Celebrate 25 Years of Jonathan Larson’s Rent on Broadway

Following a hit Off-Broadway run at New York Theatre Workshop, Rent opened on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre April 29, 1996. The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, directed by Michael Greif with choreography by Marlies Yearby, played over 5,000 performances, running for 12 years before closing September 7, 2008. Nominated for 10 Tony Awards, the show won five, including Best Musical.

A rock retelling of La Bohème in the era of AIDS, Rent follows a group of bohemian artists struggling to create and find love in New York’s East Village. The musical was revolutionary for its thoughtful and nuanced depiction of the AIDS crisis on stage, the antithesis of the often flashy structure of musical theatre.

The original Broadway cast featured Anthony Rapp as Mark Cohen, Adam Pascal as Roger Davis, Taye Diggs as Benjamin Coffin III, Wilson Jermaine Heredia as Angel Schunard, Jesse L. Martin as Tom Collins, Idina Menzel as Maureen Johnson, Daphne Rubin-Vega as Mimi Marquez, Fredi Walker as Joanne Jefferson. Rounding out the cast were Rodney Hicks, Kristen Lee Kelly, Aiko Nakasone, Tomthy Britten Parker, Gwen Stewart, and Byron Utley with Yassmin Alers, Darius de Haas, Shelley Dickinson, David Driver, Mark Setlock, and Simone as swings.

The production featured scenic design by Paul Clay, costume design by Angela Wendt, lighting design by Blake Burba, sound design by Kurt Fischer, and film by Tony Gerber with stage management by John Vivian, Crystal Huntington, and Catherine J. Haley. Visit the Playbill Vault for the complete cast and creative team.