Fox’s reside manufacturing of Jonathan Larson’s Tony-winning musical Rent wasn’t with out its points on Sunday evening (Jan. 27), beginning with the truth that solely the final 15 minutes of the present have been really reside. Brennin Hunt, who starred as struggling musician Roger, broke his foot throughout Saturday’s gown rehearsal and was not in a position to stroll in regards to the huge, multi-level set.
Since that efficiency had been recorded in entrance of a reside viewers and there was no understudy, the present went on with that footage as an alternative. Yes, it took a number of the pleasure out of the night, however the reside ultimate act — which included a curtain name of the unique Broadway forged reuniting to type a straight line as soon as once more to sing “Seasons of Love” alone earlier than being joined by their Fox counterparts — gave followers the chills they tuned in for. Our picks for the opposite standout moments:
• Angel’s entrance for “Today four U”: At-home viewers weren’t precisely thrilled with the enthusiastic studio viewers’s screams all through the present, however everybody can agree that the primary sight of drag queen Angel in her full red-coat glory was worthy of cheers. As Angel, RuPaul’s Drag Race star Valentina appeared and danced the a part of the East Village’s most vibrant persona (and her vocals have been stable, save for a number of excessive notes on this and the duet “I’ll Cover You”).
The chemistry between Valentina and Brandon Victor Dixon, who starred as Angel’s love and coronary heart of the present, Tom, was candy and fast, correctly. Which solely made what was to return all of the extra painful… beginning with Tom choosing up and carrying Angel, one of many present’s 4 HIV-positive characters, from her hospital mattress and transferring her into a bigger one so they might lie side-by-side throughout “Without You.”
• Tom’s “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)”: The most haunting picture of the present was Angel mendacity alone, listening to her heartbeat and watching her shake earlier than the ominous demise dance “Contact” kicked in.
Then, you have been ready for Dixon to indicate us the emotion and pipes that earned him an Emmy nomination for taking part in Judas in Fox’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert at Angel’s funeral, and he delivered (with the assistance of The Greatest Showman’s Keala Settle, who additionally joined the forged because the chief of an HIV help group to sing “Seasons of Love” and almost stole the present).
• Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen: Performance artist Maureen’s “Over the Moon” is probably the most grating quantity within the present, on objective, and we’d be completely rolling our eyes if Hudgens, like the nice Idina Menzel earlier than her, hadn’t dedicated 100 % — which is the important thing to turning one thing that awesomely dangerous into one thing that good. The Grease: Live! vet sounded much more superb right here, however nonetheless, we’re simply gonna embody this gif.
What we’d willingly take heed to once more is the quantity “Take Me or Leave Me,” which each she and Kiersey Clemons, as Maureen’s on-again-off-again levelheaded lover Joanne, each slayed.
• Any set that wasn’t Roger and aspiring filmmaker/narrator Mark (Jordan Fisher)’s residence: At least for these of us whose Fox channel inexplicably froze for the primary six or seven minutes of the present, “Will I?” was the primary music to disclose the total extent of the spectacular manufacturing design. The digicam roamed the assorted units whereas ensemble members requested whether or not they’d lose their dignity throughout their battles with HIV and homelessness. Would they wake from this nightmare? The few seconds of silence earlier than the fade to business revered the load of the query.
They actually ought to simply hand the manufacturing design staff their Emmy now. It went nicely past the sturdy scaffolding of Mimi’s “Out Tonight.”
During “Christmas Bells,” the falling snow and buildings strung with giant, attractive lights captured the magic of New York City at evening in December — when you’ll be able to neglect that you recognize what grime lies beneath within the darkness. And, in fact, “La Vie Boheme,” one of many present’s most iconic numbers, had the requisite colourful lights dangling from the restaurant’s ceiling. Not solely did the ground spin, however we additionally received wonderful pictures wanting down on the ensemble from above.
• “Your Eyes”: Hunt deserves a particular spherical of applause for sitting on that stage reside, together with his foot in a forged and propped up on chair, and belting out this music to Mimi on what he thinks is her deathbed (or, fairly, demise desk). Aside from that awkward second when Roger yelled “No!” upon seeing what situation she was in however couldn’t stand up and run to her — and regardless of that angle that saved displaying us his forged — Hunt saved us within the second. And his voice was highly effective (one benefit to not having to sing your entire present earlier than it).
But did anybody else want they’d gotten him right into a wheelchair so he and the unique Roger, Adam Pascal, might have joined the remainder of the forged upfront for the “Seasons of Love” curtain name?