RENT Broadway Musical – PAFPI, one of three select partners for its recent broadways stage run at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of RCBC Plaza from April 19 to June 1, 2024, extended until June 2. The 9Works Theatrical successfully staged the broadway musical RENT. The musical aims to enlighten the public about HIV/AIDS. The current casts featured

  • Anthony Rosaldo portrayed as Roger,
  • Molly Langley and Thea Astley played alternating for the role of Mimi,
  • Ian Pangilinan and Reb Atadero played alternating for the role of Mark,
  • Justine Peña and Jasmine Fitzgerald played alternating as Maureen,
  • Garrett Bolden as Tom Collins, Markki Stroem played the role of Tom Collins on selected days.
  • Adrian Lindayag and Lance Reblando played alternating as Angel,
  • Mica Fajardo and Fay Castro played alternating as Joanne,
  • Markki Stroem played as Benny, and Guji Lorenzana as Benny/ Mr. Johnson.
  • Additional casts: Abi Sulit as Pam, Jordan Andrews as Gordono, Misha Fabian as Ally, Chesko Rodriguez and Paul Valdez alternating as Steve, Kai Banson as Alexi Darling, and Vyen Villanueva as Paul.

What is RENT musical?

“RENT” is a groundbreaking rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson. The show premiered on Broadway in 1996 and is based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Bohème.” Set in the East Village of New York City during the late 1980s and early 1990s, “RENT” follows a group of young artists and friends struggling to survive and create in the face of poverty, addiction, and the AIDS crisis.


  1. Character Representation:
    • Roger Davis: Roger is an aspiring musician who is HIV-positive, having contracted the virus from his previous girlfriend who died by suicide after learning she was infected.
    • Mimi Marquez: Mimi is a dancer and Roger’s love interest, who is also HIV-positive and struggling with addiction.
    • Tom Collins: Collins is an anarchist professor with AIDS. He falls in love with Angel, another character with AIDS.
    • Angel Dumott Schunard: Angel is a street musician and drag queen who is also living with AIDS.
  2. Themes:
    • Living with HIV/AIDS: The musical explores the daily challenges and stigma faced by those living with HIV/AIDS, highlighting the importance of support systems and community.
    • Love and Loss: The relationships in “RENT” are deeply affected by the presence of HIV/AIDS, bringing a raw and emotional depth to the characters’ experiences with love, illness, and death.
    • Hope and Resilience: Despite the struggles, “RENT” is ultimately about resilience and finding hope and joy in life, even in the face of adversity.
  3. Impact:
    • Awareness and Representation: “RENT” brought HIV/AIDS awareness to mainstream audiences, portraying the human side of the epidemic with compassion and authenticity.
    • Cultural Impact: The musical’s success helped to destigmatize discussions around HIV/AIDS and provided a platform for marginalized voices in the LGBTQ+ community.

Key Songs Highlighting HIV/AIDS:

  • “Life Support”: A song depicting a support group for people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • “Will I?”: Expresses the fears and uncertainties faced by those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
  • “Without You”: A poignant song about love, loss, and the impact of illness on relationships.

What is RENT musical context in Philippines setting?

The musical “RENT” has had a significant impact globally, including in the Philippines, where its themes of love, loss, and resilience resonate deeply. The production of “RENT” in the Philippines, like elsewhere, brings attention to important issues, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and provides representation for marginalized communities.

RENT in the Philippines Context

  1. Local Productions:
    • “RENT” has been staged in the Philippines several times, with notable productions by 9Works Theatrical with special arrangement with Music Theatre International, a well-known theater company in the country. These productions often feature local talents and are adapted to resonate with Filipino audiences while maintaining the integrity of the original work.
    • 9 Works Theatrical last produced Rent in the first quarter of 2011, when it featured actors like Gian Magdangal (as Roger), Sheree Bautista (as Mimi), Fredison Lo (as Mark), OJ Mariano (as Tom), Job Bautista (as Angel), Jenny Villegas (as Joanne), Lorenz Martinez (as Benjamin), and Carla Guevara-Laforteza (as Maureen).
    • 9 Works Theatrical, which was also behind the local productions of American IdiotEto na! Musika nAPO!, and Tick, Tick… Boom! featuring Khalil Ramos. 🙂
  2. Cultural Adaptation:
    • While the core themes and storylines remain the same, some productions may incorporate subtle cultural elements that make the story more relatable to Filipino audiences. This might include adjustments in dialogue, costumes, and even some staging elements to better reflect the local context.

HIV/AIDS Context in the Philippines

  1. Awareness and Education:
    • “RENT” plays a crucial role in raising awareness about HIV/AIDS in the Philippines, a country where the disease has been on the rise in recent years. The musical’s portrayal of characters living with HIV/AIDS helps destigmatize the condition and fosters empathy and understanding among audiences.
    • Local productions often collaborate with organizations working on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, using the platform to educate the public and promote safe practices and support for those affected by the disease.
  2. Impact on Public Perception:
    • By bringing the struggles and humanity of those living with HIV/AIDS to the forefront, “RENT” helps challenge stereotypes and misinformation about the disease. This is particularly important in a society where stigma and discrimination can be significant barriers to effective prevention and treatment.
  3. Community and Support:
    • The themes of community and support in “RENT” resonate strongly in the Philippines, where familial and communal ties are deeply valued. The musical’s message of solidarity and mutual support is particularly powerful in the context of addressing health crises like HIV/AIDS.

Notable Productions and Performances

  1. 9Works Theatrical Productions:
    • 9Work Theatrical has been instrumental in bringing “RENT” to Filipino audiences, with acclaimed productions that have been praised for their high-quality performances and impactful storytelling.
    • Notable Filipino actors who have participated in these productions include Gian Magdangal, Sheree Bautista, and Carla Guevara-Laforteza, among others, bringing their unique talents to the iconic roles.
  2. Public Engagement:
    • Productions of “RENT” in the Philippines often include post-show discussions and partnerships with HIV/AIDS advocacy groups, creating a space for dialogue and increasing the impact of the musical beyond the stage.

Wrapping it up

“RENT” has made a significant impact in the Philippines, not just as a piece of entertainment, but as a powerful tool for social awareness and change. By addressing the realities of HIV/AIDS with compassion and honesty, the musical helps to foster a more informed and empathetic society, supporting ongoing efforts to combat the epidemic and support those affected by it.