Rent deals with starving artists living in New York City’s East Village. It focuses on the lives of Mark, a film-maker, who’s girlfriend, Maureen, a drama queen performance-artist-turned-lesbian, leaves him for another woman, Joanne who is an attorney. Mark lives with his roommate Roger, a struggling musician who just wants to write “one great song” before he dies of AIDS. One day he meets Mimi, an S&M dancer also with AIDS, and who is addicted to heroin. They fall in love. Mark and Roger’s ex-roommate Tom Collins, a philosopher, who has just returned from M.I.T meets and falls in love with Angel, a Latino street-drummer/drag queen.They also have AIDS. Mark and Roger are continuously hounded by their ex-roommate Benny, who is now their extremely wealthy landlord begging them for the rent. It focuses on a year in their lives, and their struggles of paying the rent, eviction, death, drugs, and living one day at a time.

Rent

Jonathan Larson

Jonathan Larson

Jonathan Larson

the opera 'La Boheme'

Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and the New York Theatre Workshop

Michael Greif

Marlies Yearby

Productions
Rent Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Nederlander Theatre - Opened 25 Jan 1996, closed 7 Sep 2008, 5124 performances

Cast: Gilles Chaisson, Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Rodney Hicks, Kristen Lee Kelly, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel, Aiko Nakasone, Timothy Britten Parker, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gwen Stewart, Byron Utley & Fredi Walker

Rent Original London

Original London Production

Shaftesbury Theatre - Opened 12 May 1998, closed 30 Oct 1999

Rent London Revival

Rent First London Revival

Prince of Wales Theatre - Opened 4 Dec 2001, closed 1 Mar 2003

Rent Remixed

Second London Revival - "Rent Remixed"

Duke of York's Theatre - Opened 16 Oct 2007, closed 1 Jan 1970

Rent - Broadway Revival

Off-Broadway Revival

New World Stages - Opened 11 Aug 2011, closed 1 Jan 1970



What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box

Synopsis

Twitter Synopsis:

A group of Bohemians living with AIDS document a year in their life as cross gendered relationships blossom against a struggle to live. 

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box


The show opens on Christmas Eve as an aspiring film maker Mark begins to make a documentary. He focus’s in on his room-mate Rodger who is tuning his guitar and trying to write ‘one great song’. The group live in the East village and struggle to pay their rent, despite owing it to one of their old friends Benny, who has left and married a rich woman. Their friend Collins comes to visit but is mugged on his way to the building and is found by Angel, a drag queen. The two both have AIDS and begin a bond. Mark tries to get Rodger to leave the apartment and face the world after his girlfriend dumped him and became a lesbian. Rodger is also suffering with AIDS and wants to make his mark on the world, when their neighbour Mimi arrives to ask for a light on her candle. The pair flirt and Mimi keeps letting her candle out so they can stay together.

Angel arrives with Collins and Benny tries to persuade the group to make Maureen cancel her protest against him. They reject his offer and Angel and Collins invite Mark and Roger to attend their AIDS support group meeting. Mark is called to help Maureen’s sound equipment for her protest, meeting her new girlfriend Joanne. They both commiserate about Maureen’s unfaithful ways. Mimi is a stripper and attempts to seduce Rodger, but he is afraid of falling in love again and reveals that he is scared of dying of AIDS. Collins tells Angel about his plans of moving to Santa Fe and the pair confess their love for each other, beginning a relationship. The group gather to watch Maureen’s protest show, and Roger finds Mimi buying drugs on the street. Maureen’s performance is avant garde and depicts Benny in a bad life. The group move on to the Life Café where they celebrate their life as bohemians Mimi and Rodger realise both of them have AIDS and they share their first kiss. The group are told they have to leave their apartment as there is a riot on the streets caused by Maureen’s protest.

The second act begins on New Year’s Eve as the group attempt to get back into their apartment. Mark’s footage of the riots appears on TV but he refuses to sell out. Benny reveals that he is a former lover of Mimi, which upsets Rodger. Maureen and Joanne fight about their relationship and we move forward to Spring of the next year. Rodger is growing jealous of Mimi and Benny’s relationship and accuses her of having an affair, when actually she is just taking drugs. Angel’s body begins to be consumed by AIDS and he passes away, leaving Collins heartbroken. At his funeral Mark begins to worry what will happen when all of his friends die around him. He accepts a job offer from the news company. Mimi and Rodger break up and both Rodger and Mark have an artistic epiphany as Mark decides to make his film about Angel’s memory and Rodger writes his song about Mimi.

As time moves on Collins finds money in an ATM as Maureen and Joanne find a dying Mimi who manages to tell Rodger that she loves him. He plays his new song to her as she passes away, but suddenly jumps back to life saying Angel told her to stay away from the light. The show ends a year after it began and the Bohemians rejoice in what they have.

Songs

Act I

  • Tune Up #1 …………..Mark, Roger, Mrs. Cohen,
  • Voice Mail #1 …………..Mark, Roger, Mrs. Cohen,
    …………………..Collins, Benny
  • Rent ………………….The Company
  • You Okay Honey?…………………………Angel, Collins
  • One Song Glory  …………………………………Roger
  • Light My Candle ……………………………Roger, Mimi
  • Tune Up #2
  • Voice Mail #2……………………..Mr. & Mrs. Jefferson
  • Today 4 U………………………………………Angel
  • You’ll See……………Benny, Mark, Collins, Roger, Angel
  • Tango: Maureen……………………………Mark, Joanne
  • Life Support………………….Paul, Gordon, The Company
  • Out Tonight……………………………………Mimi
  • Another Day……………………Roger, Mimi, The Company
  • Will I?…………………………….Steve, The Company
  • On the Street……………………………..The Company
  • Santa Fe   ……………………….Collins and The Company
  • I’ll Cover You …………………………Angel, Collins
  • We’re Okay…………………………………….Joanne
  • Christmas Bells……………………………The Company
  • Over the Moon…………………………………Maureen
  • La Vie Boheme/I Should Tell You……………..The Company

ACT II

  • Seasons Of Love …………………………..The Company
  • Happy New Year
  • Voice Mail #3…………..Mimi, Roger, Mark,
    Happy New Year B……….Maureen, Joanne, Collins,Angel, Mrs.
    …………….. Cohen, Alexi Darling, Benny
  • Take Me Or Leave Me …………………….Maureen, Joanne
  • Without You ……………………………….Roger, Mimi
  • Voice Mail #4……………………………Alexi Darling
  • Contact …………………………………..The Company
  • I’ll Cover You (Reprise) …………….Collins, The Company
  • Halloween …………………………………….Mark
  • Goodbye, Love………………..Mark, Mimi, Roger, Maureen,
    ………………. Joanne, Collins, Benny
  • What You Own, ……….Pastor, Mark, Collins, Benny, Roger
  • Voice Mail #5……………….Roger’s Mom, Mimi’s Mom, Mr.
    ……………….. Jefferson, Mrs. Cohen
  • Your Eyes, …………………….Roger
  • Finale B …………………….Roger, The Company
Awards

Winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Best American Drama
Winner of the 1996 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical.
Winner of the 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical.
Winner of the 1996 Drama League Award for Best Musical.
Winner of six 1996 Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, Book, Score, and Lyrics.
Winner of four 1996 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book (both Jonathan Larson) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Wilson Jermaine Heredia).

Licensing

UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: Musical Theatre International