Broadway returns to Boston with farewell tour of ‘Rent’

BOSTON — It’s been a quarter-century since RENT first debuted on Broadway and now it’s time to say farewell. Tackling controversial themes, police brutality, HIV/AIDS and gentrification; I sat down with the cast— many of whom weren’t even alive about how these issues remain relevant.

The first show welcoming guests back to the Shubert theater—Jonathan Larson’s iconic RENT now on its 25th-anniversary farewell tour.

“This show is a period piece, but it’s a timeless period piece. And you don’t get a lot of that in theater,” said Cody Jenkins who plays Mark.

The Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning show follows a year in the lives of a diverse group of artists and friends struggling to follow their dreams without selling out.

Cody Jenkins and Coleman Cummins play Mark and Rodger.

“Rent takes place in the HIV/AIDs epidemic and to come back after a global pandemic brings a new kind of relevance to the show,” said Cummins.

Jenkins adds, “Doing it this year, it just brings a whole new feeling to the show. It kinda breathes new life into it.”

Twenty-year-old Emerson College student Charlotte Odusanya, tells Boston 25 she still can’t believe she landed a part in this iconic show.

“I was shocked. I just remember my mouth being open and being like what? This is crazy!”

Odusanya is living her dream, taking a gap year to tour the country — and Tokyo — from mid-October through May 2022.

“Being an African American woman, being in this show is such a blessing,” said Odusanya. “We go to different places where they don’t necessarily have an open perspective coming to see the show. And I think part of me was scared to got to those places but then I think I realized people need to see this show.”

RENT — the 25th-anniversary farewell tour plays at the Shubert through Sunday.

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