Rent live cast
In today’s scattered pop culture landscape, live television continues to offer a glimpse into the monoculture of yesteryear. Even as they suffer from declining ratings, hotly anticipated events such as the Super Bowl and the Oscars . Along with more frequent happenings like “Saturday Night Live” — continue to be some of the most watched fare on television. The live musical is no different. which is why major networks have poured resources into them for the past few years.
Jonathan Larson’s “Rent,” the beloved musical based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Bohème” about a group of young artists living in New York City. During the height of the AIDS epidemic, was a natural fit for Fox’s latest stab at live musical theater. It became one of the longest running shows in Broadway history after debuting in 1996.
There was just one issue: most of Fox’s airing of “Rent: Live” Sunday night wasn’t actually live.Rent live in Vanessa Hudgens
Brennin Hunt, who plays the HIV-positive songwriter Roger Davis, one of the male leadsleads. Broke his foot toward the end of Saturday night’s rehearsal (insert requisite “break a leg” joke here). A wheelchair-bound Hunt couldn’t meet the show’s physical demands, and Fox didn’t employ any understudies. Deciding the show must go on, the network aired the entirety of that dress rehearsal. Clipping on about 10 minutes of tonight’s actual live performance (featuring a chair-bound Hunt) at the end.
The resulting Frankenstein’s monster of a production didn’t fare well, especially during its first half — and that’s looking past. The fact that there’s something inherently exciting about a live performance (much of it felt like watching a football game on delay; some spark is simply missing, illogical as that might be). The majority of the issues were connected to the actual production, which should have been easily circumvented, given that this was now prerecorded.
The sound, for example, was wildly off. On “Today 4 U,” the first solo number by Angel (Valentina of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fame). The studio audience clapped along to the beat loudly enough to drown out the lyrics. And, though Brandon Victor Dixon deserves special recognition for his powerful portrayal of Tom Collins, his shining moment was muted by poor mixing. It comes after (23-year-old spoiler alert) Angel’s death, during the heartbreaking reprise of “I’ll Cover You.” Dixon’s voice bursts with emotion, but his powerful baritone is stepped on by an aggressive piano. Confoundingly, the first time the show had clear sound production was during its last 10 to 15 minutes, when it was live. Rent live in Vanessa Hudgens