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Private Eyes & Other Tough Guys

A never-complete listing of private dicks and janes, and selected other tough guys and gals, listed by character, with all appearances in novels, short stories, film, television, radio and other media..

Inclusion on this list generally means I've heard of the eye, and that if a bio and bibliography is missing, chances are that it's forthcoming, but not necessarily. If I seem to have neglected your fave, why not contact us?

If you can't remember the name of the eye you're looking for, you can always search for them via the Film, Television, Radio or Comics listings. Or you can use our Google-powered Search Engine.

Remember, your comments, suggestions, corrections and contributions are always welcome. At the tone, just leave your name and number and I'll get back to you...

And before you get all hot and bothered and start getting your panties all twisted because I left your hero off the list, please read What is a private eye?

 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  • M
  • Bubba Mabry
  • Mac
  • Philip Macadam
  • Johnny Macall
  • Frank MacAllister
  • Danny MacAlpine
  • Johnny Macall
  • Cam MacCardle
  • MacCauley
  • Devon MacDonald
  • Jimmy McDonald
  • Lynn MacDonald
  • Paul MacDonald
  • Ian MacDougal
  • Martin McDonough
  • Mace
  • Kelvin Mace
  • Matthew "Mac" MacGregor
  • Kevin MacInnes
  • Terry Mack
  • Three Gun Mack
  • Patience and Verity Mackellar
  • Greg MacKenzie (Hawaiian Eye)
  • Scotia MacKinnon
  • Captain Duncan Maclain
  • Madeline "Mac" Maclin
  • Macklin
  • Alan Macklin
  • Peter Macklin
  • Cooper MacLeish
  • Chanse MacLeod
  • Declan "Mac" MacManus
  • Harry MacNeil
  • John J. MacShayne
  • Jack MacTaggart
  • William "Bill" Maddern
  • Charles Maddox & Charles Maddox
  • Kenny Madison (Bourbon Street Beat, see also Surfside Six)
  • Matty Madrid
  • Peter Magnum
  • Thomas Magnum (Magnum, P.I.)
  • Arnold Magnuson
  • Bernie Magruder
  • Maggie Maguire
  • Shamus Maguire
  • Mike Mahogany
  • Nicky Mahoun
  • Makana
  • Sonja Makarova & Marina Golikova
  • Jim Makin
  • Vincenzo Malinconico
  • Eddie Mallard
  • Mark Mallen
  • Brick Mallery
  • Mallory (Chandler)
  • Mallory (Collins)
  • Bert Mallory
  • James Maxfield Mallory
  • John Justin Mallory
  • Steve Mallory
  • Stuart Mallory
  • Vic Mallory
  • Wanda Mallory
  • Malloy
  • Mike Malloy
  • Malone (Give 'em Hell, Malone)
  • Dennis Malone
  • Henry Malone
  • John J. Malone
  • Luke Malone
  • Melody Malone (Doctor Who)
  • Ted Malvern
  • Le Manchot
  • Dante Mancuso
  • Greg Mandel
  • Mandrake
  • Butch Maneri & Steve Cranmer
  • Terry Manion
  • Stewart Mann
  • Disciple Manning
  • Mark Manning
  • Eddie Mannix (Hail, Caesar!)
  • Joe Mannix
  • Harvey Mapes
  • Floyd Maquina
  • Erik March
  • Holland March & Jackson Healy (The Nice Guys)
  • John March (Spiegelman)
  • John March (Lovecraft/Friedman)
  • Milo March
  • Earl Marcus
  • Jack Marconi
  • Margo, or possibly The Margo Agency
  • Buddy Margolies
  • Eddie Margolis
  • Markham
  • Dan Markham
  • Roy Markham
  • Frank Marker
  • Peter Marklin
  • Don Marko
  • Abigail Marks
  • Jonathan Marks
  • Marley
  • Sam Marlow
  • Philip Marlow (The Singing Detective)
  • Christopher Marlowe
  • Philip Marlowe
  • Philippa Marlowe
  • Zoot Marlowe
  • Nick Marnes
  • Frank Marr
  • Jason Marr
  • Jerry Marr
  • Stevie Marriner & Neil Gulliver
  • Veronica Mars
  • Cat Marsala
  • Tobias Marsh and Lavinia Lake
  • Johnny & Suzy Marshall
  • Paul Marston and Angel Cantini
  • Al Martillo
  • Anthony Martin
  • Saz Martin
  • Steve Martin
  • Duke Martindel (Dangerous Lady)
  • Marvin
  • Albie Marx
  • Dave "Mace" Mason
  • Ellis Mason
  • Lou Mason
  • Nick Mason
  • Perry Mason (No! Really!)
  • Xavier Mason
  • Jake Masters (Cry Uncle!)
  • Angela Matelli
  • Cotton Mathers
  • Phil Matheson
  • Candy Matson
  • Mike Mauser
  • Flavius Maximus
  • Cary Maxwell
  • Leo Maxwell
  • Michelle Maxwell & Sean King (Maxwell & King)
  • Jennifer Mays & Gabriel Webb (The Maze Agency)
  • Terry && Kerry McAfee
  • Jess McBain
  • Rex McBride
  • Pete Ryan and Frank McBride (Switch)
  • Ryan McBride and Mitch Buchannon (Baywatch Nights)
  • Stryker McBride
  • J.L. McCabe (Jake and the Fatman)
  • Sam McCain
  • Terry McCaleb
  • Micah McCall
  • Derien McCall
  • Robert McCall (The Equalizer)
  • Duncan McCallum
  • Doan McCandler and Binky
  • Ruddy McCann
  • Cam McCardle
  • Claire McCarron (Leg Work)
  • McCarthy
  • Leo McCarthy (F/X2)
  • Delray McCauley
  • Quint McCauley
  • Mike McCleary and Quin St. James
  • Mac McClellan
  • Steve McCloud
  • John "Mac" McClure
  • Sharon McCone
  • Doug McCool
  • Helen McCorkendale
  • Danny McCoy & Big Ed Deline (Las Vegas)
  • Mike McCoy
  • Pete McCoy
  • Shamus McCoy
  • Skip McCoy
  • "Digger" McCrae (Gravedigger)
  • Violet McDade & Nevada Alvarado
  • Cal McDonald
  • Paul McDonald
  • Ellie McEnroe
  • Jack McEvoy
  • Luther McGavock
  • Mr. McGee
  • Travis McGee
  • McGill (Man in a Suitcase)
  • Leonid McGill
  • Michael McGill
  • Des McGinlay
  • Cole McGinnis
  • J.J. McGonigle
  • Terrance McGowan
  • Pete McGrath
  • McGraw
  • Harry McGraw
  • "Inspector" McGregor
  • Annie McGrogan
  • Maggie McGuane & Fritz Thieringer
  • Amos McGuffin
  • Rainy McGuinn
  • Moses McGuire
  • The McGurk Organisation
  • Tom McInnes
  • Alec McIntyre
  • Saunders "Sandy" McKane
  • McKay
  • Quinn McKay
  • Jared McKean
  • Ross McKeller
  • Ash McKenna
  • Owen McKenna
  • Craig McKenzie
  • Greg and Jill McKenzie
  • Rushmore "Mac" McKenzie
  • Frank McKlusky
  • Alex McKnight
  • John T. McLaren
  • Cody McMahon
  • Eddie McMullen (Nice Guy Eddie)
  • Archibald McNally
  • Jim McNamara
  • J. McNee
  • McNihil
  • Jimmy McShane
  • Joe Medford
  • Bruce Medway
  • Trixie Meehan and Mike Harris
  • Mack Megaton
  • Lin Melchan
  • Mullet Mendes & Vincent Saldona
  • Dani Mendez (L.A. Dolls)
  • Mariano Mercado
  • Antonio Mercer (You Have Killed Me)
  • Bill Mercer
  • Edward Mercer
  • Hank Mercer
  • Jack Merchant
  • Nick Merchant
  • Ken Meredith
  • Chuck Merrick
  • Johnny Metal
  • Conrad Metcalf
  • Sofie Metropolis
  • Johnny Midnight
  • Steve Midnight
  • Ace Mifflin
  • John Milano
  • Noah Milano
  • Buddy Miles/Rick Shannon
  • Francesca Miles
  • Robert Miles
  • Doak Miller
  • Robin Miller
  • Samuel Miller
  • Kinsey Millhone
  • Eion Miller
  • Larry Miller (The Pigeon)
  • Robin Miller
  • Milo Milodragovitch
  • Max Mingus
  • Charlie Miner
  • Peri Minneopa
  • Dar Minor
  • Mike Mist
  • Mitch and Sam (Dirty Work)
  • Paula Mitchell
  • Scott Mitchell
  • Steve Mitchell
  • Pradosh Chandra Mitra (aka Feluda)
  • Jack Mize
  • Johnny Modero
  • Tess Monaghan
  • Ryan Monahan
  • Tess Monahan-Cardoza (L.A. Dolls)
  • Mongo
  • Adrian Monk
  • Carter Monk
  • Gus Monk
  • Ivan Monk
  • William Monk
  • Liz Monroe (Fortune's Friends)
  • Sloane Monroe
  • Sam Montcalm
  • Britt Montero
  • Luis Montez
  • Elrod Montgomery
  • Jazz Montgomery
  • Stanley Moodrow
  • Scott Moody
  • Barney Moon
  • Cotton Moon
  • Manville Moon
  • Phyllida Moon
  • Howard Moon Deer
  • Reggie Moon
  • Chic Mooney (Nowheresville)
  • Jerry Mooney
  • Dick Moonlight
  • Duncan Moore
  • Madeline Moore
  • Toussaint Moore
  • Danny "Moony" Mora
  • Maria Magdalena "Maggie" Morales
  • Gypsy Moran
  • J. Howard "Jigger" Moran
  • Case Morgan
  • Cliff Morgan
  • Jack Morgan (Private)
  • Kate Morgan and Zena Hunnicutt (Me and Mom)
  • Kip Morgan
  • Langford Morgan and Roy Shepherd
  • Rachel Morgan
  • Ruff Morgan
  • Sam & Tate Morgan
  • Karl Morgen
  • Morgens
  • Kazuo Mori
  • Francis "Frank" Morley
  • Leon Morley
  • Charlie Morrell
  • Albert Morris
  • Louise Morvan
  • Zen Moses
  • Harry Moseby
  • Les Moyles
  • Lafayette Muldoon
  • Mulligan and Garrity (The Gorilla [1927])
  • Mulligan, Garrity and Harrigan (The Gorilla [1939])
  • Liam Mulligan
  • Adrian Mulliner
  • Joe Mulqueen (Top o' the Morning)
  • J.D. Mulroy
  • Jill Munroe (Charlie's Angels)
  • Kris Munroe (Charlie's Angels)
  • Milo Murano
  • Kent Murdock
  • Matt Murdock
  • Murphy
  • Addison Francis Murphy (aka "The Rambler")
  • D.B. Murphy
  • Dave Murphy
  • Dean Murphy
  • Gus Murphy
  • Jack Murphy
  • Kat Murphy
  • Michael Murphy
  • Molly Murphy
  • Patrick Daedulus Murphy
  • Samantha Murphy
  • Tex Murphy
  • Buddy Mustard
  • Candy Myers
  • Dora Myrl
  • Dora Myrl & Paul Beck
  • Mystery Man

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  • N
  • Ralph Nader
  • Red "Rusty" Nales
  • Nameless (Bill Pronzini)
  • Vic Nardozza
  • Darrow Nash
  • Hamilton Nash
  • Nick Naught
  • Tres Navarre
  • Navarro and Briggs
  • Nikki Neal
  • Nebraska
  • Jerry Nelson
  • Rocky Nelson
  • Vicki Nelson
  • Johnny Nemo
  • Orville Nesbit
  • Yuri Nevsky
  • Vic Newman & Sabina Swift
  • Billy Nguyen
  • Billy Nichols
  • Nason Nichols
  • Eddie Nickles
  • Alex Night
  • Nightmark
  • Harry Nile
  • Gunnar Nilson
  • Noakes
  • Charlie Noble
  • Femme Noir
  • Guy Noir
  • Philip M. Noir
  • Sam Noir (Samurai Detective)
  • Nolan
  • Dex Nolan
  • Jake Nolan
  • Max Nolan
  • Wylie Nolan
  • Ed Noon
  • Joe Noonan
  • Mike Noonan
  • Rita Noonan
  • Tenzing Norbu
  • Bert Norden
  • Dakota North
  • Everett G. Northrup & Jimmy Dale
  • Big John Novak
  • Joe Novak
  • Marcus Novak
  • Pat Novak
  • Alex Novalis
  • Alo Nudger
  • Barkley Nunn (Hollywood Detective)
  • O
  • Harry O
  • Fergus O'Breen
  • Chris O'Brien
  • Danny O'Brien (Silver City)
  • Dennis O'Brien
  • Dutch O'Brien
  • Samson O'Brien
  • Cork O'Connor
  • Angel O'Day (of Angel and the Ape)
  • Terence O'Day
  • Philip Odell
  • Martin Odum
  • Flog O'Flanahan
  • Mitch O'Hannon and Gabriel Bird (Pros and Cons)
  • Bob O'Hara
  • Caryl O'Hara
  • Deirdre O'Hara
  • Timothy O'Hara
  • Bill O'Keefe and Douglas Hawke (Shooting Stars)
  • Kit O'Malley
  • Donn O'Mara
  • Freddie O'Neal
  • Jason O'Neil
  • Leena O'Neil
  • Tip O'Neil
  • Peggy O'Neill
  • Mr. O'Nelligan & Lee Plunkett
  • Kiernan O'Shaughnessy
  • Jack O'Shea
  • Tom O'Toole
  • Elliot Oakes and Paul Snyder
  • Oke Oakley and Secrets. Inc.
  • Mick Oberon
  • The Odd Man
  • Ohara
  • Sadipe Okukenu
  • The Old Sleuth
  • Joe King Oliver
  • Welling Waki Oloo
  • Mike Olshansky (Hack)
  • Johnny One-Eye (aka Johnny Hawke)
  • Orient
  • Candy Orr (Vengeance Squad)
  • Terry Orr
  • Harry Orwell (Harry O)
  • Lee Henry Oswald
  • Gusse Oualzerre
  • The Owl (Alexander L'Hiboux)
  • Johnny Oxford (The Hancock Half Hour)
  • P
  • Jake and Hildy Pace
  • Jack Packard (I Love a Mystery)
  • Lena Padget
  • Kate Page
  • Lorraine Page
  • Rick Page
  • Henry Paige
  • Edwin Paine & Charles Rowland (The Dead Boy Detectives)
  • Jack Paine
  • Paladin (Have Gun, Will Travel)
  • Carly Paladino & Noah Lang
  • Nicholas Palihnic
  • Domenic Palladino (and Jane)
  • Miles Palodon
  • Eddie Palmer
  • Frank Palmer and Riley Gavin
  • Jack Palmer
  • Joel Palmer
  • Jack Palms
  • Kitty Pangborn and Dex Theroux
  • Samantha Panther
  • Saul Panzer
  • Thea Paris
  • Dex Parios (Stumptown)
  • Parker (by Richard Stark)
  • Charlie Parker (Connolly)
  • Charlie Parker (Shelton)
  • Colton Parker
  • Drew Parker
  • Jimmy Parker & Mary Mulvaney
  • Ken Parker
  • Pearl Parker and Finn Gallagher
  • Gene Parmesan (Arrested Development)
  • Parnell
  • Tim Parnell
  • Frank Pasnow
  • Bryce Patch
  • Dougie Patterson and Ivor Thompson (Dicks)
  • Frank Pavlicek
  • Eli Paxton
  • Jon Pay
  • Jean Pearson
  • Lou Peckinpaugh
  • Wilbur Peddie
  • Gun Pederson
  • Bill Peepe
  • Edna Pender
  • Juan Manuel Pérez
  • Ben Perkins
  • Willie Perkins & Andy Blair
  • Eddie Perlmutter
  • Gay Perry and Harry Lockhart (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
  • Lincoln Perry
  • Nat "The Bleeder" Perry
  • Valentine Pescatore
  • Gus Petch
  • Anna Peters
  • Joe Peters (Roadblock)
  • Toby Peters
  • John Peterson
  • Margie Peterson
  • T.J. Peterson
  • Nick Petrov
  • Harry Petry (Hollywood Harry)
  • Sam Pezzo
  • Johnny Phelan
  • Nathan Phillips
  • Thackery Phin
  • Nicholas Pierce
  • Jimmy Pigeon
  • Jaako Piira
  • Daniel Pike
  • Joe Pike
  • Percy Pilbeam
  • Steve Pinata
  • Silky Pincus
  • Leonard Pine & Hap Collins
  • Paul Pine
  • Allan J. Pinkerton
  • Allan J. Pinkerton (fictitious character)
  • Miss Pinkerton (Mary Vance)
  • Joseph Pinto
  • John Piper & Quinn
  • Michael Piper
  • Molly Piper
  • Homer "Bulldog" Pipsqueak
  • Eliza Pirex
  • Jim Piron
  • Joe Pitt
  • Duke Pizzatello
  • Nicolas Placard
  • Dana Plant (Snoops)
  • J. Pletcher and Raina Lambert
  • Stephanie Plum
  • Lee Plunkett & Mr. O'Nelligan
  • Henry Po
  • Phineas Poe
  • Maurice Pogue (Clean Slate)
  • Hercule Poirot
  • Britt Pollack & Hank Dolworth (Terriers)
  • Nick Polo
  • Rosco Polycrates
  • Grace Pomeroy
  • Daniel Ponce
  • Solar Pons
  • Oscar Poole
  • Vector Pope
  • Popeye
  • Ellis Portal
  • Carl Porter
  • Kevin J. Porter
  • Joe Posner
  • Joe Potato
  • Ralph Poteet
  • Le poulpe
  • Billy Povich
  • Harry Powell (The Hollywood Detective)
  • Michael Power
  • Ace Powers
  • Johnny Powers
  • Vic Powers
  • Moe Prager
  • Belinda Prentice (Exposed)
  • Jeremiah Prescott & Pamela Thompson
  • Mark Preston
  • Emma Price
  • Highland Park Price
  • Sam Prichard
  • Duncan Pride
  • Solomon Priester
  • Luigi Primo (À vendre)
  • Hank Prince
  • Kate Prince (Charlie's Angels)
  • Laura Principal
  • Chris Prior
  • Jeff and Lloyd Prior
  • Will Prior
  • Ethan Proctor (Black Oak Security)
  • Daniel Profit & Sheen Vicedomini
  • Paul Pry
  • James Pryce
  • Leo Pulp
  • Joe Puma
  • Frankie Pat Puntacavello
  • Chance Purdue
  • Vish Puri
  • Q
  • Marty Quade
  • Oliver Quade
  • Greg Quaintance
  • Russell Quant
  • Francis Quarles
  • Quarry
  • Hilary Quayle
  • Bunny Quest
  • Peter Quest
  • Faye Quick
  • Joe Quigley
  • John Quincannon & Sabina Carpenter
  • Dion Quince
  • Charlie Quinlan
  • Max Quinlan
  • Quinn
  • Quinn & John Piper
  • Daniel Quinn
  • Frank Quinn
  • Joe Quinn
  • Jonathan Quinn
  • Liam Quinn
  • Michael Quinn
  • Terry Quinn & Derek Strange
  • Carroll Quint
  • Hugh Quint
  • Isaiah "I.Q." Quintabe
  • R
  • Eddie Race
  • Frank Race
  • Alex Rada
  • Rafferty
  • Neal Rafferty
  • Neil Patrick Rafferty
  • Poke Rafferty
  • Jim and Julie Raiford (The Touchstone Agency)
  • John Rain
  • Mister Rainbow
  • Charlie Raines
  • Reno Raines (Renegade)
  • Turner Raines
  • Zelmont Raines
  • Bob Rainier (Detectives Inc.)
  • General Richard "The Hammer" Ralston
  • Gwenn Ramadge
  • Precious Ramotswe
  • Deuce Ramsey
  • Oscar "The Duke" Ramsey
  • Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk
  • Steve Randall (Hollywood Offbeat)
  • Sunny Randall
  • Jess Randolph
  • Marty Randolph
  • Rex Randolph (Bourbon Street Beat, see also 77 Sunset Strip)
  • Jim Rankin
  • John Rankin
  • Lamaar Ransom
  • Lowell Ransom
  • Nick Ransom
  • Matt Ranzino
  • Alex Rasmussen
  • Stephan Raszer
  • Frank Rath
  • Arthur Raven
  • Max Raven
  • Easy Rawlins
  • Ray (Stingray)
  • Bill Raymond
  • Roy Raymond (TV Detective)
  • Johnny Reach and Hank Brackett (Bearcats!)
  • Jack Reacher
  • Joe Ready
  • Rigby Reardon
  • Sally & Bill Reardon
  • Rip-Off Red
  • Eric Redd (Vengeance Squad)
  • Joe Reddman
  • Jason Reddy and Jessica Munroe
  • Jennie Redhead
  • Sensible Redhorn
  • Caitlin Reece
  • Amanda Reed and Jake West (Hot Shots)
  • James Reed
  • Tom Reed
  • Harry Reese
  • Mick Reese
  • Jeff Regan
  • Jimmy Rehm
  • Savannah Reid
  • Jack Reilly
  • Regan Reilly
  • Remer
  • Peter Rena & Randi Brooks
  • Julian Renard & Roger Bannister
  • Renfield & Igor Vorlic (Strange Detective Tales)
  • Mark Renzler
  • "Repairman" Jack
  • Roger Repo
  • Tony Resick
  • Anonymous Rex
  • Rex the Wonder Dog
  • Jeff Reynolds
  • Jimmie Rezaire
  • Michael Rhineheart
  • Tommy Rhoads
  • Bernie Rhodenbarr
  • Rhino and Ritz
  • Harry Rice
  • Henry Pifield Rice
  • Cam Richter
  • Richard/Rick (A Gun, A Car, A Blonde)
  • Edwin Richfield
  • Richard
  • Rick/Richard (A Gun, A Car, A Blonde)
  • Frank Richmond
  • Matt Richter
  • Big Dick Rickenbacher
  • Magnus Ridolph
  • Alice Riley
  • Bill Riley
  • Jimmy "Soldier" Riley & Ray Parker
  • Rod Riley
  • Rosalind Riley
  • The Rio Kid
  • August Riordan
  • Matt Riordan
  • Tom Riordan
  • Henry Rios
  • Rip-Off Red
  • Charles Ripley
  • Ray Ripley
  • Alexander and Penelope Risk
  • William Riskin
  • Lil Ritchie
  • Ed Rivers
  • Stan Rivkin (Rivkin: Bounty Hunter)
  • Carey Rix
  • Al Roach
  • Sampson Roach
  • Kate Roarty
  • Mary Roberts
  • Rebekah Robertsgypsy
  • Drake Robbins
  • Mitch Roberts
  • Dave Robicheaux
  • "Mac" Robinson
  • Maxime Roche (Détectives)
  • Philippe Roche (Détectives)
  • Dean "The Dean" Wardlow Rock
  • Jim Rockford
  • Chris Rockwell and Sarah Saber (Inkwink)
  • John Rodrigue
  • Gil Rodrigues
  • Jerry "Renegade" Roe
  • Duke Rogers
  • Julie Rogers (Charlie's Angels)
  • Richard Rogue
  • Leo Roi
  • Simon Rolfe
  • Zach Rolfe
  • Dan Roman
  • Toni Romano
  • Ava Rome
  • Tony Rome
  • Howie Rook
  • Terry Bob Rooke & Tommy "Twotoes" Tuthill
  • Max Roper
  • Tag Roper
  • Abby Rose
  • Mike Rose
  • Nathaniel Rose
  • Simon Rose
  • Carter Ross
  • Danielle Ross
  • David Ross (The Outsider)
  • Harry Ross
  • Harry Ross (Twilight)
  • Jack Ross
  • John Thomas Ross
  • Mike Ross-The Hitman
  • Jake Rossiter
  • Clay Roth and Family (Armed Response)
  • Alex Rourke
  • Jake Rubidoux
  • Vincent Rubio
  • Ruby (Red Noir)
  • Ruby the Galactic Gumshoe
  • Billy Rucker
  • Danylo Rudnicki
  • Esa Ruispelto
  • Harry Rule
  • Baylor Rumble
  • Horace Rumpole
  • Rumyantzev
  • Brad Runyon (aka The Fat Man)
  • Jake Runyon
  • Manny Rupert
  • Alexander Rush
  • John Rusow (The Missing Person)
  • Mary Russell
  • Amanda Russo
  • John Russo and Charles Rutledge
  • Hayes Rutherford
  • Alex Rutledge
  • Charles Rutledge and John Russo
  • Teddy Ruzak ("The Highly Effective Detective")
  • Nelson Ryan
  • Nick Ryan
  • Pete Ryan and Frank McBride (Switch)
  • Blaise Rybeck (The Big Fall)
  • Marcus Rydell
  • Nick Ryder (Riptide)
  • Bill Rye
  • Jane Ryland
  • S
  • Mark Saber
  • Sarah Saber and Chris Rockwell (Inkwink)
  • Jon Sable
  • Rex Sackler
  • Sacred Symbols, Inc.
  • Jim Sader
  • Ryo Saeba (City Hunter)
  • Malcolm Sage
  • Oscar Sail
  • Thomas St. Cyr
  • Valentin St. Cyr
  • Philip St. Ives
  • Cliff St. James
  • Quin St. James and Mike McCleary
  • Jeremiah St. John
  • Masakazu Sakonju
  • Lisbeth Salander & Mikael Blomkvist
  • Dora Saldana
  • Vincent Saldona and Mullet Mendes
  • Peter Salem
  • Sally the Sleuth
  • Jack Salvo
  • Sam the Cat
  • Thuppariyum Sambu
  • Abby Sampson (Charlie's Angels)
  • Albert Samson
  • Conner Samson
  • Jake Samson
  • John Samson
  • Mel Samson (Too Late)
  • Rosemary Sanchez & Atticus Wynn
  • George Sandford
  • Jake Sands
  • Nick Sands
  • Walter Sands
  • Sandy (Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street)
  • Chico Santana
  • Nick Santana/Santa Claus
  • Joey Sapphire
  • Sara (Sara's Private Capers)
  • Peter Sargeant
  • Rex Saunders
  • Speed Saunders
  • Savage
  • Raymond Savage and Jack Haynes
  • Mark Savage
  • Sawazaki
  • Pete Sawyer
  • Saxon
  • Johnny Saxon
  • Mike Saxon
  • Catherine Sayler
  • Duke Scanlon
  • Karin Schaeffer
  • William Schaefler
  • Buck Schatz
  • Oscar Schiller
  • Chris Schneider (Private)
  • Lenny Schneider
  • Pete Schoefield
  • October Schwartz & The Dead Kid Detective Agency
  • Joe Scintilla
  • Ann Scotland
  • Robin Scott (The Case of the Dangerous Robin)
  • Sara Scott
  • Shell Scott
  • Terry Scott
  • Peter Scratch
  • Phil Scrotty
  • Matt Scudder
  • Sean Sean
  • Al Sears
  • Patricia Seaward
  • Secret Agent X-9
  • Seekay
  • Mavis Seidlitz
  • Mike Segretto
  • Gerhard Selb (aka "Gerhard Selb")
  • Gerhard Self (aka "Gerhard Selb")
  • Joe Serpe and Bob Healy
  • Kate Shackleton
  • Brad Shade
  • Matt Shade
  • Ron Shade
  • John Shaft
  • Luella Shakespeare & Frank Hathaway (Shakespeare & Hathatway)
  • Ben Shaley
  • Dan Shambles
  • Dick Shamus
  • Deets Shanahan
  • Dale Shand
  • Ted Shane
  • Shannon (The D.A.'s Man)
  • Bill Shannon
  • Del Shannon
  • Desmond Shannon
  • Jack Shannon (Shannon's Deal)
  • Joe Shannon
  • John Shannon
  • John J. Shannon
  • Ken Shannon
  • Rick Shannon/Buddy Miles
  • Sugar Shannon
  • Desiree Shapiro
  • Kalinda Sharma (The Good Wife)
  • Nick Sharman
  • John "One-Eyed Jack" Sharp
  • Jasmine Sharp
  • Joshua Sharp
  • Alec Sharpe
  • Eli Sharpe
  • Nicola Sharpe
  • Samantha "Sam" Sharpe
  • James Shaw
  • Jeb Shaw
  • Joe Shaw
  • Paul Shaw
  • Van Shaw
  • Pete Shay
  • Hector Belascoarán Shayne
  • Michael "Mike" Shayne
  • Sheba Shayne
  • Rick O. Shea
  • Mojo Sheepshanks
  • Leonard Shelby
  • Mary Shelley
  • David Shepard (Fourth Story)
  • Jack Shepard
  • Rex Shepard
  • John Shepherd
  • Morgan Sheppard
  • Walter Sherman (The Locator)
  • Payton Sherwood
  • Shido, The Midnight Detective
  • Jefferson Shields
  • Harold "Shill"Shillman
  • Amanda & Rick Tucker (Tucker's Witch)
  • Ben Shock & Charity Tucker
  • Eddie Shoestring
  • Kate Shugak
  • Phoebe Siegel
  • Bob Signorelli (Face Down)
  • Steve Silk
  • Jed Sills (Checkmate)
  • Miss Maud Silver
  • Sam Simeon (of Angel and the Ape)
  • Bubba Simms
  • Julian Simms and Anthony Hester (Cat Run)
  • Louis Simo (Hollywoodland)
  • Rick and A.J. Simon (Simon and Simon)
  • Gar Sinclair
  • Jamie Sinclair
  • Jacob Singer
  • Jack Singer
  • Talbot Singh
  • Tiffany Sinn
  • Alack Sinner
  • Charlie Siringo
  • Sister Eve
  • Joe Sixsmith
  • Michael Skellig
  • Skoog
  • Ennis Skinner
  • Clement Skunk-Petersen
  • Dirk Slade
  • Mac Slade
  • Matthew Slade
  • Sam Slade
  • Shotgun Slade
  • Tim "T.M." Slade (High Tide)
  • Vince Slader
  • Florian Slappey
  • Ray Slater
  • Chester Slattery
  • Nick Slaughter (Sweating Bullets/Tropical Heat)
  • Victor Slaughter
  • Gus Slavin (Loophole)
  • Dudley Sledge
  • Big Sleeping
  • Deadbeat Sleeze (The Sleeze Brothers)
  • El Ape Sleeze (The Sleeze Brothers)
  • The Sleeze Brothers
  • Cassandra Slick
  • Ken Sligo
  • Slime
  • Beauford Sloan
  • Dan Sloane
  • Duncan Sloan
  • Nick Sloan
  • Reno Sloan
  • Sydney Sloane
  • Eddie Slocum and Simon Lash
  • Moxie Sloss and King Green
  • Christopher Sly
  • Nick Small and Chip Frye (Small & Frye)
  • Ashley Smeeton
  • Alexis J. Smith
  • Archie Smith & Julius Katz
  • Aurelius "Secret Service" Smith
  • Bill Smith and Lydia Chin
  • Cellini Smith
  • Charlie Smith (Body Fever)
  • China Smith
  • Grace Smith
  • Hannah Smith
  • Henry Smith
  • Jango Smith
  • Johnny Smith (The Thirteenth Guest)
  • Northwest Smith
  • Picasso Smith
  • Picasso Smith, Jr.
  • "Secret Service" Smith
  • Sierra Smith
  • Tim Smith
  • Truman Smith
  • Vanessa Smith (The Most Deadly Game)
  • Warren Smith
  • Whispering Smith
  • Zachariah Smith
  • Benjamin Smoke
  • Jeffrey Tiffen Smythe & Lady Fiona Fiziwiggs (The Continentals)
  • Lemony Snicket
  • Clem Snide
  • Super Snooper (of Snooper and Blabber)
  • Paul Snyder and Elliot Oakes
  • Aristotle "Soc" Socarides
  • Pauline Sokol
  • Lupe Solano
  • Solo (aka "Soulemayne Camara")
  • Harry Sommers
  • Sonambulo
  • Ray Somner
  • Juniper Song
  • Anna Southwood
  • Sam Space
  • Danny Spade
  • Richard Abraham Spade (aka "Superspade")
  • Sam Spade
  • Sam Spade, Junior
  • Spademan
  • David Spandau
  • David Spanner
  • Dick Spanner
  • Jake Spanner
  • J.T. Spanner
  • Gabe Sparks
  • Sam Spayed (Garfield)
  • Brad Spear
  • Brenna Spector
  • Izzy Spellman
  • Mr. Spence
  • Jeff Spencer (77 Sunset Strip)
  • Jeff and Debby Spencer (Two On a Clue)
  • Margaret Spencer
  • Shawn Spencer & Burton "Gus" Guster (Psych)
  • Spenser
  • Milo Speriglio
  • Spider-Woman (aka "Jessica Drew")
  • Spike Spiegel and Jet Black (Cowboy Bebop)
  • Harry Spilman
  • Sonny Spoon
  • Doc Sportello
  • Michael Spraggue
  • James Sprecken
  • Johnny Staccato
  • Earl Stack
  • Jason Stafford
  • John Stamford
  • Joe Standard
  • Paul Stanial
  • Ged Stanton
  • Jack Stanton (Looking for Kitty)
  • Robbie Stanton
  • Carole Stanwyck and Sydney Kovack (Partners in Crime)
  • J.J. Starbuck
  • Harry Starke
  • Dan Starkey
  • Jack Starr
  • Tammy Starr & Kevin Rourke (Starr Security Service)
  • T.D. Stash
  • Jackson Steeg
  • Sarge Steel
  • Jack Steele
  • Jim Steele
  • Larry Steele
  • Remington Steele
  • Rocky Steele
  • Tracey Steele (Hawaiian Eye)
  • Nick Stefanos
  • Ted Stephens
  • Yakov Semenovich Stern
  • Johnny Stevens
  • Blaine Stewart
  • Paulina Stewart
  • Ross Stewart (Behind Locked Doors)
  • Stine (City of Angels)
  • Cole Stoddard
  • Stone (City of Angels)
  • Curt Stone
  • Fleming Stone
  • Randy Stone (Nightbeat)
  • Shep Stone
  • Tom Stone
  • Warren Stone
  • Zeke Stone (Brimstone)
  • Stonebreaker
  • Clayton "Clay" Stoner (The Odd Man)
  • Harry Stoner
  • Francis Storm
  • Wyatt Storme
  • Don Strachey
  • Sean Stranahan
  • Peter Strand
  • Mark Strang
  • Victor Strang
  • Brenda Strange
  • Derek Strange & Terry Quinn
  • Johnny Strange (Results, Inc.)
  • Nicholas Street
  • Streeter
  • Dave Strickland
  • Cormoran Strike
  • Jim Stringer
  • Matt Stromsoe
  • Max Strong
  • Steve Strong
  • B.L. Stryker
  • Angus Stuart (Cold Play)
  • David Stuart
  • Jim Stubb
  • Charles Stubblefield
  • Jake Styles (Jake and the Fatman)
  • Elvin Suggs
  • C.W. Sughrue
  • Connor Sullivan, James Devlin & Cal Burke (Phoenix Inc.)
  • Maggie Sullivan
  • Sally Sullivan & Bernie Fox (Mom P.I.)
  • Steve Summers
  • Jane Sunday
  • "Superspade" (aka Richard Abraham Spade)
  • Surf
  • Arnie Sutter
  • Mathew Swain
  • Norm Swallow
  • Digambara Swamiyar
  • Alex Swan (Firearm)
  • Henry Swann
  • John Swan
  • Joseph Swann and Abel Walker (Hawkshaws)
  • Kevin Sweeney & Joop Wheeler
  • Nicole Sweet
  • Charlie "The Hook" Swift
  • Loren Swift
  • Frank Swiver
  • Onni Syrjänen

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Occasionally the limits of my research fail to turn up the actual name of a detective, or the author declines to provide that little tidbit. Among those who shall remaon nameless"


American rock musical, based on La Bohème

"RENT" redirects here. For other uses, see RENT (disambiguation).

"Goodbye Love" redirects here. For the 1933 film, see Goodbye Love (film).

Original Broadway cast, 1996

Rent is a rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson,[1] loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in Lower Manhattan's East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

The musical was first seen in a workshop production at New York Theatre Workshop in 1993. This same Off-Broadway theatre was also the musical's initial home following its official 1996 opening. The show's creator, Jonathan Larson, died suddenly of an aortic dissection, believed to have been caused by undiagnosed Marfan syndrome, the night before the Off-Broadway premiere. The musical moved to Broadway's larger Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996.[2]

On Broadway, Rent gained critical acclaim and won several awards. The Broadway production closed on September 7, 2008, after a 12-year run of 5,123 performances. On February 14, 2016, the musical Wicked surpassed Rent's number of performances with a 2pm matinee, pushing Rent from the tenth- to eleventh-longest-running Broadway show.[3][4] The production grossed over 0 million.

The success of the show led to several national tours and numerous foreign productions. In 2005, it was adapted into a motion picture featuring most of the original cast members.


Concept and genesis[edit]

In 1988, playwright Billy Aronson wanted to create "a musical based on Puccini's La Bohème, in which the luscious splendor of Puccini's world would be replaced with the coarseness and noise of modern New York."[6] In 1989, Jonathan Larson, a 29-year-old composer, began collaborating with Aronson on this project, and the two composed together "Santa Fe", "Splatter" (later re-worked into the song "Rent"), and "I Should Tell You". Larson suggested setting the play "amid poverty, homelessness, spunky gay life, drag queens and punk" in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, which happened to be down the street from his Greenwich Village apartment. He also came up with the show's ultimate title (a decision that Aronson was unhappy with, at least until Larson pointed out that "rent" also means torn apart). In 1991, he asked Aronson if he could use Aronson's original concept and make Rent his own. Larson had ambitious expectations for Rent; his ultimate dream was to write a rock opera "to bring musical theater to the MTV generation".[7] Aronson and Larson made an agreement that if the show went to Broadway, Aronson would share in the proceeds and be given credit for "original concept & additional lyrics".[7]

Jonathan Larson focused on composing Rent in the early 1990s, waiting tables at the Moondance Diner to support himself. Over the course of years, Larson wrote hundreds of songs and made many drastic changes to the show, which in its final incarnation contained 42 songs. In the fall of 1992, Larson approached James Nicola, artistic director of New York Theatre Workshop, with a tape and copy of Rent's script. When Rent had its first staged reading at New York Theatre Workshop in March 1993, it became evident that, despite its very promising material and moving musical numbers, many structural problems needed to be addressed, including its cumbersome length and overly complex plot.[7]

As of 1994, the New York Theatre Workshop version of Rent featured songs that never made it into the final version, such as:

  • "You're a Fool"
  • "Do a Little Business", the predecessor of "You'll See", featuring Benny, Mark, Roger, Collins and Angel
  • "Female to Female A & B", featuring Maureen and Joanne
  • "He's a Fool"
  • "He Says"
  • "Right Brain", later rewritten as "One Song Glory", featuring Roger
  • "You'll Get Over It", the predecessor of "Tango: Maureen", featuring Mark and Maureen
  • "Real Estate", a number wherein Benny tries to convince Mark to become a real estate agent and drop his filmmaking
  • "Open Road", the predecessor of "What You Own", with a backing track similar to this in "Your Eyes"

This workshop version of Rent starred Anthony Rapp as Mark and Daphne Rubin-Vega as Mimi. Larson continued to work on Rent, gradually reworking its flaws and staging more workshop productions.[8]

On January 24, 1996, after the musical's final dress rehearsal before its off-Broadway opening, Larson had his first (and only) newspaper interview with music critic Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times, attracted by the coincidence that the show was debuting exactly 100 years after Puccini's opera. Larson would not live to see Rent's success; he died from an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm (believed to have resulted from Marfan syndrome) in the early morning of January 25, 1996. Friends and family gathered at the New York Theatre Workshop, and the first preview of Rent became a sing-through of the musical in Larson's memory.[7][9]

The show premiered as planned and quickly gained popularity fueled by enthusiastic reviews and the recent death of its composer. It proved extremely successful during its Off-Broadway run, selling out all its shows at the 150-seat New York Theater Workshop.[2] Due to such overwhelming popularity and a need for a larger theater, Rent moved to Broadway's recently remodeled Nederlander Theatre on 41st Street on April 29, 1996.[2]

Sources and inspiration[edit]

Larson's inspiration for Rent's content came from several different sources. Many of the characters and plot elements are drawn directly from Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème, the world premiere of which was in 1896, a century before Rent's premiere.[10]La Bohème was also about the lives of poor young artists. Tuberculosis, the plague of Puccini's opera, is replaced by HIV/AIDS in Rent; 1800s Paris is replaced by New York's East Village in the late 1980s or early 1990s. The names and identities of Rent's characters also heavily reflect Puccini's original characters, though they are not all direct adaptations. For example, Joanne in Rent represents the character of Alcindoro in Bohème, but is also partially based on Marcello. Also, Joanne is the only Rent character whose predecessor in La Bohème is a different sex.

La BohèmeRent
Mimì, a seamstress with tuberculosis Mimi Márquez, an erotic dancer with HIV and Roger's girlfriend
Rodolfo, a poet Roger Davis, a songwriter-musician who is HIV positive and Mimi's boyfriend
Marcello, a painter Mark Cohen, an independent Jewish-American filmmaker and Roger's roommate
Musetta, a singer Maureen Johnson, a bisexual performance artist and Joanne's girlfriend
Schaunard, a musician Angel Dumott Schunard, a drag queen percussionist with AIDS, who is Collins' partner.
Colline, a philosopher Tom Collins, a gay, part-time philosophy professor at New York University and anarchist with AIDS and Angel's partner.
Alcindoro, a state counselor Joanne Jefferson, a lesbian lawyer, who is Maureen's girlfriend (Also partially based on Marcello)
Benoît, their landlord Benjamin 'Benny' Coffin III, the local landlord and a former roommate of Roger, Mark, Collins, and Maureen

Other examples of parallels between Larson's and Puccini's work include Larson's song "Light My Candle", which draws melodic content directly from "Che gelida manina";[11] "Quando me'n vo'" ("Musetta's Waltz"), a melody taken directly from Puccini's opera; and "Goodbye Love", a long, painful piece that reflects a confrontation and parting between characters in both Puccini's and Larson's work.[12] "Quando me'n vo'" is paralleled in the first verse of "Take Me or Leave Me", when Maureen describes the way people stare when she walks in the street. It is also directly referred to in the scene where the characters are celebrating their bohemian life. Mark says, "Roger will attempt to write a bittersweet, evocative song..." Roger plays a quick piece, and Mark adds, "...that doesn't remind us of 'Musetta's Waltz'." This part of "Musetta's Waltz" is also later used in "Your Eyes", a song Roger writes.

Rent is also a somewhat autobiographical work, as Larson incorporated many elements of his life into his show. Larson lived in New York for many years as a starving artist with an uncertain future. He sacrificed a life of stability for his art, and shared many of the same hopes and fears as his characters. Like his characters he endured poor living conditions, and some of these conditions (e.g. illegal wood-burning stove, bathtub in the middle of his kitchen, broken buzzer [his guests had to call from the pay phone across the street and he would throw down the keys, as in "Rent"]) made their way into the play.[13] Part of the motivation behind the storyline in which Maureen leaves Mark for a woman (Joanne) is based on the fact that Larson's own girlfriend left him for a woman. The Mark Cohen character is based on Larson's friends, cinematographer and producer Jonathan Burkhart and documentary filmmaker Eddie Rosenstein.

Playwright Sarah Schulman alleged that Rent bore striking similarities to her novel People in Trouble.[14]

The line, "I'm more of a man than you'll ever be... and more of a woman than you'll ever get!", attributed to Angel Dumott Schunard at her funeral, was previously used by the character Hollywood Montrose, who appeared in the films Mannequin (1987) and Mannequin Two: On the Move (1991). Like Angel, Hollywood performs a song and dance number and sometimes wears women's clothing. This line was originally in the film Car Wash (1976), delivered by Antonio Fargas as a flamboyant homosexual cross dresser.

The earliest concepts of the characters differ largely from the finished products. Everyone except Mark had AIDS, including Maureen and Joanne; Maureen was a serious, angry character who played off Oedipus in her performance piece instead of Hey Diddle Diddle; Mark was, at one point, a painter instead of a filmmaker; Roger was named Ralph and wrote musical plays; Angel was a jazz philosopher, while Collins was a street performer; Angel and Collins were both originally described as Caucasian; and Benny had a somewhat enlarged role in the story, taking part in songs like "Real Estate", which was later cut.[15]

Life Café

Many actual locations and events are included in, or are the inspiration for, elements of the musical. Life Café, where the "La Vie Bohème" numbers are set, was an actual restaurant (closed 2013) on 10th Street and Avenue B in the East Village of New York City.[16][17] The riot at the end of the first act is based on the East Village riot in 1988 that arose as a result of the city-imposed curfew in Tompkins Square Park.[17]

"Will I?", a song which takes place during a Life Support meeting and expresses the pain and fear of living a life with AIDS, was inspired by a real event. Larson attended a meeting of Friends in Deed, an organization that helps people deal with illness and grief, much like Life Support. After that first time, Larson attended the meetings regularly. During one meeting, a man stood up and said that he was not afraid of dying. He did say, however, that there was one thing of which he was afraid: Would he lose his dignity? From this question stemmed the first line of this song. The people present at the Life Support meeting in the show, such as Gordon, Ali and Pam, carry the names of Larson's friends who died. In the Broadway show, the names of the characters in that particular scene (they introduce themselves) were changed nightly to honor the friends of the cast members who were living with or had died from AIDS.[18]

The scene and song "Life Support" were also based on Friends in Deed, as well as on Gordon, Pam, and Ali. Originally, the members of Life Support had a solid block of the "forget regret" refrain, and they talked about remembering love. When Jonathan's HIV positive friends heard this scene, they told him that having AIDS was not so easy to accept: it made you angry and resentful too, and the song did not match that. Jonathan then added a part where Gordon says that he has a problem with this " T-cells are low, I regret that news, okay?" Paul, the leader of the meeting, replies, "Okay...but, Gordon, how do you feel today?" Gordon admits that he is feeling the best that he has felt all year. Paul asks, "Then why choose fear?" Gordon says, "I'm a New Yorker. Fear's my life."

Lynn Thomson lawsuit[edit]

Lynn Thomson was a dramaturg who was hired by New York Theatre Workshop to help rework Rent. She claimed that between early May and the end of October 1995, she and Larson co-wrote a "new version" of the musical. She sued the Larson estate for million and sought 16% of the show's royalties, claiming she had written a significant portion of the lyrics and the libretto of the "new version" of Rent.[19]

During the trial, Thomson could not recall the lyrics to the songs that she allegedly wrote, nor the structures of the libretto she claimed to have created.[20] The judge ruled against her and gave the Jonathan Larson Estate full credit and right to Rent. A federal appellate court upheld the original ruling on appeal. In August 1998, the case was settled out of court. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.[21]


Rent at David Nederlander Theatre in Manhattan, New York City

Act I[edit]

On Christmas Eve in Manhattan's East Village, two roommates—Mark, a filmmaker, and Roger, a rock musician—struggle to stay warm and produce their art ("Tune Up #1"). Mark's mother leaves him a voicemail wishing him a merry Christmas and trying to comfort him since his ex-girlfriend Maureen dumped him ("Voice Mail #1"). Their friend Tom Collins, a gay anarchist professor at New York University, calls and plans to surprise them at their apartment, but is mugged before entering. At the same time, Mark and Roger's former roommate and friend Benny, who has since become their harsh new landlord, has reneged on an earlier agreement and now demands last year's rent, before shutting down their electrical power ("Tune Up #2"). However, Mark and Roger rebel and resolve not to pay the rent they cannot pay and which they were promised wouldn't be a problem ("Rent"). Meanwhile, Angel, a cross-dressing street drummer (presently out of drag), finds Collins wounded in an alley and tends to him ("You Okay Honey?") - the two are immediately attracted to each other, both learning that the other is HIV positive. It is revealed that Roger too has HIV which he contracted from his last girlfriend, who committed suicide after learning of her diagnosis, which has caused Roger to fall into depression. Mark leaves the loft while Roger stays home ("Tune Up #3"), trying to compose on his guitar without success; he wishes desperately to write one last song to be remembered by before he dies ("One Song Glory"). An exotic dancer, junkie, and neighbor, Mimi, shows up at their apartment asking for help with lighting her candle, flirting with Roger in the process; however, he is clearly hesitant to return her affections ("Light My Candle"). Meanwhile, Joanne, a lawyer and Maureen's girlfriend, receives a voicemail from her parents ("Voice Mail #2").

At last, the missing Collins enters the apartment, presenting Angel, who is now in full drag and shares the money she made and the amusing story of how she killed a dog to earn it ("Today 4 U"). Mark comes home, and Benny arrives, speaking of Maureen's upcoming protest against his plans to evict the homeless from a lot where he is hoping to build a cyber arts studio. Benny offers that, if they convince Maureen to cancel the protest, then Mark and Roger can officially remain rent-free tenants. However, the two rebuff Benny's offer and he leaves ("You'll See"). Mark leaves the loft again to go help Maureen with the sound equipment for the protest, unexpectedly meeting Joanne at the stage. Initially hesitant with each other, the two eventually bond over their shared distrust of Maureen's "gaslighting" and promiscuous behaviours ("Tango: Maureen"). Mark then joins Collins and Angel to film their HIV support group meeting ("Life Support"), while Mimi attempts to seduce Roger alone in his apartment ("Out Tonight"). Roger is extremely upset by Mimi's intrusion, demanding she leave him alone and resisting any romantic feelings he may harbour for her ("Another Day"). After Mimi leaves, Roger reflects on his fear of dying an undignified death from AIDS, while the Life Support group echoes his thoughts ("Will I").

Collins, Mark, and Angel protect a homeless woman from police harassment, but she chastises them ("On the Street"). To lighten the mood, Collins talks about his dream of escaping New York City to open a restaurant in Santa Fe ("Santa Fe"). Soon, Mark leaves to check up on Roger and while alone, Collins and Angel confess their love for each other ("I'll Cover You"). Joanne hectically prepares for Maureen's show, trying to balance all of the people calling her at once ("We're Okay"). Before the performance, Roger apologizes to Mimi, inviting her to come to the protest and the dinner party his friends are having afterwards. At the same time, police, vendors, and homeless people prepare for the protest ("Christmas Bells"). Maureen begins her avant-garde, if not over the top, performance based on "Hey Diddle Diddle" ("Over the Moon"). At the post-show party at the Life Café, Benny arrives, criticizing the protest and the group's bohemian lifestyle. In response, Mark and all the café's bohemian patrons defiantly rise up to celebrate their way of living ("La Vie Bohème"). Mimi and Roger each discover that the other is HIV-positive and hesitantly decide to move forward with their relationship ("I Should Tell You"). Joanne explains that Mark and Roger's building has been padlocked and a riot has broken out; Roger and Mimi, unaware, share their first kiss. The celebration continues ("La Vie Bohème B").

Act II[edit]

Cast of Rent performing "Seasons of Love" at Broadway on Broadway, 2005

The cast lines up to sing together before the plot of the second act begins, affirming that one should measure life "in love" ("Seasons of Love"). Afterwards, Mark and Roger gather to break back into their locked apartment with their friends ("Happy New Year"). A new voicemail reveals that Mark's footage of the riot has earned him a job offering at a tabloid news company called Buzzline ("Voice Mail #3"). The others finally break through the door just as Benny arrives, saying he wants to call a truce and revealing that Mimi––who used to be his girlfriend––convinced him to change his mind. Mimi denies rekindling her relationship with Benny, but Roger is upset, and although they apologize to each other, Mimi goes to her drug dealer for a fix ("Happy New Year B").

Around Valentine's Day, Mark tells the audience that Roger and Mimi have been living together, but they are tentative with each other. It is also told that Maureen and Joanne are preparing another protest, and during rehearsal, Maureen criticizes Joanne's controlling behaviour and Joanne criticizes Maureen's promiscuous mannerisms. They break up dramatically following an ultimatum ("Take Me or Leave Me"). Time progresses to spring ("Seasons of Love B"), but Roger and Mimi's relationship is strained by Mimi's escalating heroin usage and Roger's lasting jealousy and suspicion of Benny. Each alone, Roger and Mimi sing of love and loneliness, telling each other how they feel, as they watch Collins nurse Angel, whose health is declining due to AIDS ("Without You"). By the end of the summer, Mark continues to receive calls offering a corporate job at Buzzline ("Voice Mail #4"). A dance is performed representing all the couples' sex lives ("Contact"). At the climax of the number, the two former couples break up, and Angel suddenly dies. At the funeral, the friends briefly come together to share their memories with Collins being the last to reminisce ("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, and he finally accepts the corporate job offer ("Halloween"). Roger reveals that he is leaving for Santa Fe, which sparks an argument about commitment between him and Mimi, and between Maureen and Joanne. Collins arrives and admonishes the entire group for fighting on the day of Angel's funeral, causing Maureen and Joanne to reconcile, but not Mimi and Roger. The group shares a sad moment, knowing that between deaths and leaving, their close-knit friendships will be breaking up. Everyone leaves except Mark and Roger, and so Mark tries to convince Roger to stay in New York. Roger, unable to handle Mimi's declining health, becomes angry with Mark and leaves. Mimi returns to say goodbye, overhears everything Roger says, and, terrified, agrees to go to rehab ("Goodbye Love"). Collins is forcibly removed from the church for being unable to pay for Angel's funeral; Benny shows compassion by paying and offering Mark and Collins drinks; Collins accepts, causing him and Collins to rekindle their old friendship, but Mark has to turn down the offer due to work commitments.

Some time later, both Mark and Roger simultaneously reach an artistic epiphany, as Roger finds his song in Mimi and Mark finds his film in Angel's memory; Roger decides to return to New York in time for Christmas, while Mark quits his job to devote his efforts to working on his own film ("What You Own"). The characters' parents, concerned and confused about their respective situations, leave several worried messages on their phones ("Voice Mail #5"). On Christmas Eve, exactly one year having passed, Mark prepares to screen his now-completed film to his friends. Roger has written his song, but no one can find Mimi for him to play it to. Benny's wife, discovering Benny's relationship with Mimi, has pulled Benny out of the East Village. The power suddenly blows and Collins enters with handfuls of cash, revealing that he reprogrammed an ATM at a grocery store to provide money to anybody with the code 'ANGEL'. Maureen and Joanne abruptly enter carrying Mimi, who had been homeless and is now weak and close to death. She begins to fade, telling Roger that she loves him ("Finale"). Roger tells her to hold on as he plays her the song he wrote for her, revealing the depth of his feelings for her ("Your Eyes"). Mimi appears to die, but abruptly awakens, claiming to have been heading into a white light before a vision of Angel appeared, telling her to go back and stay with Roger. The remaining friends gather together in a final moment of shared happiness and resolve to enjoy whatever time they have left with each other, affirming that there is "no day but today" ("Finale B").[22]

Musical numbers[edit]

Act 1

  • "Tune Up #1" – Mark, Roger
  • "Voice Mail #1" – Mark's Mother
  • "Tune Up #2" – Mark, Roger, Collins, Benny
  • "Rent" – Mark, Roger, Collins, Benny, Joanne, and Company
  • "You Okay Honey?" – Christmas Caroler, Angel, Collins
  • "Tune Up #3" – Mark, Roger
  • "One Song Glory" – Roger
  • "Light My Candle" – Mimi, Roger
  • "Voice Mail #2" – Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson
  • "Today 4 U" – Collins, Roger, Mark, Angel
  • "You'll See" – Benny, Mark, Roger, Collins, Angel
  • "Tango: Maureen" – Joanne, Mark
  • "Life Support" – Paul, Gordon, Steve, Ali, Pam, Sue, Angel, Collins, Mark
  • "Out Tonight" – Mimi
  • "Another Day" – Mimi, Roger, Ensemble
  • "Will I?" – Steve and Company
  • "On the Street" – Christmas Carolers, Squeegee Man, Mark, Collins, Angel, Homeless Woman, Cops
  • "Santa Fe" – Collins, Angel, Mark, Ensemble
  • "I'll Cover You" – Angel, Collins
  • "We're Okay" – Joanne
  • "Christmas Bells" – Christmas Carolers, Saleswoman, Collins, Angel, Mark, Roger, Cops, The Man, Mimi, Benny, Company
  • "Over the Moon" – Maureen
  • "La Vie Bohème A" – Waiter, Mark, Roger, Collins, Benny, Mimi, Angel, Maureen, Joanne, Mr. Grey, and Company
  • "I Should Tell You" – Mimi, Roger
  • "La Vie Bohème B" – Joanne, Maureen, Mark, Angel, Collins, and Company

Act 2

  • "Seasons of Love A" – Company
  • "Happy New Year A" – Mimi, Roger, Mark, Maureen, Joanne, Collins, Angel
  • "Voice Mail #3" – Mark's Mother, Alexi Darling
  • "Happy New Year B" – Maureen, Mark, Joanne, Roger, Mimi, Collins, Angel, Benny, The Man
  • "Take Me or Leave Me" – Maureen, Joanne
  • "Seasons of Love B" – Company
  • "Without You" – Roger, Mimi
  • "Voice Mail #4" – Alexi Darling
  • "Contact" – Company
  • "I'll Cover You (Reprise)" – Collins and Company
  • "Halloween" – Mark
  • "Goodbye Love" – Mimi, Roger, Benny, Maureen, Joanne, Mark, Collins
  • "What You Own" – Mark, Roger
  • "Voice Mail #5" – Roger's Mother, Mimi's Mother, Mr. Jefferson, Mark's Mother
  • "Finale A" – Homeless People, Mark, Roger, Collins, Maureen, Joanne, Mimi
  • "Your Eyes" – Roger
  • "Finale B" – Roger, Mimi, Company

Main characters[edit]

  • Mark Cohen (Lead): A struggling Jewish-American documentary filmmaker and the narrator of the show. He is Roger's roommate; at the start of the show, he has recently been dumped by Maureen.
  • Roger Davis (Lead): A once-successful-but-now-struggling musician and ex-lead singer and rock guitarist who is HIV-positive and an ex-junkie. He hopes to write one last meaningful song before he dies. He is having a hard time coping with the fact that he, along with many others around him, knows that he is going to die. His girlfriend, April, killed herself after finding out that she was HIV-positive. He is roommates with Mark.
  • Mimi Márquez (Lead): A Hispanic-American S&M club dancer and drug addict. She lives downstairs from Mark and Roger, is Roger's love interest, and, like him, is HIV-positive. She is also Benny's ex-lover.
  • Tom Collins (Support): An anarchist professor with AIDS. He is described by Mark as a "computer genius, teacher, and vagabond anarchist who ran naked through the Parthenon." Collins dreams of opening a restaurant in Santa Fe, where the problems in New York will not affect him and his friends. He was formerly a roommate of Roger, Mark, Benny, and Maureen, now just Roger and Mark, until he moves out.
  • Angel Dumott Schunard (Support): A young drag queen who is addressed as a female when in drag and as a male when out of drag. Angel, who has AIDS, is a street percussionist with a generous disposition; Collins' love interest.[23]
  • Maureen Johnson (Support): A performance artist who is Mark's ex-girlfriend and Joanne's current girlfriend. She is very flirtatious and cheated on Mark (presumably with Joanne). Larson considered Maureen a lesbian, despite her previous relationships with men, and he specifically identified her as "lesbian" in the script itself.[10]
  • Joanne Jefferson (Support): An Ivy League-educated public interest lawyer and a lesbian. Joanne is the woman for whom Maureen left Mark. Joanne has very politically powerful parents (one is undergoing confirmation to be a judge, the other is a government official).
  • Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III (Support): Landlord of Mark, Roger, and Mimi's apartment building and ex-roommate of Mark, Collins, Roger, and Maureen. Now married to Alison Grey of the Westport Greys, a very wealthy family involved in real estate, and he is considered yuppie scum and a sell-out by his ex-roommates. He at one time had a relationship with Mimi.

Minor characters[edit]

  • Mrs. Cohen: Mark's stereotypical Jewish mother. Her voicemail messages are the basis for the songs Voicemail #1, Voicemail #3, and Voicemail #5.
  • Alexi Darling: The producer of Buzzline, a sleazy tabloid company that tries to employ Mark after his footage of the riot makes primetime. Sings Voicemail #3 and Voicemail #4.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson: The wealthy parents of Joanne Jefferson, they leave her Voicemail #2. Mr. Jefferson is also one of the a cappella singers in Voicemail #5. Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson usually sing the solos in Seasons of Love.
  • Mrs. Davis: Roger's confused mother who calls in Voicemail #5, asking continuously, "Roger, where are you?"
  • Mrs. Marquez: Mimi's Spanish-speaking mother who sings in Voicemail #5, wondering, in Spanish, where she is.
  • Mr. Grey: Benny's father-in-law who wants to buy out the lot.
  • The Man: The local drug dealer whom Mimi buys from and Roger used to buy from. Based on the character Parpignol from La Bohème.[24]
  • Paul: The man in charge of the Life Support group.
  • Gordon: One of the Life Support members.
  • Steve: One of the Life Support members.
  • Ali: One of the Life Support members
  • Pam: One of the Life Support members
  • Sue: One of the Life Support members.
  • In Larson's script, the roles of all of the Life Support members are encouraged to take on the name that someone in the cast (or production) knows or has known to have succumbed to AIDS. In the final Broadway performance, Sue is renamed Lisa.
  • Squeegee Man: A homeless person who chants "Honest living!" over and over during "Christmas Bells".
  • The Waiter: A waiter at Life Cafe.
  • The Woman with Bags or Homeless Woman: A woman who calls Mark out for trying to use her to assuage his guilt during "On The Street".
  • The Preacher or The Pastor: The Preacher kicks Collins out of the church because he can't pay for Angel's funeral.

There are also many other non-named roles such as Cops, Bohemians, Vendors, Homeless People.


Rent received several awards including a Pulitzer Prize and four Tony Awards.[25]

Critical reception of Rent was positive not only for its acting and musical components, but for its representation of HIV-positive individuals. Many critics praised the portrayal of characters such as Angel and Collins as being happy, with positive outlooks on life, rather than being resigned to death.[26] While critics and theatre patrons had largely positive reviews of the show, it was criticized for its stereotypically negative portrayal of lesbian characters and the "glamourization" of the East Village in the late 1980s.[27]

Billy Aronson said, "For the record, although I was ambivalent about Jonathan’s ideas for Rent when we were working together on it, I have come to love the show. And as tragic as it is that he didn’t live to see his work become a huge success, I believe he knew it would be. In our last conversation I asked how the show was going and he said, with complete assurance, that it was incredible."[6]

Cultural impact and legacy[edit]

Mel B as Mimi at Nederland in 2004.

The song "Seasons of Love" became a successful pop song and often is performed on its own. Because of its connection to New Years and looking back at times past, it is sometimes performed at graduations or school holiday programs.


Rent gathered a following of fans who refer to themselves as "RENT-heads." The name originally referred to people who would camp out at the Nederlander Theater for hours in advance for the discounted rush tickets to each show, though it generally refers to anyone who is obsessed with the show. These discounted tickets were for seats in the first two rows of the theater reserved for sale by lottery two hours prior to each show.[29] Other Broadway shows have followed Rent's example and now also offer cheaper tickets in efforts to make Broadway theater accessible to people who would otherwise be unable to afford the ticket prices.

The term originated in Rent's first months on Broadway. The show's producers offered 34 seats in the front two rows of the orchestra for each, two hours before the performance. Fans and others interested in tickets would camp out for hours in front of the Nederlander Theater – which is on 41st Street, just outside Times Square – to buy these tickets.[29]

Popular culture references[edit]

The television series The Simpsons,[30]Family Guy,[31]Friends,[32]Will and Grace,[33]Scrubs,[34]Glee, The Big Bang Theory, Gilmore Girls, Felicity,[35]Saturday Night Live, The Office, Franklin & Bash, 2 Broke Girls, Girls, Seinfeld, The Neighbors, Modern Family, Smash, Supernatural, Superstore, and Bob's Burgers have included references to the show.

The film Team America: World Police includes a character who plays a lead role in Lease, a Broadway musical parody of Rent; the finale song is "Everyone has AIDS!".[36]

Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch wears a Rent T-shirt and speaks of his aspiration to play the role of Angel.[37]

The off-Broadway musical revue Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back includes parodies of Rent songs such as "Rant" ("Rent"), "Ouch! They're Tight" ("Out Tonight"), "Season of Hype" ("Seasons of Love"), "Too Gay 4 U (Too Het'ro 4 Me)" ("Today 4 U"), "Pretty Voices Singing" ("Christmas Bells") and "This Ain't Boheme" ("La Vie Bohème").[38]

In the film Deadpool, Wade Wilson is seen wearing a Rent T-shirt. Stan Lee also referenced one of the songs ("Cover you") when he said as the DJ in the strip club "You can't buy love.." - "but you can rent it... "

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer and writer of the Broadway show Hamilton, has cited Rent as a main source of inspiration.[39] He also referenced the show in a verse of the song "Wrote My Way Out" on The Hamilton Mixtape in the line "Running out of time like I'm Jonathan Larson's rent check".


New York workshops and off-Broadway production[edit]

Rent had its first staged reading at New York Theatre Workshop in March 1993.[7] A further two-week New York Theatre Workshop version was performed in 1994 starring Anthony Rapp as Mark and Daphne Rubin-Vega as Mimi, and more workshops followed. The show opened on 1996, again at New York Theatre Workshop, and quickly gained popularity off-Broadway, receiving enthusiastic reviews. The New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley called it an "exhilarating, landmark rock opera" with a "glittering, inventive score" that "shimmers with hope for the future of the American musical."[45] Another reviewer wrote, "Rent speaks to Generation X the way that the musical Hair spoke to the baby boomers or those who grew up in the 1960s," while the New York Times similarly called it "a rock opera for our time, a Hair for the 90s."[46] The show proved extremely successful off-Broadway, selling out all of its performances at the 150-seat theatre.[2]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Due to its overwhelming popularity and the need for a larger theater, Rent moved to Broadway's previously derelict Nederlander Theatre on 41st Street on April 29, 1996.[2] On Broadway, the show achieved critical acclaim and word-of-mouth popularity. The production's ethnically diverse principal cast originally included Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Fredi Walker.

The production's controversial topics and innovative pricing, including same day-of-performance tickets, helped to increase the popularity of musical theater amongst the younger generation.[47] The production was nominated for ten Tony Awards in 1996 and won four: Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Heredia)

On April 24, 2006, the original Broadway cast reunited for a one-night performance of the musical at the Nederlander Theatre. This performance raised over ,000,000 for the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation, Friends In Deed and New York Theatre Workshop. Former cast members were invited, and many from prior tours and former Broadway casts appeared, performing an alternate version of "Seasons of Love" as the finale of the performance.[49]

Rent closed on September 7, 2008, after a 12-year run and 5,123 performances,[50] making it the eleventh-longest-running Broadway show.[51] The production grossed over 0 million.

Original cast ensemble members Rodney Hicks and Gwen Stewart returned to the cast at the time of the Broadway closing. Hicks played Benny and Stewart played the role she created, the soloist in the song "Seasons of Love". In addition, actress Tracie Thoms joined the cast at the end of the run playing Joanne, the role she portrayed in the 2005 film version.[50] The last Broadway performance was filmed and screened in movie theaters as Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway in September 2008. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray formats on February 3, 2009.

North American touring productions[edit]

Successful United States national tours, the "Angel Tour" and the "Benny Tour", launched in the 1990s. Later, the non-Equity tour started its run. There was also a Canadian tour (often referred to as the "Collins Tour").

The Angel tour began in November 1996 in Boston. Anthony Rapp joined the cast for the Chicago run, and Daphne Rubin-Vega joined for the Los Angeles run. The tour finished in San Francisco in September 1999. Other members of the Angel cast included Carrie Hamilton, Amy Spanger, Luther Creek, Kristoffer Cusick, and Tony Vincent.

The Benny Tour began in July 1997 in San Diego, California, at the LaJolla Playhouse. Michael Grief, the original director of the Broadway show was also the artistic director of the LaJolla Playhouse and was instrumental in arranging for the Benny tour to begin in the smaller city of San Diego rather than Los Angeles, California. It originally featured Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Mark Cohen. The Benny tour generally played shorter stops and often-smaller markets than the Angel Tour did. Other cast members included Wilson Cruz and d'Monroe.

Tours ran each season from 2005 to 2008. Cast members throughout the run included Aaron Tveit, Ava Gaudet, Declan Bennett, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Constantine Maroulis, Dan Rosenbaum, Heinz Winckler, Anwar Robinson, Christine Dwyer and Karen Olivo.[citation needed] In 2009, a national tour starring Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, reprising their original Broadway roles, launched in Cleveland, Ohio. Original Broadway Cast member Gwen Steward also appeared, alongside Michael McElroy as Collins, The tour ended on February 7, 2010, in Sacramento, California.[52] A 20th-anniversary touring production of Rent began in Dallas on September 20, 2016.[53]

UK productions[edit]

The show made its UK premiere on April 21, 1998, at the West End's Shaftesbury Theatre and officially opened on May 12, 1998. The original cast included Krysten Cummings as Mimi Marquez, Wilson Jermaine Heredia as Angel Schunard, Bonny Lockhart as Benny, Jesse L. Martin as Tom Collins, Adam Pascal as Roger Davis, Anthony Rapp as Mark Cohen, and Jessica Tezier as Maureen Johnson. The show closed on October 30, 1999, after one-and-a-half years. Limited revivals took place at the Prince of Wales Theatre from December 4, 2001, to January 6, 2002; December 6, 2002, to March 1, 2003 (featuring Adam Rickett as Mark and Caprice as Maureen). There was also a successful production for a limited run in Manchester in 2006 with an additional 'goodbye' performance in 2008 from the Manchester cast.

On October 16, 2007, the heavily revised production titled Rent Remixed opened at the Duke of York's Theatre in London's West End. Directed by William Baker, it was set in the present day. The cast included Oliver Thornton (Mark), Luke Evans (Roger), Craig Stein (Benny), Leon Lopez (Collins), Francesca Jackson (Joanne), Jay Webb (Angel), Siobhán Donaghy (Mimi), and Denise Van Outen (Maureen). From December 24, 2007, the role of Maureen was played by Jessie Wallace.[54] The production received generally unfavorable reviews. The Guardian gave it only one out of five stars, writing, "They call this 'Rent Remixed'. I'd dub it 'Rent Reduced', in that the late Jonathan Larson's reworking of La Bohème, while never a great musical, has been turned into a grisly, synthetic, pseudo pop concert with no particular roots or identity."[55] The production closed on February 2, 2008.[56]

The production radically altered elements of the musical including defining the characters of Mimi, Angel and Mark as British. Songs were reordered (including Maureen's first appearance as the Act I finale). The rehaul of the score was masterminded by Steve Anderson and featured radically rearranged versions of Out Tonight, Today 4 U, Over the Moon and Happy New Year.

A one-off Rent - The 20th Anniversary Concert was held at the Blackpool Opera house Monday November 11, 2013 A 20th anniversary tour opened at Theatr Clwyd in October 2016 before playing a two-month run at the St James Theatre, London. The cast included Layton Williams as Angel and Lucie Jones as Maureen.[57] The production then continued to tour the UK.[58]

In 2018 an immersive production of RENT premiered at Frogmore Paper Mill in Apsley, Hemel Hempstead.[59] The Cast included Aran Macrae (Roger), Connor Dyer (Mark) and Lizzie Emery (Mimi). The show opened on July 10, 2018, and ran until July 28th.

Off-Broadway revival[edit]

The show was revived Off-Broadway at Stage 1 of New World Stages with previews starting July 14, 2011 and a scheduled opening of August 11, 2011. This was the first New York Revival of the show since the original production closed less than three years earlier. The production was directed by Rent's original director Michael Greif. Almost the entire show was different from the original yet the reinvention did not please the critics, who complained that the new actors did not have a feel for the characters they were playing and it made the show feel contrived.[60] The Off-Broadway production of RENT closed on September 9, 2012.[61]

Additional productions[edit]

In 1999, an Australian production featured Justin Smith as Mark, Rodger Corser as Roger and Christine Anu as Mimi. The tour began in Sydney and finished in Melbourne. A production in Perth, Western Australia was mounted in 2007 and featured Anthony Callea as Mark, Tim Campbell as Roger, Courtney Act as Angel and Nikki Webster as Maureen.

The Dublin production had an extended run at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin in 2000. It starred Sean Pol McGreevy as Mark, Rachel Tucker as Maureen and Allyson Brown as Mimi under the direction of Phil Willmot. The Swedish production premiered on May 15, 2002 at The Göteborg Opera in Gothenburg, Sweden, playing until June 8, 2003. Sarah Dawn Finer played Joanne.[62]

Rent veteran Neil Patrick Harris directed a production at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. The production played a three night engagement, August 6–8, 2010. The cast included Vanessa Hudgens as Mimi, Aaron Tveit as Roger, Skylar Astin as Mark, Wayne Brady as Collins, Telly Leung as Angel, Tracie Thoms as Joanne, Nicole Scherzinger as Maureen, Collins Pennie as Benny, and Gwen Stewart as Seasons of Love soloist (and additional roles).[63]

In 2017, the first tour for the German speaking countries was mounted by Berlin theatrical producer Boris Hilbert [de]. The production travelled Germany, Austria and Switzerland and was directed by the British opera director Walter Sutcliffe.[64]

Rent: School Edition[edit]

In 2007, an abridged edition of Rent was made available to five non-professional acting groups in the United States for production. Billed as Rent: School Edition, this version omits the song "Contact" and eliminates some of the coarse language and tones down some public displays of affection of the original.[65]Shorewood High School in Shorewood, WI became the first high school to perform an early version of the adaptation in May 2006. The high school was selected to present a workshop performance as part of Music Theatre International's work to adapt the musical for younger actors and potentially more conservative audiences.[66] As of 2008, Music Theatre International began licensing "Rent School Edition" for performances by schools and non-professional amateur theaters in the United States and around the world.

International productions[edit]

Rent has been performed in countries around the world, including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Greece, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, South Africa, Australia, Guam, New Zealand, Israel, Puerto Rico, Austria, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, Cuba and the Czech Republic.

The musical has been performed in twenty-five languages: Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, Greek, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Hebrew, Czech, and Catalan.


Cast/Audio recordings[edit]

Main article: Rent (albums)

A cast recording of the original Broadway cast recording was released in 1996; it features all the music of the show on a double-disc "complete recording" collection along with a remixed version of the song "Seasons of Love" featuring Stevie Wonder.[67]

The later 2005 film version (see below) also resulted in a double-disc cast recording of the complete score used in the movie[68] There are also many foreign cast recordings of international productions of the show.[69]

Live stage filming[edit]

Main article: Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway

The final performance of the Broadway production of Rent, which took place on September 7th 2008, was filmed live and, cut together with close-up footage from a day of filming in August of the same year, released as Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway in cinemas with high definition digital projection systems in the U.S. and Canada between September 24 and 28, 2008. Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway was released on February 3, 2009 on DVD & Blu-ray formats.[70][unreliable source?]



Main article: Rent (film)

In 2005, Rent was adapted into a movie directed by Chris Columbus with a screenplay by Stephen Chbosky. With the exception of Daphne Rubin-Vega (who was pregnant at the time of filming) and Fredi Walker (who felt she was too old for her role), who played Mimi and Joanne respectively in the original Broadway cast, the original Broadway cast members reprised the principal roles. Released on November 23, 2005, the film remained in the box office top ten for three weeks, receiving mixed reviews. Several plot elements were changed slightly, and some songs were changed to spoken dialogue or cut entirely for the film. The soundtrack was produced by Rob Cavallo, engineered by Doug McKean and features renowned session musicians Jamie Muhoberac, Tim Pierce and Dorian Crozier.

Rent: Live[edit]

Main article: Rent: Live

In May 2017, Fox announced plans to air a live television production of Rent in late 2018. However, on September 25, 2017, Fox announced the official air date for Rent Live! would be Sunday, January 27, 2019. Marc Platt is set to serve as executive producer along with the estate of Jonathan Larson.

Upcoming documentary[edit]

Filmmaker and Rent alum Andy Señor, Jr. is currently producing a documentary, following his journey producing the musical in Cuba in late 2014. This production of Rent was the first Broadway musical to premiere in Cuba since diplomatic relations between the two countries became strained during the Cold War.

Awards and honors[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Original West End production[edit]

20th-Anniversary UK tour[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2017 WhatsOnStage Awards Best Regional Production Nominated


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