- Rent (musical)
Original Broadway window card
Music Jonathan Larson Lyrics Jonathan Larson Book Jonathan Larson Basis Giacomo Puccini's opera
Productions 1993 Reading/Workshop
1996 US National Tour
1998 West End
1999 Mexico City
2001 UK Tour
2003 West End revival
2007 West End revival
2008 Buenos Aires
2008 Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway
2009 U.S. National Tour
2010 New Zealand
2010 Hollywood Bowl
2010 Lima, Peru
2011 Off-Broadway Revival
Awards Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Tony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Book
Tony Award for Best Score
Drama Desk Outstanding Musical
Drama Desk for Outstanding Book
Rent (often stylized as RENT) is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
The musical was first seen in a limited three-week workshop production at New York Theatre Workshop in 1994. This same New York City off-Broadway theatre was also the musical's initial home following its official January 25, 1996 opening. The show's creator, Jonathan Larson, died suddenly the night before the off-Broadway premiere. The show won a Pulitzer Prize, and the production was a hit. The musical moved to Broadway's larger Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996.
On Broadway, Rent gained critical acclaim and won a Tony Award for Best Musical among other awards. The Broadway production closed on September 7, 2008, after a 12-year run and 5,124 performances, making it the ninth-longest-running Broadway show by that time, ten years behind The Phantom of the Opera as of December 2009. The production grossed over $280 million.
The success of the show led to several national tours and numerous foreign productions, and in 2005, it was also adapted into a motion picture that features most of the original cast members.
Concept and genesis
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." In 1989 Jonathan Larson, a 29-year-old composer, began collaborating with Aronson on this project, and the two composed a few songs together, including "Santa Fe", "Splatter" (later re-worked into the song "Rent"), and "I Should Tell You". Larson made the suggestion to set the play in the East Village, the artsy avant-garde neighborhood of Manhattan down the street from his Greenwich Village apartment, and 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." Aronson and Larson made an agreement that if the show went to Broadway, Aronson would share in the proceeds.
Jonathan Larson focused on composing Rent in the early 1990s, waiting tables at the Moondance Diner to support himself. Over the course of seven years, Larson wrote hundreds of songs and made many drastic changes to the show, which in its final incarnation contained forty-two 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.
As of 1994, the New York Theatre Workshop version of Rent featured songs that never made it to the final version, such as "You're A Fool", Voice Mail #4","Come To The Meeting","Open Road", "He Says","On The Street #1-3", "You'll Get Over It", the predecessor of "Tango: Maureen," featuring Mark and Maureen; "Right Brain",the predecessor to "One Song Glory," featuring Roger; "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; and "Real Estate", a number where Benny tries to convince Mark to become a real estate agent and drop his film making. 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.
On January 24, 1996, after the musical's final dress rehearsal before its off-Broadway opening, Larson enjoyed 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. The first preview of Rent was canceled and instead, friends and family gathered at the theater where the actors performed a sing-through of Rent in Larson's memory. 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 Theatre Workshop. Due to such overwhelming popularity and a need for a larger theater, Rent moved to Broadway's previously derelict Nederlander Theatre on 41st Street on April 29, 1996.
Sources and inspiration
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 1896–100 years before Rent's premiere. La bohème was also about the lives of poor young artists. Tuberculosis, the plague of Puccini's opera, is replaced by 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 bohéme is the opposite gender.
La bohème Rent Mimi, a seamstress with tuberculosis Mimi Márquez, an S&M dancer with HIV Rodolfo, a poet Roger Davis, a songwriter-musician who is HIV positive Marcello, a painter Mark Cohen, an independent filmmaker and Roger's roommate Musetta, a singer Maureen Johnson, a lesbian performance artist Schaunard, a musician Angel Dumott Schunard, a gay drag queen percussionist with AIDS Colline, a philosopher Tom Collins, a gay philosophy professor (Not full-time) at New York University and anarchist with AIDS Alcindoro, a state councilor Joanne Jefferson, a lesbian lawyer, who is Maureen's girlfriend. (Also partially based on Marcello) Benoit, a 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 is nearly identical to the first scene between Mimi and Rodolfo in La bohème, "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. "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'."
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. 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 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 his 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 is a flamboyantly homosexual man who performs a song and dance number and sometimes wears women's clothing; however, the line was originally in the film Car Wash (1976) as delivered by Antonio Fargas, 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.
Many actual locations and events are included in, or are the inspiration for, elements of the musical. The Life Café, where the "La Vie Boheme" numbers are set, is an actual restaurant in the East Village of New York City. The riot at the end of the first act is based on the East Village conflicts of the late 1980s that arose as a result of the city-imposed curfew in Tompkins Square Park.
"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 in the single stanza 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 of AIDS. In the Broadway show, the names of the characters in that particular scene (they introduce themselves) are changed nightly to honor the friends of the cast members who are living with or have died from AIDS.
The scene and song "Life Support" was 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 "credo...my 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 controversy
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 $40 million USD 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.
During the trial, Thomson could not recall the lyrics to the songs that she wrote or the structures of the libretto she created. 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.
- Act 1
- Tune Up #1 — Mark and Roger
- Voice Mail #1 — Mark's Mother
- Tune Up #2 — Mark, Roger, Collins, and Benny
- Rent — Company
- You Okay Honey? — Angel, Collins, and a homeless person
- Tune Up #3 — Mark and Roger
- One Song Glory — Roger
- Light My Candle — Mimi and Roger
- Voice Mail #2 — Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson
- Today 4 U — Collins, Roger, Mark, and Angel
- You'll See — Benny, Mark, Roger, Collins, and Angel
- Tango: Maureen — Joanne and Mark
- Life Support — Company
- Out Tonight — Mimi
- Another Day — Mimi, Roger, and Company
- Will I? — Company
- On the Street — Mark,Collins,Angel,and homeless woman.
- Santa Fe — Collins, Angel, and Mark
- I'll Cover You — Angel and Collins
- We're Okay — Joanne
- Christmas Bells — Company
- Over the Moon — Maureen
- Over the Moon Playoff — The Band
- La Vie Bohème A — Company
- I Should Tell You — Mimi and Roger
- La Vie Bohème B — Company
- Act 2
- Seasons of Love — Company
- Happy New Year A — Mark, Roger, Mimi, Collins, Angel, Maureen, and Joanne
- Voice Mail #3 — Mark's Mother and Alexi Darling
- 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 Darling
- Contact — Angel and Company
- I'll Cover You (Reprise) — Collins and Company
- Halloween — Mark
- Goodbye Love — Mark, Roger, Mimi, Collins, Maureen, Joanne, and Benny
- What You Own — Roger and Mark
- Voice Mail #5 — Roger's Mother, Mimi's Mother, Mr. Jefferson, and Mark's Mother
- Finale A — Company
- Your Eyes — Roger
- Finale B — Company
- Playout (I'll Cover You) — The Band
Mark begins a new documentary, as Roger tunes up his guitar ("Tune Up #1") but they are quickly interrupted by a call from Mark's mother ("Voicemail #1"). Roger and Mark's friend Tom Collins arrives at their building but is mugged before he can enter. Meanwhile, Roger and Mark receive a call from former friend and roommate Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III. Benny bought Mark and Roger's apartment building, as well as the lot next door. He tells them the rent is due, despite his promise to let them live there for free ("Tune Up #2"). Mark and Roger refuse to pay their rent ("Rent"). Meanwhile, Angel finds Collins on the street ("You Okay Honey?").
Back at the loft, Mark tries to get Roger out of the apartment before reminding him to take his AZT ("Tune Up #3"). Roger attempts to write a great song to make his mark on the world before he dies of AIDS ("One Song Glory"). Their downstairs neighbour, a club dancer and drug addict named Mimi Marquéz walks in, asking Roger to light a candle for her, only to continually blow it out ("Light My Candle").
Joanne's parents call her, wondering why she is stage managing and reminding her that she has to attend her mother's confirmation hearings ("Voicemail #2"). Angel, now in drag, and Collins arrive bearing gifts ("Today 4 U"). 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 Life Support, a local HIV support group meeting.
Mark hurries off to help fix Maureen's equipment, only to run into Maureen's new girlfriend Joanne, and the two of them commiserate about Maureen's flighty, unfaithful ways ("Tango: Maureen"). He then enters—slightly late—into the support group meeting ("Life Support"). Meanwhile, Mimi attempts to seduce Roger ("Out Tonight") but is harshly rebuffed by Roger ("Another Day") who then admits to an empty apartment his fears about dying from AIDS ("Will I?").
On their way to the show, 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 while not really doing anything to help them ("On the Streets"). Collins talks about his dream of escaping New York and opening up a restaurant ("Santa Fe"). Soon after, Collins and Angel confess their love for each other ("I'll Cover You"). Joanne exasperatedly prepares for Maureen's show ("We're Okay").
Roger intercepts Mimi on her way to buy drugs, inviting her to come to the protest and dinner with them instead, to which she agrees. Meanwhile, people from the streets protest for not having a place to spend Christmas ("Christmas Bells").
Maureen arrives and begins her performance: A thinly-veiled criticism of Benny through a metaphor involving a cow and a bulldog, culminating in her urging the crowd to "moo" with her ("Over The Moon"). At the Life Cafe after the show, Benny criticizes the protest and the group's Bohemian lifestyle, declaring that Bohemia is dead. Mark and all the bohemians in the café rise up and celebrate the Bohemian lifestyle, paying tribute to everything they love, driving Mr. Grey and Benny from the café ("La Vie Boheme A").
Mimi confronts Roger about ignoring her during dinner. Roger tries to explain that he has baggage, but Mimi isn't fazed. Then, as Mimi's beeper goes off (reminding her to take her AZT) she and Roger each discover that the other is HIV-positive ("I Should Tell You"). Joanne returns, explaining how the evicted residents of Avenue B are rioting and "mooing" in the streets ("La Vie Boheme B").
Opening with "Seasons of Love" - a song which contemplates how to measure a year in a life - the second act takes place over the course of the year following the first act, beginning on New Years Eve.
After Benny locks them out of their apartments, the Bohemians gather to break-in ("Happy New Year A"). We learn through a series of voicemails ("Voicemail #3") that Mark had taken film of the riot which had made the nightly news and gained him the attention of media producer Alexi Darling.
The others finally break through the door just as Benny arrives. He says he's there to call a truce, but the group doesn't trust him. He reveals that Mimi, a former girlfriend of his, came-on to him. This revelation upsets Roger and he briefly rebuffs Mimi before Angel settles everyone down. Roger and Mimi both apologize, but Mimi remains upset, and turns to the drug dealer for a fix ("Happy New Year B").
Maureen and Joanne have a fight, giving each other relationship ultimatums ("Take Me Or Leave Me"). Maureen's flirtatious ways and Joanne's controlling behavior are too much to take, so they break up. The company sings a reprise of "Seasons of Love", as time passes and seasons change ("Seasons of Love B"). By spring, Roger and Mimi's relationship becomes strained. Roger keeps talking about moving out of town. Mimi comes home late again, causing Roger to believe that she is cheating on him with Benny. Roger jealously storms out, Mimi stops him and tries to tell him the truth, that she is not cheating and that she is still using drugs, but can't get the words out, and Roger leaves her ("Without You"). Collins continues nursing Angel who is very sick as AIDS begins to overtake him. Mark continues to receive calls from Buzzline ("Voicemail #4"). Eventually, Roger and Mimi, and Joanne and Maureen, reconcile.
They then break up just as quickly ("Contact"). At the same time, Angel dies and Collins is heartbroken ("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 ("Halloween"). He finally accepts the job offer from Buzzline. Roger reveals that he is leaving New York for Santa Fe, which sparks an argument about commitment between him and Mimi, and Maureen and Joanne. Collins arrives and admonishes the entire group for fighting on the day of Angel's funeral. Maureen and Joanne realize their fighting is petty, and they reconcile. Mimi tries to go to Roger, but he turns away ("Goodbye Love").
Roger and Mark both have an artistic epiphany, as Roger finds his song in Mimi and 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 ("Voice Mail #5"). On Christmas Eve, one year to date from where the show started, Mark has finished his film and is ready to screen it. Roger has found his song but can't find Mimi anywhere. 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. She begins to fade, but not before telling Roger that she loves him ("Finale A"). Roger tells her to hold on as he plays her the song he wrote for her, which says that he has always loved her ("Your Eyes"). Mimi appears to die as Musetta's Waltz plays but suddenly awakens. She says that she was heading into a light, but Angel told her to go back. The surviving Bohemians and Benny gather together to rejoice and resolve to enjoy whatever time they have left with each other ("Finale B").
- Mark Cohen (baritone/tenor): A struggling Jewish documentary filmmaker, the narrator of the show. He is Roger's and Collins's roommate until Collins moves out; he is also Maureen's ex-boyfriend.
- Roger Davis (tenor): A once successful but now struggling musician 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, know that they are going to die. His girlfriend, April, killed herself after finding out they had HIV. He is roommates with Mark.
- Mimi Márquez (alto/belter): A club dancer and drug addict. She lives downstairs from Mark and Roger, and is Roger's love interest who, like him, has HIV. She is also Benny's ex-lover.
- Tom Collins (baritone/tenor): A gay anarchist with AIDS. He is described by Mark as a "computer genius; teacher; 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, then just Roger and Mark, until he moves in with Angel.
- Angel Dumott Schunard (tenor, often with falsetto): A young drag queen, street percussionist with AIDS. He is Collins's love interest.
- Maureen Johnson (mezzo soprano/belter): A lesbian  performance artist; Mark's ex-girlfriend and Joanne's current girlfriend. She is very flirtatious and cheated on Mark a lot.
- Joanne Jefferson (Mezzo Soprano/Belt): An Ivy League-educated public interest lawyer, and a lesbian. Joanne is the woman for whom Maureen left Mark. Joanne has very important parents (one is undergoing confirmation to be a judge, the other is a government official.)
- Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III (baritone/tenor): 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 is considered a yuppie scum and a sell-out by his ex-roommates. He is also Mimi's ex-lover, although he considers himself her ex-boyfriend.
- 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 who 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
- 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.
- Paul, the man in charge of the Life support group.
- Gordon, one of the Life support members. Usually doubles as "The Man"
- Steve, one of the Life Support members. Usually doubles as "The Waiter"
- Ali, one of the Life Support members
- Pam, one of the Life Support members
- Sue, one of the Life Support members. As notated in the script by Larson, 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 re-named Lisa.
- Squeegee Man, a homeless person who chants "Honest living!" over and over.
There are also many other non-named roles such as The Waiter, The Homeless Woman, The Preacher, Seasons of Love soloists, Cops, Bohemians, Vendors, Homeless People.
New York workshops and off-Broadway production
Rent had its first staged reading at New York Theatre Workshop in March 1993. 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 January 25, 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." 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, calling it 'a rock opera for our time, a Hair for the 90s.'" The show proved extremely successful off-Broadway, selling out all of its performances at the 150-seat theatre.
Original Broadway production
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. 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 $20 tickets, helped to increase the popularity of musical theater amongst the younger generation. 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 $2,000,000 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.
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. 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.
Early North American tours
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. It then went on to St. Paul, Minnesota, Washington, DC, Chicago (where Anthony Rapp temporarily joined the cast), Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Salt Lake City, Denver, and Los Angeles (where Daphne Rubin-Vega temporarily joined the cast), before finishing in San Francisco in September 1999. Cast members appearing in the Angel Cast included Simone, Manley Pope, Christian Anderson, Carrie Hamilton, Amy Spanger, Evan D'Angeles, Cheri Smith, Julie Danao, Sylvia MacCalla, Kamilah Martin, Jonathon Morgan, Luther Creek, Kristoffer Cusick, Tony Vincent, Courtney Corey, and Shaun Earl.
The Benny Tour began in July 1997 in San Diego, CA 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, CA. 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. Cast members appearing in the Benny Cast included Eric Reed, Wilson Cruz, Keely Snelson, d'Monroe, Mark Lull, Courtney Corey, Pierre Bayuga and Jonathon Morgan.
2005-2008 U.S. touring companies
Tours ran each season from 2005 to 2008. Cast members included: Aaron Tveit, Ava Gaudet, Bryce Ryness, LaDonna Burns, Jed Resnick, Warren G. Nolan, Michael Ifill, Ano Okera, Arianda Fernandez, Tracy McDowell, Chante-Carmel Frierson, Nina Metrick, Sheila Coyle, Aswad, Altamiece' Ballard, Ben Rosberry, Gavin Reign, Mike Evariste, Declan Bennett, Harley Jay, Melvin Bell III, Kristen-Alexzander Griffith, Jennifer Colby Talton, Douglas Lyons, Dan Rosenbaum, Jenna Noel, Cedric Leiba, Jr., Samuel L. Krauth, Jade Hicks, Mimi Jimenez, Joe Donohoe, Dustin Brayley, Aaron LaVigne, Heinz Winckler, Anwar Robinson, John Watson, Onyie Nwachukwu, Corey Mach, Lou Troche, Christine Dwyer, Hannah Shankman, Damien DeShaun Smith, Devon Settles Jr., Natalie R. Perkins, Enrico Banson, Tim Ehrlich, Jeff Cuttler, Christina Sajous, Miguel Jarquin-Moreland, and Stephanie Spano. The tour stopped in many cities including Knoxville and Chicago..
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 Benjamin Coffin III, 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. There was also a successful production in Manchester in 2006, starring Matthew Robbins, Lizzy Aroxa and Danny Travers, with an additional 'goodbye' performance in 2008 from the Manchester cast.
Ireland (Dublin) 2000
The Dublin production had an extended run at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin in 2000 it starred Sean Pol McGreevy as Mark, Samuel Nicholl as Roger Rachel Tucker as Maureen, Jacqui Dubois as Joanne, Mykal Rand as Collins, Thomas Goodridge as angel and Allyson Brown as Mimi under the direction of Phil Willmot. The show returned to Dublin in 2009, this time performed by students of Dublin City University's Drama Society.
Rent: School Edition
In 2007, a modified 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. 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.
There were four test shows of the Rent: School Edition, the first of which premiered at the Stuart, Florida's Lyric Theater in June, 2007.
In June 2010, Hollywood High School in Hollywood, CA was the first high school to perform the original broadway version of Rent, including the song "Contact," which is omitted in the School Edition.
On October 16, 2007, the production 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. 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." The production closed on February 2, 2008.
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 at the start of Act 2). The rehaul of the score was masterminded by Steve Anderson and featured radically rearranged versions of Out Tonight, Today 4 U and Happy New Year.
The Australian cast featured Justin Smith as Mark, Rodger Corser as Roger, Opell Ross as Angel and Australian ARIA Award winner Christine Anu as Mimi. The tour began in Sydney, and wrapped in Melbourne.
A production in Perth, Western Australia was mounted in 2007 and featured Anthony Callea as Mark, Tim Campbell as Roger, Jaya Henderson as Mimi, Courtney Act as Angel, Shai Yammanne as Tom Collins, Sharon Wisniewski as Joanne, Andrew Conaghan as Benny and Nikki Webster as Maureen.
2005-2006 International tour
The international tour, which played from 2005–2006, started in Singapore in 2005 and ended in Budapest in 2006. It also visited Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo, Bangkok, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, Antwerp, Barcelona, Madrid, Stockholm, Reykjavik, Oslo, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Cape Town, Johannesburg, St. Petersburg, and Moscow.
2009 U.S. National tour
A national tour starring Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, reprising their original Broadway (and film) roles, launched in January 2009 in Cleveland, OH. After having a reprise performance in the summer of 2007, they signed on to be part of the 2009 tour. Original "Seasons of Love" soloist Gwen Stewart signed on to this tour as well. Joining them were Nicolette Hart as Maureen, Justin Johnston as Angel, Lexi Lawson as Mimi, Michael McElroy as Collins, Jacques C. Smith as Benny, and Haneefah Wood as Joanne. Ensemble members were Karmine Alers, Toby Blackwell, Adam Halpin, Trisha Jeffrey, Joshua Kobak, Telly Leung, Caren Tackett, Jed Resnick, Andy Senor, Cary Shields, Yuka Takara, and John Watson.
At the tour stop in Detroit, Michigan, Pascal herniated two discs in his neck and was put on medical leave. Cary Shields, an understudy and a Broadway Rent veteran himself, filled in. Pascal made a full recovery and returned to the show.
The 2009 National Tour ended on February 7, 2010, in Sacramento, CA. Tour stops included: Los Angeles, Seattle, Costa Mesa, Toronto, Phoenix, Sacramento, Orlando, Miami, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Tokyo, Cincinnati, Norfolk, and Houston.
2010 Hollywood Bowl
Rent veteran Neil Patrick Harris directed Rent at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. The production played a three night engagement, August 6–8, 2010. His Beastly co-star Vanessa Hudgens played Mimi.
On April 30, 2010, it was confirmed that Wayne Brady, Aaron Tveit, Skylar Astin, Collins Pennie, Tracie Thoms, Telly Leung, and Gwen Stewart had also been cast as Tom Collins, Roger Davis, Mark Cohen, Benjamin Coffin III, Joanne Jefferson, Angel Dumott-Shunard and Season of Love soloist (and additional roles) respectively.
On June 4, 2010, it was confirmed that Nicole Scherzinger would round out the cast of Rent playing Maureen. Additionally the show's ensemble included Yassmin Alers, Eric B. Anthony, King Aswad, Susan Beaubian, David Burtka, Kathy Deitch, Sam Given, Rachael Harris, Tricia Kelly, Ethan Le Phong, Kristolyn Lloyd, Zarah Mahler, Laura Mixon, Jason Paige, MiRi Park and Brandon Wardell.
2011 Off-Broadway Revival
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 is 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. Joining Greiff are several Tony Award winning/nominated designers. Almost the entire show is 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.
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, Philippines, 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 and the Dominican Republic.
The musical has been performed in twenty-four 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, and Hebrew.
Rent in repertory with La Boheme
The first ever in-repertory production of La Bohème and Rent was at the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music in February 2011. Both productions were directed by Victoria Bussert. La Bohème was conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, who conducted Baz Luhrmann's production on Broadway. Rent was music directed by Ryan Fielding Garrett.
The song "Seasons of Love" became a successful pop song and often is performed on its own.
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 $20 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. 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 $20 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. Many RENTheads have seen the show dozens of times, some in various cities. At least one person has seen the show more than 1100 times over the course of the show's nearly 12 year run. Journalist Kelly Nestruck writes in The Guardian that "Rent fans...are known colloquially as Rentheads and even more colloquially as the most annoying of all musical fans".
Popular culture references
The television series The Simpsons, Family Guy, Friends, Will and Grace, Scrubs, Glee, The Big Bang Theory, Felicity, " Saturday Night Live" The Office, and Modern Family have included references to the show.
In 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!";. a character in Hedwig and the Angry Inch wears a Rent t-shirt and speaks of his aspiration to play the role of Angel.
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 Boheme").
Role Original Broadway
2005 film 2008 Final Performance
Hollywood Bowl Cast 2011 Revival Cast Mark Cohen Anthony Rapp Adam Kantor Skylar Astin Adam Chanler-Berat Roger Davis Adam Pascal Will Chase Aaron Tveit Matt Shingledecker Mimi Márquez Daphne Rubin-Vega Rosario Dawson Renee Elise Goldsberry Vanessa Hudgens Arianda Fernandez Tom Collins Jesse L. Martin Michael McElroy Wayne Brady Nicholas Christopher Angel Dumott Schunard Wilson Jermaine Heredia Justin Johnston Telly Leung Michael Rodriguez Joanne Jefferson Fredi Walker Tracie Thoms Corbin Reid Maureen Johnson Idina Menzel Eden Espinosa Nicole Scherzinger Annaleigh Ashford Benjamin Coffin III Taye Diggs Rodney Hicks Collins Pennie Ephraim Sykes
Recordings and adaptations
The original Broadway cast recording features most of the musical material in the show on a double-disc "complete recording" collection with a remixed version of the song "Seasons of Love" featuring Stevie Wonder. The label later issued a single-disc "best of" highlights.
There are also many foreign cast recordings.
Rent was adapted into a movie directed by Chris Columbus with a screenplay by Stephen Chbosky. With the exception of Daphne Rubin-Vega and Fredi Walker, the original Broadway cast members reprised the principal roles. Rosario Dawson played Mimi and Tracie Thoms was cast as Joanne, as Rubin-Vega (Mimi) was pregnant at the time of filming and Walker (Joanne) felt she was too old for the part. Released on November 23, 2005, the film remained in the box office top ten for three weeks. Several plot elements were changed slightly, and some of the songs were changed to spoken dialogue in the film. The film's soundtrack was produced by Rob Cavallo, engineered by Doug McKean and features renowned session musicians, Jamie Muhoberac, Tim Pierce, and Dorian Crozier.
2008 live filming
On September 7, 2008, the final performance of the Broadway production of Rent was filmed live and (also using footage shot at a live performance in August 2008) 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.[unreliable source?]
Rent was nominated for ten Tony Awards in 1996 and won four:
- Tony Award for Best Musical
- Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical: Jonathan Larson
- Tony Award for Best Original Score: Jonathan Larson
- Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical: Wilson Jermaine Heredia
- Other nominations
- Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical: Adam Pascal
- Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical: Daphne Rubin-Vega
- Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical: Idina Menzel
- Tony Award for Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Blake Burba
- Tony Award for Best Choreography: Marlies Yearby
- Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical: Michael Greif
Rent was also nominated for the following awards; it won all but four of the nominations:
- 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
- 1996 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical
- 1996 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book
- 1996 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical: Wilson Jermaine Heredia
- 1996 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Orchestrations: Steve Skinner
- 1996 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Lyrics
- 1996 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music
- 1996 Theater World Award for Outstanding New Talent: Adam Pascal
- 1996 Theater World Award for Outstanding New Talent: Daphne Rubin-Vega
- 1996 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical
- 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical
- 1996 Drama League Award for Best Musical
- 1996 Obie Award for Outstanding Book, Music, and Lyrics
- 1996 Obie Award for Outstanding Direction: Michael Greif
- 1996 Obie Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance
- Other nominations
- 1996 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical: Adam Pascal
- 1996 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical: Daphne Rubin-Vega
- 1996 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical: Michael Greif
- 1996 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Costume Design: Angela Wendt
- ^ Larson, Jonathan; Interviews and text: McDonnell, Evelyn, with Silberger, Katherine (1997). Rent. New York, New York: HarperEntertainment / HarperCollins. ISBN 0-688-15437-9. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0688154379/qisbn=1164910567.
- ^ a b c d e Larson, Jonathan; Interviews and text: McDonnell, Evelyn, with Silberger, Katherine (1997). Rent ("Glory"). New York, New York: HarperEntertainment / HarperCollins. pp. 54–64. ISBN 0-688-15437-9. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0688154379/qisbn=1164910567.
- ^ a b Time Magazine, March 10, 2008 issue, p. 66
- ^ a b Larson, Jonathan; Interviews and text: McDonnell, Evelyn, with Silberger, Katherine (1997). Rent ("Leap of Faith"). New York, New York: HarperEntertainment / HarperCollins. pp. 18–37. ISBN 0-688-15437-9. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0688154379/qisbn=1164910567.
- ^ a b c d e Tommasini, Anthony (1996-03-17). "The Seven-Year Odyssey That Led to Rent". The New York Times: Section 2 Page 7. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9507E1D91639F934A25750C0A960958260.
- ^ Rapp, Anthony. Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent (2006) Simon & Schuster ISBN 0-7432-6976-4
- ^ a b Rapp, p. 19
- ^ Puccini, Giacomo. "La bohème —Libretto in English". Kernkonzepte: Impresario. http://www.impresario.ch/libretto/libpucboh_e.htm.
- ^ Beals, Gregory (1996-05-13). "The World of Rent". Newsweek CXXVII (20): 58–59. (Abstract)
- ^ Thomas, June (November 23, 2005). "Sarah Schulman: the writer Rent ripped off". Slate.com. http://www.slate.com/id/2131017. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
- ^ SiteforRent.com accessed April 15, 2007.
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- ^ a b Larson, Jonathan; Interviews and text: McDonnell, Evelyn, with Silberger, Katherine (1997). Rent ("Connection"). New York, New York: HarperEntertainment / HarperCollins. pp. 138–141. ISBN 0-688-15437-9. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0688154379/qisbn=1164910567.
- ^ Larson, Jonathan; Interviews and text: McDonnell, Evelyn, with Silberger, Katherine (1997). Rent ("Leap of Faith: Friends in Deed"). New York, New York: HarperEntertainment / HarperCollins. pp. 21. ISBN 0-688-15437-9. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0688154379/qisbn=1164910567.
- ^ "The Rent Lawsuit Transcript Website". Dramaturgy.net. 1998. http://www.dramaturgy.net/RENT/. Retrieved 2008-01-01.
- ^ Larson, Jonathan; Interviews and text: McDonnell, Evelyn, with Silberger, Katherine (1997). Rent (no day but today). New York, New York: HarperEntertainment / HarperCollins. pp. 188–189. ISBN 0-688-15437-9. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0688154379/qisbn=1164910567.
- ^ a b Official character bios z
- ^ Brantley, Ben. "Rock Opera A la 'Boheme' And 'Hair'", The New York Times, February 14, 1996
- ^ "The Birth of a Theatrical Comet". The New York Times: Section 2 page 1. 1996-03-17. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60B10F83D5D0C748DDDAA0894DE494D81.
- ^ Marks, Peter (February 26, 1996). "Looking on Broadway For Ramshackle Home". The New York Times: C9. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20616FD3A5D0C758EDDAB0894DE494D81&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fOrganizations%2fN%2fNew%20York%20Theater%20Workshop.
- ^ a b "Past Winners Search". The Official Website of the American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards. IBM Corp., Tony Award Productions. http://www.tonyawards.com/p/tonys_search?year=1996&show=Rent. Retrieved November 30, 2006.
- ^ Jones, Kenneth (2006-03-30). "Rent's 10th Anniversary Celebration Will Reunite Past Bohemians, for Three Good Causes". Playbill, Inc.. http://www.playbill.com/news/article/98789.html. Retrieved November 30, 2006.
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- ^ Deyoung, Bill (2007-06-30). "With 'Rent,' local theater finally fulfills promise". Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. Archived from the original on 2007-07-06. http://web.archive.org/web/20070706021228/http://www.tcpalm.com/tcp/local_news/article/0,2545,TCP_16736_5609675,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-02. Hopper, R: . National Youth Theatre review, accessed March 19, 2009.
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- Official Rent musical site
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- The Rent Fanlisting
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- Rent at the Internet Movie Database
- Rent Wiki
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical (1975–2000)
The Wiz (1975) · A Chorus Line (1976) · Annie (1977) · Ain't Misbehavin' (1978) · Sweeney Todd (1979) · Evita (1980) · The Pirates of Penzance (1981) · Nine (1982) · Little Shop of Horrors (1983) · Sunday in the Park with George (1984) · The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1986) · Les Miserables (1987) · Into the Woods (1988) · Jerome Robbins' Broadway (1989) · City of Angels (1990) · The Secret Garden (1991) · Crazy for You (1992) · Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993) · Passion (1994) · Show Boat (1995) · Rent (1996) · The Life (1997) · Ragtime (1998) · Parade (1999) · Contact (2000)
Complete list · (1975–2000) · (2001–2025) Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1976–2000)
- A Chorus Line (1976)
- The Shadow Box (1977)
- The Gin Game (1978)
- Buried Child (1979)
- Talley's Folly (1980)
- Crimes of the Heart (1981)
- A Soldier's Play (1982)
- 'night, Mother (1983)
- Glengarry Glen Ross (1984)
- Sunday in the Park with George (1985)
- Fences (1987)
- Driving Miss Daisy (1988)
- The Heidi Chronicles (1989)
- The Piano Lesson (1990)
- Lost in Yonkers (1991)
- The Kentucky Cycle (1992)
- Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (1993)
- Three Tall Women (1994)
- The Young Man From Atlanta (1995)
- Rent (1996)
- How I Learned to Drive (1998)
- Wit (1999)
- Dinner with Friends (2000)
- Complete list
Tony Award for Best Musical (1976–2000)
A Chorus Line (1976) · Annie (1977) · Ain't Misbehavin' (1978) · Sweeney Todd (1979) · Evita (1980) · 42nd Street (1981) · Nine (1982) · Cats (1983) · La Cage aux Folles (1984) · Big River (1985) · The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1986) · Les Misérables (1987) · The Phantom of the Opera (1988) · Jerome Robbins' Broadway (1989) · City of Angels (1990) · The Will Rogers Follies (1991) · Crazy for You (1992) · Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993) · Passion (1994) · Sunset Boulevard (1995) · Rent (1996) · Titanic (1997) · The Lion King (1998) · Fosse (1999) · Contact (2000)
Complete list · (1949–1975) · (1976–2000) · (2001–2025) Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (1976–2000)
A Chorus Line (1976) · Annie (1977) · On the Twentieth Century (1978) · Sweeney Todd (1979) · Evita (1980) · Woman of the Year (1981) · Dreamgirls (1982) · Cats (1983) · La Cage aux Folles (1984) · Big River (1985) · Drood (1986) · Les Misérables (1987) · Into the Woods (1988) · City of Angels (1990) · The Secret Garden (1991) · Falsettos (1992) · Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993) · Passion (1994) · Sunset Boulevard (1995) · Rent (1996) · Titanic (1997) · Ragtime (1998) · Parade (1999) · James Joyce's The Dead (2000)
Complete list · (1950–1975) · (1976–2000) · (2001–2025)
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