A stellar cast was announced today for the new Australian tour of the multi-Tony Award winning rock musical by Jonathan Larson, RENT. Tickets go on pre-sale today in Perth, Canberra and Newcastle, with general public tickets on sale from Thursday 2 November. Tickets for Brisbane and Melbourne seasons are already on sale.
RENT will play at the Playhouse, QPAC, Brisbane from 27 January 2024, then State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne from 17 February, Newcastle’s Civic Theatre from 15 March, His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth from 11 May, and Canberra Theatre from 6 June.
Director Shaun Rennie, musical director Andrew Worboys and choreographer Luca Dinardo have assembled some of Australia’s finest singer/actors for an all-new production of this iconic musical. Noah Mullins (West Side Story) plays the role of Mark, a struggling documentary filmmaker and best friend of Roger, an HIV-positive musician recovering from heroin addiction, played by Jerrod Smith (The Lovers). Martha Berhane (Hamilton) is Mimi, a reckless and passionate exotic dancer who lives only for today. The Voice 2023 finalist Calista Nelmes (Jersey Boys NZ) plays spirited performance artist Maureen, Mark’s ex-girlfriend and current girlfriend of Joanne, a tough, headstrong Harvard-educated lawyer played by Australia’s First Lady of Soul and R&B, and The Voice 2022 Grand Finalist, THNDO (Dreamgirls).
Philosophy teacher Collins, father-figure, friend and former roommate of Roger, Mark, and Maureen, is played by Nick Afoa (Miss Saigon), with Carl De Villa (Kinky Boots) in the role of Angel, an HIV-positive drag artist with a passion for life in the face of inevitable adversity. Benny, played by Tana Laga’aia (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), is the former friend and current landlord of Mark, Roger, and Mimi.
Completing the cast are Anna Francesca Armenia, Kelsi Boyden (also Resident Director), Mariah Gonzalez, Sam Harmo, Lawrence Hawkins, Josslynn Hlenti (Joanne Alternate), Hannah McInerney, Sam Richardson, Chad Rosete and Theodore Williams.
Step onto the vibrant streets of New York City’s East Village, where dreams are born, friendships are tested, and the power of love prevails. Featuring the iconic songs “Seasons of Love”, ”Take Me or Leave Me”, and “La Vie Bohème”, this groundbreaking sensation is more than a musical; it’s a celebration of life, love, and the human spirit.
“For over 25 years RENT has spoken to each new generation of young people, fighting to be heard and seen,” said director Shaun Rennie. “Its timeless message of celebrating life in the face of death remains as relevant today as it did 28 years ago when it first took the world by storm. I am honoured and excited to be directing this national tour of RENT with an incredible cast and creative team. Viva La vie Boheme!”
Jonathan Larson’s RENT opened Off-Broadway in 1996 and quickly became a global phenomenon. The show earned Larson multiple Tony Awards along with a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, a distinction not received again by a music theatre work until 14 years later. Though Larson himself never saw the impact of his masterwork – he died suddenly in the early hours of the day the show opened to the public – its longevity serves as a testament to the emotional resonance of his creation and an embodiment of its ever-present message “no day but today”.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Licensed exclusively by Music Theatre International (Australasia)
Director: Shaun Rennie
Associate Director: Leah Howard
Musical Director: Andrew Worboys
Choreographer: Luca Dinardo
Lighting Designer: Paul Jackson
Sound Designer: Evan Drill
Set Designer: Dann Barber
Costume Designer: Ella Butler
27 January – 4 February 2024
Prices from $56*
Bookings: qpac.com.au or phone 136 246
Groups 10+ call (07) 3840 7466
State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne
17-25 February 2024
Prices from $59.90*
Bookings: artscentremelbourne.com.au or call 1300 182 183
Groups 10+ call 1300 182 183
Civic Theatre, Newcastle
Prices from $59*
Bookings: civictheatrenewcastle.com.au or (02) 4929 1977
His Majesty’s Theatre
11-19 May 2024
Prices from $69.90*
Bookings: artsculturetrust.wa.gov.au or (08) 6212 9292
7-13 June 2024
Prices from $59.90 (Transaction fees apply)
Bookings: canberratheatrecentre.com.au or (02) 6275 2700