The window card for the original Broadway production featuring Pascal, Menzel, Rubin-Vega, Martin, Rapp, Walker, Diggs, and Heredia.

Rent (often stylized RENT) is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson. It was based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème. Rent tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians (known to themselves as Bohemians), struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of the Bohemian East Village, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

The musical was first seen in a limited two-week workshop run at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1994. This off-Broadway theatre was also the musical's initial home following its official January 1996 opening. Tragically, Larson, the show's creator, died suddenly of an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm, the night before the off-Broadway premiere. The premiere was cancelled and the cast did a sing-through of the play instead in his honor. Rent won a 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was ultimately a hit. It moved to Broadway's larger Nederlander Theater on April 29th, 1996.

On Broadway, Rent gained critical acclaim and won a Tony Award for Best Musical, among other awards. The musical brought together an ethnically diverse cast and controversial topics to a traditionally conservative medium, helping to increase the popularity of musical theater and AIDS awareness amongst the younger generation. The Broadway production closed on September 7th, 2008, after a 12-year run and 5,124 performances. It was the seventh-longest-running Broadway show. The production grossed over $280 million. At the time of its closing, it was the second-longest-running musical playing on Broadway, eight years behind the Phantom of the Opera.

The success of the show led to several national tours and numerous foreign productions, and in 2005, Rent was also adapted into a motion picture that featured many of the original cast members.

The original Broadway cast included Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel, Taye Diggs, and Fredi Walker.


Role Original Broadway Cast Final Broadway Cast
Mark Cohen Anthony Rapp Adam Kantor
Roger Davis Adam Pascal Will Chase
Mimi Márquez Daphne Rubin-Vega Renee Elise Goldsberry
Tom Collins Jesse L. Martin Michael McElroy
Angel Dumott Schunard Wilson Jermaine Heredia Justin Johnson
Maureen Johnson Idina Menzel Eden Espinosa
Joanne Jefferson Fredi Walker Tracie Thoms
Benjamin Coffin III Taye Diggs Rodney Hicks

Musical numbers[]

Act I[]

Number Character(s)
Tune Up #1 Roger and Mark
Voice Mail #1 Mrs. Cohen
Tune Up #2 Mark, Roger, Collins, and Benny
Rent Company
You Okay Honey? Collins and Angel
Tune Up #3 Mark and Roger
One Song Glory Roger
Light My Candle Roger and Mimi
Voice Mail #2 Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson
Today 4 U Mark, Roger, Collins, and Angel
You'll See Benny, Mark, Roger, Collins, and Angel
Tango: Maureen Mark and Joanne
Life Support Company
Out Tonight Mimi
Another Day Roger, Mimi, and Company
Will I? Company
On the Street Company
Santa Fe Collins, Angel, and Mark
I'll Cover You Collins and Angel
We're Okay Joanne
Christmas Bells Company
Over the Moon Maureen
Over the Moon (Playout) The Band
La Vie Bohème A Company
I Should Tell You Roger and Mimi
La Vie Bohème B Company

Act II[]

Number Character(s)
Seasons of Love Company
Happy New Year Mark, Roger, Mimi, Collins, Angel, Maureen, and Joanne
Voice Mail #3 Mrs. Cohen and Alexi
Happy New Year B Mark, Roger, Mimi, Collins, Angel, Maureen, Joanne, and Benny
Take Me or Leave Me Maureen and Joanne
Seasons of Love B Company
Without You Roger and Mimi
Voice Mail #4 Alexi
Contact Company
I'll Cover You (Reprise) Collins and Company
Halloween Mark
Goodbye Love Mimi, Roger, Maureen, Joanne, Mark, Collins, and Benny
What You Own Roger and Mark
Voice Mail #5 Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Márquez, Mrs. Cohen, and Mr. Jefferson
Finale A Company
Your Eyes Roger
Finale B Company
I'll Cover You (Playout) The Band


Highlights of Major Awards Won:

  • Pulitzer Prize - Drama (1996)
  • Tony Award - Best Musical
  • Tony Award - Best Score
  • Tony Award - Best Book
  • Tony Award - Best Featured Actor in a Musical
  • New York Drama Critics Circle Award - Best Musical
  • Drama Desk - Best Musical
  • Drama Desk - Best Music
  • Drama Desk - Best Lyrics
  • Drama Desk - Best Book
  • Drama Desk - Best Featured Actor in a Musical
  • Drama Desk - Best Arrangements
  • Obie Award - Outstanding Ensemble Performance

RENTRENT: Filmed Live on BroadwayRENT (Off-Broadway)RENT (Hollywood Bowl)RENT (2005)RENT Live