Around September, three months prior to the beginning of the show, he and Mimi Marquez were presumably in a relationship. Around the time that Mimi and Benny broke up, he met Alison Grey, and married her sometime in November or December, before purchasing the building that used to house him, and the room that he lived in before moving into Alison's house.
During the first act of the musical, Benny rings up to tell them that they have to pay up on last year's rent, and begins to comfort Alison, telling her that they'll learn from what he is forcing them to do ("Rent"). Benny shows up to the building, and gives them a choice, convince Maureen to cancel the protest and stay there for free, or let her protest continue, and have to pay the rent ("You'll See"). Benny is at Maureen's show, and it breaks out into a riot, where people are hurting each other, and the police take action ("Over the Moon"). Benny is at the Life Cafe after Maureen's show, and everyone is planning to have a party. Benny comes over to congratulate Maureen's try, but saying it didn't work. He confronts Mimi, and asks her if she has revealed that they were going out toRoger. Eventually, embarrassed, Benny leaves, and lets them celebrate, while evacuating their place. ("La Vie Boheme A").
In act two, Benny shows up far less. Benny offers a truce, and none of them agree to it, and also reveals that Mimi seduced him into doing it ("Happy New Year B"). He attends Angel's funeral, and the ceremony afterwards. ("Goodbye Love"). Benny, in the end, turns around and lets Mimi (who lives beneath Roger and Mark), Roger, and Mark off of paying their rent, and celebrates their new-found appreciation for life ("Finale A" and "B").
Taye Diggs Edit
Taye originated the Role of Benny in the 1996 Broadway premiere of RENT. The musical also starred his future spouse Idina Menzel. He reprised the role, along with most of the original cast, for the 2005 movie adaptation and went on to be nominated in the Best Cast category of the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards for the role. He did not win.
Karlo Valdez Edit
Karlo played Benny in the Ending HIV Season of Rent in Auckland at the Playhouse Theater.
Rodney Hicks Edit
Rodney played Benny in the 2008 filmed final performance of RENT on Broadway.
In 2019, FOX television network aired a "live" adaptation of RENT. The adaptation was not actually live, but previously recorded due to the injury of a cast member. Singer Mario Dewar Barrett portrayed Benny.