, that's a bit tougher. This is a rock-and-roll song celebrating people who feel they've been wronged because they're being asked to ... gasp ... pay rent.
We're not gonna pay, last year's rent
This year's rent, next year's rent
The show is entertaining, but if you take your children (or teens), be sure to have a discussion of why the song Rent is so inappropriate.