Stellar Cast announced for new Australian Tour of RENT

The-Cast-of-RENT-photo-by-Wendell-TeodoroA stellar cast has been announced for the new Australian tour of the multi-Tony Award-winning rock musical by Jonathan Larson, RENT.

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 Harmon, 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 ground-breaking 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!” said Rennie.

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.”

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

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. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: The Cast of RENT – photo by Wendell Teodoro