Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning musical Rent will play at Brisbane Powerhouse next year.

Long before Hamilton, the biggest Broadway sensation around was Rent, Jonathon Larson’s incendiary rock musical.

Sadly, Larson died suddenly of an aortic dissection the night before the show’s premiere in 1996, so he never got to see its success — Rent ran for 12 years on Broadway, grossed over $280 million, was adapted into a feature film, and became a pop cultural phenomenon, referenced in The Simpsons, Seinfeld, Friends, Family Guy, Saturday Night Live, Team America: World Police, Modern Family, Deadpool and more. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has also credited Rent as a major influence on his work.

Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, Rent follows a year in the life of a group of friends struggling to make it in the big city. It paints a raw portrait of bohemians living in the shadow of HIV/AIDS in New York’s East Village.

Brisbane Powerhouse will stage a local production of Rent next February, featuring Jackson McGovern , Chris White, Tom Davis, Luke Hodgson, Jacqui McLaren, Aurelie Roque, Ruby Clark and Simon Chamberlain in the lead roles.

The cast will also feature Heidi Enchelmaier, Hannah Grondin, Isaac Lindley and Jacob Langmack.

Matt Ward, NIDA graduate and an emerging musical theatre and carabet producer in Queensland, is putting on the show.

“I am thrilled that we can finally announce the full cast of this iconic musical. Having auditioned over 160 applicants I believe we have found the best cast to bring Jonathon Larsen’s rock score to life,” Ward says.

NIDA graduate and Brisbane local Tim Hill will direct.

“I’m looking forward to stripping the show back to its original off-Broadway roots and bringing out a raw, sexy and uncensored production to honour the twentieth anniversary,” Hill says.

Rent is on at Brisbane Powerhouse as part of Melt Festival from Wednesday 1 February to Saturday 4 February 2017. For tickets, visit