Mark Cohen is a struggling Jewish documentary filmmaker and the narrator of the show. He is the roommate of Roger Davis and the former roommate of Tom Collins. He is also the ex-boyfriend of Maureen Johnson.
Christmas Eve at 9 P.M. Mark begins a new documentary, as his roommate, Roger Davis, tunes up his guitar ("Tune Up 1") but they are quickly interrupted by a call from Mark's mother, who claims she was sorry to hear about his break-up with Maureen Johnson ("Voicemail 1"). Roger and Mark receive a call from their former friend and roommate Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III. Benny bought Mark and Roger's apartment building, as well as the lot next door after marrying into a wealthy family. He has plans to evict the homeless from the lot and build a Cyber Studio in its stead. He tells them last year's rent is due ("Tune Up 2"). The electrical power goes out. Mark and Roger refuse to pay their rent ("Rent").
Mark tries to get Roger out of the apartment. Mark reveals that Roger has been living in withdrawal for the past year due to his girlfriend April's suicide after discovering they both had AIDS. Mark leaves to find Collins after reminding Roger to take his AZT ("Tune Up 3"). Back at the apartment, Collins arrives with the standard groceries 'Bustelo, Malboro, Bananas by the bunch,' which was all provided to them by Collin's [very] recent lover. Angel gives the boys a performance telling the story of how she drove an annoying dog to suicide by playing her drums too loud. Shortly after, Benny arrives with an offer: if they convince Maureen to cancel her protest, he'll let them live in his new studio project, rent-free ("You'll See"). However, the two rebuff his offer. After Benny leaves, Angel and Collins invite Mark and Roger to attend a local HIV support group meeting. Mark hurries off to help fix Maureen's sound equipment for the protest, only to run into Maureen's new girlfriend Joanne. They overcome the awkwardness of their meeting and connect over their feelings for Maureen ("Tango: Maureen"). Mark then enters into the support group meeting ("Life Support"). Collins, Mark and Angel help a homeless woman who is being harassed by police officers. She then mocks Mark for trying to assuage his guilt ("On the Street"). At the Life Café after the show, Benny criticizes the protest and the group's Bohemian lifestyle. Mark and all the bohemians in the café rise up and celebrate the Bohemian lifestyle ("La Vie Boheme A"). As the first act closes, Mark reveals that amidst the riot, Roger and Mimi share their first kiss ("La Vie Boheme B").
Opening with "Seasons of Love" the second act takes place over the course of the year following the first act ("Seasons of Love").
Having been locked out of their apartment by Benny; Mark, Roger, and the Bohemians gather to break-in ("Happy New Year A"). We learn through a series of voicemails ("Voicemail #3") that Mark had filmed the riot which had made the nightly news, and that he has a job offer from Alexi Darling at Buzzline, a tabloid news program.
The others finally break through the door just as Benny arrives. He says he's there to call a truce.
The company sings a reprise of "Seasons of Love", as time passes and seasons change ("Seasons of Love B"). Mark continues to receive calls from Alexi Darling ("Voicemail #4").
At Angel's funeral, the friends briefly come together to share their memories of Angel, with Collins being the last to speak ("I'll Cover You [Reprise]"). Mark expresses his fear of being the only one left surviving when the rest of his friends die of AIDS or break up ("Halloween"). He finally accepts the job offer from Buzzline. After everyone leaves, Mark confronts Roger about his behavior towards Mimi. As the two friends fight, Mark reveals that Roger's feelings aren't jealousy towards Benny, but fear of losing Mimi to AIDS. Benny and Mark take Mimi to a rehab center.
Feeling alone and conflicted, Mark reflect on his life and on the past year with their friends. He reach an artistic epiphany, as Mark finds his film in Angel's memory. Roger returns to New York just in time for Christmas, and Mark quits Buzzline to work on his own film ("What You Own").
Worried about their children not answering their calls, the cast's parents leave several messages on their phones ("Voicemail #5"). On Christmas Eve, exactly one year after the start of the first act, Mark has finished his film and is ready to screen it. Collins enters with handfuls of cash, revealing that he reprogrammed an ATM at a convenience store to provide money to anybody with the code (A-N-G-E-L). Maureen and Joanne abruptly enter carrying Mimi, who is very weak and close to death. Mimi appears to die, but suddenly awakens. She says that she was heading into a light, but Angel told her to go back. The surviving Bohemians gather together to rejoice and resolve to enjoy whatever time they have left with each other and reaffirm that there is "no day but today" ("Finale B").
|"Tune Up 1"||Roger|
|"Tune Up 2"||Roger, Collins and Benny|
|"Rent"||Roger, Benny, Collins, Joanne Jefferson and Company|
|"Tune Up 3"||Roger|
|"Today 4 U"||Collins, Roger and Angel|
|"You'll See"||Benny, Roger, Collins and Angel|
|"Life Support"||Gordon, Paul, and Company|
|"Another Day"||Mimi, Roger and Company|
|"Will I?"||Steve and Company|
|"On the Street"||Preachers, Squeegee Man, Collins, Angel and homeless woman|
|"Santa Fe"||Collins, Angel, and Company|
|" La Vie Bohème||the waiter, Roger, Benny, Mimi, Collins, Angel, Maureen, Joanne, Mr. Grey and Company|
|"La Vie Bohème B"||Maureen, Joanne, Boheme girl, Angel and Company|
|" Seasons of Love"||Company|
|"Happy New Year A"||Roger, Mimi, Collins, Angel, Maureen, and Joanne|
|"Happy New Year B"||Roger, Mimi, Collins, Angel, Maureen, Joanne, and Benny|
|"Seasons of Love B"||Company|
|"Contact"||Angel and Company|
|"I'll Cover You" (Reprise)||Collins and Company|
|"Goodbye Love"||Roger, Mimi, Collins, Maureen, Joanne, and Benny|
|"What You Own"||Roger|
|"Finale A"||Roger, Collins, Maureen, Joanne, and Mimi|
|" Finale B"||Company|
|1996 - 1998||Anthony Rapp|
|1998 - 2000||Jim Poulos|
|2000 - 2002||Trey Ellet|
|2004 - 2004||Matt Caplan|
|2004 - 2005||Drew Lachey|
|2005 - 2006||Matt Caplan|
|2006 - 2007||Christopher J. Hanke|
|2007 - 2008||Harley Jay|
20th Anniversary US Tour
|2016 - 2017||Danny Harris Kornfeld|
|2017 - 2018||Sammy Ferber|
|2018 - 2019||Logan Marks|
|2019 - 2020||Cody Jenkins|